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How your voice might hinder your promotion

We’re pretty savvy already about how nonverbal cues can shape first impressions, but did you know that your tone of voice can lead to you not getting a promotion?

We’re pretty savvy already about how nonverbal cues can shape first impressions, but did you know that your tone of voice can lead to you not getting a promotion?

Researchers at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business studied 1,647 quarterly earnings calls from 691 firms, analysing the voices of CEOs and CFOs during earnings calls.

They used software to analyse their voices — searching for cues linked with lying. Their findings: Exec’s whose tone contained the most cues also had financial statements that were later restated. Negative emotions were most likely to come out during the question-and-answer periods with analysts, when the CEO or CFO had to respond off-the-cuff and his or her true emotions came out.

Still, other studies have pointed to the importance of non-verbal cues. Albert Mehrabian, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California at Los Angeles, is known for coining the “7/38/55 rule,” which states that impressions are based 7% on what you say; 38% on how you say it; and 55% on your body language.

  • Talk with your hands: It conveys openness.
  • Convey positive feelings through positive body language.
  • Smile – even if you are on a phone call in which no one can see your face. Sit upright – The body and mind are interconnected and if you want to feel an emotion … then sometimes you need the body to take on that position first. According to a study in 1990 people who were instructed to make a happy face became happier inside.
  • Speak in an even tone: If you talk in questions, you’re conveying uncertainty.
  • Don’t touch your face, which is associated with lying: When you tell a lie, certain body parts may become engorged with blood and feel itchy.
  • Don’t fidget.

Playing with a pen or finger tapping can be interpreted as insecurity or uncertainty. If you say one thing and your body does another. Remember, “people will believe what they see and not what you say”.

 

Do you use body language when communicating?