According to the research of Albert Mehrabin who in the 1960’s studied the rules of interpersonal communication, each statement consists of three elements:
- Words (content) 7%
- tone of voice 38%
- non-verbal communication 55%
The main findings of this research, presented in short above, apply mainly to the communication of emotions and attitudes. For this reason they are extremely useful in a Coaching conversation. However, their usefulness in communication in general is often questioned.
During a meeting with a client, the Coach pays attention to the coherence of all these elements of communication, including any change in the Coachee ’s tone of voice. This is important information, which indicates the conformity (or its lack) of the tone of voice with verbal statements. From the level of process management, this may be an important indicator which helps in asking further questions or using adequate communication tools, for example Feedback or articulation.