Communication is about what we say ... isn’t it? Yet behavioural scientists and management consultants and leadership training types tell us that what we don’t say can contribute to the effectiveness of our message by up to 80 percent.
Mercury is the planet which governs our ability to communicate, the way we think and the way in which we say what we need to say. Mercury is super effective in Mercury ruled signs -- Virgo and Gemini. It is not at all happy in Pisces and Sagittarius.
In Virgo and Gemini words and details are important. In Pisces words mean very little- yet that doesn’t necessarily follow that communication is ineffective.
We have probably all been in meetings when either our message is changed or the mode of delivery is altered not because of what was said, but often because of what was not. We read the expression on our colleagues face and pull back, we see the ever so slight tightening on the forearm of the controlled Scorpio colleague and decide wisely not to push it any further. We gauge the mood and the emotional environment in the room and change the direction of session accordingly. We listen to what was not said... and our message is made more effective.
In a virtual workplace this is difficult. We have to concentrate on what is being said by people on a telephone in different time zones and different cultures and really hear the inflections in their voice or the types of words used. The silences tell us a lot- whether it is because the recipient has you on mute so they can discuss what they watched on television last night or because there is real consideration taking place. It is when we rush to fill those silences with words or force our message through that we really aren’t listening.
Those of us who are really good at multi tasking can conduct a teleconference while answering incoming mails and conducting an instant message conversation (or two) -- does that mean that we are super effective or that we only hear the verbal stuff. Either way, remember to mute the sound on your laptop so you don’t get caught!
Pisces is in Mercury now, so take some time and listen to what is not said, observe mannerisms, hear the silence and adjust your message or its delivery appropriately. For the next few weeks communication really is about more than words.