Mon | Jun 17, 2019

Synergise your communication for impact

Published:Sunday | April 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMLaura Butler

Studies have indicated that it takes four -10 seconds to make a first good impression and that 90 per cent of what we communicate is non-verbal. Sometimes the verbal message can contradict your body language. Have you ever said sorry and the person has replied, "Say it like you mean it"? Or you say to someone, "Please look at me when I am speaking with you", but the person says, "You don't listen with your eyes?"

To communicate effectively, you need to be fully engaged with the person with whom you are speaking. This means your body actions should complement your words.

A person is likely to respond to you according to the message you send. Effective communication means that you have a shared meaning. The breakdown happens when we say one thing, but our body communicates something else. Being able to synergise the verbal with the physical message is crucial to being an effective communicator and professional.




Taking pride in yourself and dressing appropriately are also very important. There are many stories of successful people who started at the lowest rung of the organisation to become the CEO by dressing according to the occasion and by demonstrating the best work ethics, discipline, determination, passion, and ongoing development, with a burning desire to achieve clearly established goals.

Having a set of values that you never depart from is also another way of creating your own standard and identity. The challenge, at times, is that doing the right thing can be the most difficult thing to do, but being able to sleep at night with a clear conscience will prove beneficial and help to reduce stress. They say that if you stand for nothing you settle for everything.

Be prepared for opportunities by having an effective wardrobe with outfits ready for each occasion at a moment's notice. As you build your career, you will receive some invitations on short notice and having a wardrobe that works for you will be extremely helpful. Best to be prepared and not have an opportunity than have an opportunity and not be prepared.




Planning and preparation are important.

Plan your wardrobe from the night before. Put all you need for the day in place and use a checklist to keep you organised. This will help you to sleep better and wake up to a support system implemented from the night before. Know how much time you need to get ready and the time it takes to get to work. Showing respect for time is extremely important and a good way to send the right message.

Your image should not be limited to your attire, body language, and how you behave. It should include how you communicate as well, not just verbally, but in writing. It should be your endeavour to display professionalism, courtesy, and good etiquette in your business correspondences be it e-mails, letters, texting and all forms of written communication.

When you look, behave, write, speak, act, demonstrate strong work ethics and values, you are well on your way to building your career, your personal identity, and positioning yourself for success, ongoing development and growth, and contributing to a positive legacy.

- Laura Butler is a business and career development consultant with Fusion Consulting Jamaica. She serves as a consultant to some of the leading companies in Jamaica and has been a consultant to numerous leaders in the Caribbean and North America. She can be contacted at or 469-427-2007.