Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mind the Gap: We Think 7x Faster Than We Speak

We speak at approximately 115 words-per-minute, but think at a approximately 825 words-per-minute.  Where are you in that 710 gap between thoughts and actions when communicating?

That gap impacts your ability to be present; influential; and effective.  If you're not mentally present, then you're not paying attention to either your style and the impact that you're having, or noticing the style of your listener/receive and if you're effectively communicating in a manner that gets them to hear you. You can notice when someone isn't paying attention to you, regardless if you're on the phone, in a meeting, conducting a presentation, or talking one-on-one.

In Washington, D.C. one of the world's most famous musicians, Joshua Bell who had sold out performances at $100 per ticket just three days prior, was playing a $3.5 million violin in the subway for 45 minutes.  1,100 people passed and never stopped or noticed.  Read more here.  How much do you notice what's happening around you, or question perceptions?  

OBSERVE/NOTICE
The next time you're talking, try this experiment to observe yourself and how much you are being present.  When you're listening where does your mind go?  Challenge yourself to be present before your mind wanders.  When you're speaking, how much can your listener actually hear or remember?  They may be drifting just like you.  


PRACTICE
To be more engaging and influential; be present.  Mind-The-Gap by clearing your head; practice active listening; and try turning your statements into questions.  Being present will significantly impact your ability to listen, lead, function, perform and influence.

LEARN
Your personality style impacts your communication and leadership.  You can be more targeted and influential when you recognize your own style and the styles of others. There are several classes and tools available to understand your personality type or communication style such as MBTI, DISC and the Enneagram for achieving it.

-Ken Sergi

Click here for a PDF version of this article.

(c) 2013 Ken Sergi.