MIT on Engaged Communicators

By Lou Solomon

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Researchers have always known that attitude, connection and positive energy mattered in business.  But since we have cancelled out years of conversation about these things by calling them “touchy-feely,” serious scholars haven’t wanted to deal with them.

Now it’s a science.  In the Human Dynamics Lab of MIT, they are studying engaged people who create success for themselves and their organizations.  These people connect through “honest cues” in their tone of voice, gestures, proximity, listening skills, attention and positive energy.

Sandy Pentland has gathered data on these engaged communicators and used it to predict success in the presentation of business plans to a panel of judges, without reading or hearing the presentations.  He has done this with amazing accuracy.  According to Pentland, it’s not just what they do that makes these engaged people strong communicators–it’s the fact that they elicit engagement from others.

The big takeaway?  Get engaged.