Communication is Not a Four Letter Word!

Rosanne D'AusilioBy Featured Speaker Rosanne D’Ausilio, Ph.D.

What four letter words do we mean? Here are four:


Let’s look at ‘talk’ as an example. If I asked you, you could all talk about almost anything at a moment’s notice. In the computer in your brain, you have lots of programs–what you think, what you feel or believe about anything, even things you know absolutely nothing about! And you can go on and on about any topic. That is the good news.

However, the bad news is that this is what people call communication–and it’s only talk (or chat or blab, etc.).

Poor communication is the most frequently reported single major source of frustration in companies and in relationships today. What is communication? Simply, communication is threefold. It means that a message was sent, that it was received, and that it was understood.

Experts say that we spend approximately 80% of each day communicating, as follows:

7% words
38% tone of voice and
55 % physiology or body language

Since you are not always face to face with people, the first two are the most important. Your inflection and tone of voice are more impactful than your words. The positive and negative impressions of what you say, and how you say what you say, are more exaggerated. Therefore, you need to learn to control your tone, your tempo, and your volume.

Make no mistake, body language can be heard over the phone. Suppose you are slouching, I bet your voice is very different than when you are sitting up straight. Also, we all know that a smile can easily be heard over the phone.

The good news is that communication is a learned behavior. If you learned negative patterns, you can release them and replace them with positive ones.

To me communication and listening go hand in hand. We all think we know how to listen, don’t we? The fact is that very few people truly know how to listen. In our earnestness to serve we get pulled out of a conversation by preparing for the answer while the other person is still talking. We wait for a pause and when the person takes a breath, we jump in to take them where we think they want to go, or to improve or remedy the situation. The truth is if we’re not listening to what someone is saying we won’t even know the question or request, let alone the answer.

Our intentions are good. We want to give the best response we can, hopefully the right answer. However, if we’re not present to the conversation, the other person feels not heard, unimportant, ripped off and the like.

Listening is a respectful act. We have two ears and one mouth. Is this a coincidence? Is there a lesson here?

For those of you who do anagrams, rearrange the letters and get: Listen = silent.

While it is true you cannot control how another person speaks to you, you can control your own response to that person, and thereby greatly influence the course and outcome of any conversation.
The question I put to you is: Are you committed to being a great communicator?

I believe (and I hope you agree with me) that we all want the best from ourselves, our co-workers, our companies, our families, our relatives, etc.

Let’s look at the three levels of wanting:

  1. The first level is “I want.” Wanting alone is useless. It doesn’t necessarily lead to having.
  2. The second level is “I choose.” This is a stronger energy. The word decision comes from the Latin word decidere which means “to kill off any other alternatives.”
  3. The third level is “I commit.” This means to devote oneself unreservedly. (paraphrased from T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, p.69-71).

So I ask you—Are you committed to being a great communicator?

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way.” W. H. Murray from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

Rosanne D’Ausilio, Ph.D., an industrial psychologist, consultant, master trainer, best selling author, executive coach, customer service expert, and President of Human Technologies Global, Inc., specializes in human performance management. Over the last 25 years, she has provided needs analyses, instructional design, and customized, live customer service skills trainings as well as executive/leadership coaching. Also offered is agent and facilitator university certification through Purdue University’s Center for Customer Driven Quality.

Known as ‘the practical champion of the human,’ she authors best sellers Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub, 4th ed, Customer Service and the Human Experience, Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack Your Personal Deck (includes a 32-card deck of cards) — motivational and inspirational readings, How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: 101 Insider Tips, How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: ANOTHER 101 Insider Tips, The Expert’s Guide to Customer Service, as well as her popular ‘tips’ newsletter on How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch! at

Rosanne is also a Certified Call Center Benchmarking Auditor through Purdue University’s Center for Customer Driven Quality. This certification training focuses on the access and use of key performance data to help better understand benchmarking results so as to advise on practical solutions for improvement.

For 10 years prior to starting her own organization, Rosanne had responsibility for marketing, budgeting, promoting and ultimately producing domestic and international computerized trade shows in the US, London, Belgium, and Frankfurt. She inaugurated, created, trained and directed a telemarketing on-site staff and was one of the first 150 people to attain CMP (Certified Meeting Professional) certification.

She is a columnist for, Ask the Expert at and The National Networker. She represents the human element on the Advisory Board of an Italian software company, authors numerous articles for industry newsletters, and is a much sought after dynamic, vibrant, internationally prominent keynote speaker.

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This post is by a guest writer. Please see the "About" section above for more information about today's featured expert.