Don’t Rely on Emails for Good Communication


I was given the following data by a good friend and business consultant, Ron Crough.

  • 6% of the information in communication is conveyed by the actual words themselves.
  • 38% of the information in communication is conveyed by the words and the tone of your voice.
  • 96% of the information in communication is conveyed by the words themselves, the tone of your voice, and your body language.

Why is this important?

In an online world that doesn’t seem to value “face to face” interaction, good communication is a greater challenge.

A good example was my interaction with my ex wife.  I thought that since emotions were pretty raw, it was better to communicate through email, allowing us to convey information without any emotional overtones.  The problem was that in the absence of voice or physical presence, we have a tendency to infer voice and tone, and consequently “hear” things that aren’t there.   We both experienced some emotional reactions to written words, inferring tone that after further discussion we found wasn’t intended and didn’t exist.

The second example is normal daily emails.  Again, in the absence of voice tones and body language, we tend to “hear” the intangibles, often mistakenly.  Thinking we are communicating effectively, we are as often  “mis-communicating”.

Rule of thumb:  the more important the content of the communication, the more important it is to move up the communication ladder, adding voice and physical presence.

In communicating with clients, I2I (Eye to Eye) always yields our best work.

In communicating with co-workers, I2I always offers the best chance for being understood and developing a collaborative work relationship.

Email is great, but we must always recognize its limitations.  In fact, we should almost assume misunderstanding following up important emails  with a more important phone call or visit.

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Posted in: My Musings

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Should you exercise during a cold?


I have been on a roll recently,  and am loathe to miss a day of exercise.  I was recently overcome with the usual winter cold, and wondered what the pros and cons were of exercising through it.  I came across this article from the New York Times, dated December 25, 2008.  With the blessing of its wisdom, I powered right through my cold,  and actually felt better for the exercise.  I hope you find the article interesting.

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Posted in: NutrEx

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On the recommendation of Christine Tan, Artisan Wine Depot, I tried the ’06 and the ’04 Cavus Stag’s Leap District Cabernet.  Both had low 90′s ratings from Parker.  The ’07 scored 95 points from Parker.

According to Christine,  a San Francisco Chronicle article on “cult cabs” named Cavus a “Winery to Watch.”   The ’07 vintage only produced 155 cases.

I elected to buy the ’04 and ’06 because they would drink better now, where the ’07 should wait a little longer.

The wine maker is David Phinney, who is responsible for the Orin Swift wines.

The vineyard manager is Jim Barbour, one the the best viticulturists and most respected vineyard managers in the Napa Valley.  Jim has worked with many upper echelon winemakers, including Heidi Barrett (Screaming Eagle), Thomas Brown (Outpost), Philippe Melka (Parallel) and Celia Welch (Scarecrow).

I drank the ’06 and the ’04 with different friends, and both were terrific.  I would buy the ’06 if I were buying more, and would recommend it for those who like Napa Cabs.  I didn’t taste the ’07s, but based on the the ’06 and the Parker rating for the ’07, might be a good buy for holding in the cellar.

The price range is around $80, and Christine still  has a little left.

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Posted in: Wine and Food

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Ralph Waldo Emerson–


It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion.  It is easy in solitude to live after our own.  But the great man is he who in the midst of a crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of soliltude.

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Passion and Soulfulness, Nathaniel Branden


This Branden essay is a great inspiration for everyday living.

He writes, Every day, it’s important to ask and answer these questions:  “What’s good in my life?” and “What needs to be done?”

Starting my day with these two questions, and the requisite cup of Starbuck’s or Peet’s coffee, sets the table for a day directed by intention, rather than by diurnal urgencies.

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Posted in: Psyche

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Who Is Nathaniel Branden


With a PhD in Psychology and a background in Philosophy, Nathaniel Branden is a pioneer in the field of self-esteem and personal development. Author, lecturer, and therapist, he is also a corporate consultant who teaches clients how the principles of self-esteem can help them to meet the challenges of modern business. Many of his 17 books have been translated into 18 foreign languages and worldwide his books have sold four million copies. His books include, The Psychology of Self-Esteem,How to Raise Your Self-Esteem, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, The Art of Living Consciously, and his memoir, My Years With Ayn Rand.

Ultimately Nathaniel Branden is a teacher of values–an advocate and instructor for the autonomous human-being in us all.

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Eleanor Roosevelt–


Great minds discuss ideas.

Average minds discuss events.

Small minds discuss people.

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The Right Kind of People


Poem by Edwin Markham, 1832 – 1940 A few years ago while perusing a book of American Poetry, I happened upon this poem which has stuck with me since. I recently took the time to find out who Edwin Markham was, and it turns out he is an alum of San Jose State, at the time called San Jose Normal School and eventually San Jose State Teachers College. More information can be obtained about Mr. Markham at

Gone is the city, gone the day,

Yet still the story and the meaning stay:

Once where a prophet in the palm shade basked

A traveler chanced at noon to rest his miles.

“What sort of people may they be,” he asked,

“In this proud city on the plains o’erspread?”

“Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”

“What sort?” the packman scowled; “why knaves and fools.”

“You’ll find the people here the same,” the wise man said.

Another stranger in the dusk drew near,

And pausing, cried “What sort of people here

In your bright city where yon towers arise?”

“Well, friend, what sort of people whence you came?”

“What sort?” the pilgrim smiled, “Good, true and wise.”

“You’ll find the people here the same,” The wise man said.

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If, by Rudyard Kipling


Always an inspiration:

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

but make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master;

If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run–

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

—Rudyard Kipling

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