The decision facing the Cohens was one of the most important ones of their lives: Which doctor should they choose to treat Mr. Cohen’s serious disease? Selecting a doctor, hospital and treatment plan was very different from deciding on a new family automobile or summer vacation venue. This situation was life threatening; their decision could be critical to the ultimate outcome.
“I prefer the Memorial Hospital doctor,” Karen said. “He convinced me that he knows best how to bring Daddy back to health. He was so calm and self-assured.”
“I can’t blame you for feeling that way,” Shmuel said. “But I liked the doctor at Cedars Hospital. His presentation wasn’t as confident, but his plan seemed more aggressive to me.”
“Wasn’t as confident?” Karen repeated incredulously. “I think you’re being way too polite! First of all, he looked like he just crawled out of bed — in his suit. He hesitated whenever he reached a crucial point in his presentation. And the way he sat as he spoke to us? I don’t know if I could ever trust him to take care of Daddy.”
Many believe that a strong communicator is one who has a good vocabulary and perfect grammar. That may be true; however, communicating is a multi-tiered exercise. The verbal message is often surpassed by the one communicated by the speaker’s appearance, tone of voice and attitude. “Body language” often says more than talking. Facial expression, vocal inflection and other subliminal messages are more powerful than the spoken word. Whether or not someone is won over by another may, to a large part, depend on the language used, but most often the non-verbal trumps the verbal. A good presentation delivers a strong message.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
The crux of the matter lies in the amount of interest and motivation we have to be cautious and caring, to remain in control and maintain our best behavior when trouble starts. Marriage challenges us to strive and therefore rise above the natural unthinking response. Disagreements and difficulties will always arise, but the test and its success is how we react. (Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, On The Torah Home, p. 27)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge. He is author of the book 1 Minute With Yourself: A Minute a Day to Self-Improvement, Sephardic Press, 2008.