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Communication: Are Tone and Body Language More Important than Content?

FINESSE emphasizes the first priority on content since big decisions take time to resolve. Are you Communicating with FINESSE?
FINESSE emphasizes the first priority on content since big decisions take time to resolve.

This quote says how you say something is important, but some people think what you say is just as important. They believe that both things matter when communicating effectively.

Tone and nonverbal communication are most important in personal relationships, resolving conflicts, talking about sensitive topics, and helping customers. They also matter more when you don't have all the facts when you want to sell something quickly, or when you're trying to manipulate someone.

The actual words you say matter most when you're having professional discussions with colleagues, solving complex and uncertain problems, and making important decisions that involve time and money. In these cases, tone and nonverbal communication are less important because decisions shouldn't be rushed or made without more than one conversation.

President Theodore Roosevelt said, "No one cares about your information until they know you care about them." This means that people won't be interested in what you have to say unless they feel like you care about them.

To communicate effectively, it's best to find a balance. Both what you say and how you say it help people understand you, build a connection, and have successful interactions.


Communicating with FINESSE is a not-for-profit community of technical professionals dedicated to being highly effective communicators and facilitators. Learn more about our publications, webinars, and workshops. Join the community for free.


JD Solomon's newest book, Facilitating with FINESSE: A Guide to Successful Business Solutions, is now available on Amazon.


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