authentic communication

To Earn Trust: Words are not Enough

“Let’s get together.  I’ll call you.”  We may not mean to, but we say things and don’t follow up.

Between what you say and do, which will people believe?

Dr. Albert Mehrabian found that we determine if people are sincere when they say things like, “I’m so excited to be there” mostly by visual cues, not the words that are spoken. He says 7% of our judgment is based on words, 38% on vocal tone, and 55% on visuals.

Research on sincerity

This does not mean that words are not important. Mehrabian was not looking at the integrity of data.

Mehrabian wanted to know how people make the decision to trust your sincerity. You say you are passionate about people and the organization’s mission?  The way others will trust your sincerity is the way you look, move and sound.

Words are not enough.  It has never been more important for business people to practice authentic communication and Walk the Talk.  It’s the core premise of authenticity. We have to declare who we are, and we have to be who we say we are.

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Lou Solomon

Lou Solomon is the founder of Interact. She is a TEDx speaker and a member of the adjunct faculty at the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte. Her articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review,,, and Fast Company.