Bring Out The Inner You

Is it true that only 7 percent of success is what you say?

When you speak, only 7 percent of what you’re conveying comes from your words. The rest comes from nonverbal communication, which can make the difference between closing or losing a prospect, encouraging or exasperating an employee or even soothing or upsetting a spouse.

Albert Mehrabian, a former professor at the University of California, Los Angeles who is well known for his expertise on verbal and nonverbal messages, asserts:

* 7 percent of a message pertains to the words that are spoken.

* 38 percent of a message pertains to how the words are spoken.

* 55 percent of a message pertains to facial expressions.

If only 7 percent of our message is what we actually say, that could explain the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Indeed, graphics can convey your message quickly and effectively. According to studies by the Wharton School of Business and the 3M Corporation, people not only pay closer attention, but also have a more positive reaction when a message is presented with graphics.

If you want to be persuasive, you must master nonverbal communication, which includes clothing, attitude, body movements and facial expressions.

Karen McMahon, founder of Journey Beyond Divorce, helps clients during some of their darkest moments. She always incorporates a smile; psychologically, people always respond positively to a smile, even if it is just a twitch in the upper corners of the mouth.

McMahon noted that “just a gentle hand on one’s arm, shoulder or hand communicates emotional warmth and opens people to you.”

Robbi Hershon and Debra Knapp, co-owners of The Hearing Group, also rely on nonverbal communication with many of their senior patients.

“We do a lot of listening with direct eye contact,” said Hershon, “and then we take the time to repeat what they say in a reassuring voice. Before every patient leaves, we make a point of touching them on their shoulder or arm.”

How do you bring out the inner you?

Some say what you wear says a lot about you. For the less fortunate, this can dramatically affect their ability to get a job. The nonprofit Dress for Success aims to give economically disadvantaged women the ability to make a great first impression by providing each woman with a free suit (appropriate for the industry she wants to enter) for a job interview and another suit if she obtains the job. Dress for Success gives these women a chance to dress to impress, because when they are being evaluated for employment clothing can matter.

Your nonverbal communication should convey an inner sense of well-being.

How do you convey this over the phone? Two ways to improve your phone communications are standing and smiling when you’re on the phone.

An easy way to start is by putting a mirror on your desk to remind you to put on your best smile while you’re talking. You really can hear a smile through the phone. Try standing while you’re on the phone too; it gives you more energy and helps you exude confidence.

Remember, it’s not just what you say; how you say it, what you wear when saying it, your body language and visual images all add up to make an impact that accompanies your written messages.

Jon Goldman is president of Brand Launcher and a board member of Jewish Entrepreneurial Trust (JET). To learn more about JET or to get involved, contact

Series Finale

101813_lasson_elliotIn this final installation of my column, I reflect on the topics that have been of interest to me over the past year. I also look at the current state of employment (including in Jewish Baltimore) as well as ahead to employment’s future.

I have preached the importance of having an elevator speech to concisely introduce oneself professionally. Beyond that, I talked about having an up-to-date resume, one which is good to go, accessible from anywhere, to send on a moment’s notice. I have related some of the feedback that I have received from recruiters and employers and identified things they have told me are turnoffs to hiring managers. I have encouraged everyone to have a professional mentor from whom to learn.

I have pointed out the importance of nonverbal communication. In that context, I have suggested that people listen to themselves speak and be aware of “fillers” that can diminish the crispness of their message. I have discussed having quality eye contact to engage and connect; in communication, we need always to be aware of the first impression we make on others, as those initial reactions to us are so difficult to counterbalance later.

I have dealt with generational issues. For young people, I have suggested
careers in STEM and extolled the importance of internships through which one can learn valuable technical and social skills. For not-so-young people, I made some suggestions for reinvention. I have also pointed out that managing the millennial generation requires special strategies that include a balance of direction and latitude.

I will end this run by revisiting the question with which I opened my first JT column, “How’s the job market doing?” This, indeed, is a relevant question. Looking at both now and ahead, let me leave you with some observations.

We are living through an evolving time. The speed of technology and the instant connectivity of the world are here to stay. Rather than marginalizing this as simply a phase, we have experienced a disruption, primarily due to technology. A disruptive innovation is one that helps create a new market and value network and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier reality. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect. With technology, we will continue to see additional disruptions. However, this time they might come every 10 years rather than over a few hundred years. In history, we know of a few examples, such as the proverbial invention of the wheel, the invention of the printing press and the industrial revolution. Technology will invariably drive many yet-to-be-identified disruptions.

This no doubt has ramifications on the emergence of new jobs and the redefinition of existing ones. Proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math will be critical to keeping pace. Flexibility, adaptability and nimbleness are key responses, as we must constantly keep our finger on the pulse of the changes around us.

In five years, will Amazon Drone be replacing Amazon Prime and be delivering our packages the same day as we order them? Maybe yes, maybe no. But what is certain is that getting a job at Amazon, or any other company for that matter, will be different than it is today.

Elliot D. Lasson, Ph.D., is executive director of Joblink of Maryland, Inc.

Kidney Foundation Gift Challenge

A generous supporter has approached the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland (NKF-MD) with a matching gift challenge. If NKF-MD raises $200,000 by Dec. 31, the supporter — a private foundation with ties to a local kidney transplant recipient —will match that figure dollar for dollar, providing $400,000 in vital funds for the Maryland, Delaware and West Virginia kidney community. One out of every nine Americans has chronic kidney disease, and most don’t know it. One in three Americans are at risk of developing kidney disease, and that risk increases to one in two over the course of a lifetime.

Media Works Expands

Media Works, a Baltimore-based marketing and communications agency, is proud to announce the addition of four new clients: Chase Brexton Health Care, the Healthways’ SilverSneakers program, the University of New Hampshire and the College of Saint Rose. These four new clients came on board shortly after Media Works, Ltd., won the Maryland Lottery business earlier this summer.

Biova Gets Kosher Certified

Biova LLC, the global leader for water-soluble egg membrane ingredients, announced that it has received both kosher certification and halal certification for its entire line of branded ingredients, as well as for its production facilities. IFANCA certifies halal food products in more than 50 countries around the globe.

MVLS’s Malinowski Honored

Maryland Volunteer Lawyer Service (MVLS) is pleased to announce that Carolyn Malinowski, managing attorney of MVLS’s Adult Protective Services and Guardianship Review Board Project, has been selected to receive the Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation.
The Benjamin L. Cardin Distinguished Service Award recognizes outstanding public interest attorneys who are regularly involved in providing, promoting or managing civil legal services.

UMD Medical Merges With Upper Chesapeake

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and the board of directors of Upper Chesapeake Health (UCH) have announced that the merger of UCH into UMMS has been completed. The two health-care organizations began working together four years ago under a strategic affiliation agreement.

WPM Named To Top 5 Workplaces

For the second consecutive year, WPM Real Estate Management has been named one of the Top 5 Workplaces in the Baltimore area. WPM employs nearly 500 workers and manages more than 17,000 residential properties while also working with commercial, retail and industrial clients.

Spokes Expands, Hires

The Spokes Agency, a digital marketing advertisement firm based in Mount Washington, has announced the acquisition of Suburban Digital LLC and Mobile Scoops and the appointment of digital marketing expert Jason Cohen as vice president of digital services.

Formerly president of Rockit Digital, a company he founded to focus on digital marketing in the mid-Atlantic, Cohen brings more than 20 years of experience as a marketing manager and consultant. Cohen managed marketing campaigns for Pizza Hut, Sony, RJ Reynolds, MTV, Pepsi, M&M Mars, Comcast and the University of Maryland system, among others.