Professor Albert Mehrabian is frequently quoted for his non-verbal communication research on what’s often called The 3 V’s: visual, vocal, verbal. His published studies indicate that, person-to-person, we interpret messages:
• Visually — 55% from facial expressions
• Vocally — 38% from voice quality and the way words are spoken
• Verbally —7% from the actual words
With techno or e-communications, the relevance of the actual word choice increases dramatically. Obviously, the spoken tone upstages language on phone calls — we hear anger or joy — but with emails, words become the stars of the show. From the minor 7% bit player in face-to-face communication, words now move up to 70%, a big change of roles.