Distinguish a Conversational Skill from a Soft Skill

How do you distinguish a conversational skill

from a soft skill? What’s the point?

Soft skill, Conversational skill, Body LanguageWhether you are leading a group, presenting a message or serving your team or a customer, could the answer be in the authenticity of your body language and in how many cells in your body are resonating your message?

The quality of a musical instrument’s tone is referred to as its resonance and is directly impacted by the amount of air flowing through it. The more powerfully a musician mixes heartfelt conviction with a deep and powerful breath into their saxophone, flute or tuba, the more the instrument resonates the intended tone.
The more resonance in the tone the easier the music becomes to hear and enjoy. Conversation, like music, can be a purely intellectual and very technical exercise, but how much fun is that to hear, much less enjoy?

Intellect does not resonate by itself!

Just watch the next political debate and marvel at the amount of emotional control most candidates usually display. Most of the ideas and promises they make are well researched and perfectly executed, yet how much of their bodies actually resonate them? Then ask yourself, how often do they keep these promises? What if these carefully crafted and politically correct words come from their minds and are (let’s just say) too abstract to resonate from their hearts. Could this be why current polls regarding our trust in how we are being led are showing the lowest figures ever? More importantly, how can you tell when someone is reporting an abstraction instead of sharing heartfelt conviction?

Try this simple effective soft skill application.

Step one:           Stand up, preferably in front of a full length mirror

Step two:           Talk about an intellectual abstraction like “peace in our time”, “ending poverty” or “balancing a budget”.

Step three:       Place one of your hands on your body and locate where the vibrations of your voice originate. Talking about an abstract subject increases the chance that you will feel the vibration starting in your neck or your upper chest.

Step Four:        Now switch subjects and begin talking about someone or something you care about like your child or your favorite project.

Step five:           See if, by going from abstract to concrete, more of you begins to resonate with your message. Pay careful attention to where you now move your hand to locate the origin of the message. Is your heart now resonating with it?

Step six:            Notice also if you are also inspired to inhale more air into your lungs. Does this cause even more of your body to resonate with your message?

Step Seven:      Now go and watch the evening news or better yet a political debate and practice sensing how much of the speaker’s body resonates with their words.

News anchors are actually trained to ”report” the news without getting emotionally involved in its content. Start to notice how this shows itself in their body language. Start gauging how much of them embody their message. You will probably begin to see and sense when someone’s ”heart is in it” or not. Compare this body language to when you listen to a proud parent speaking at their child’s wedding. Even if they are scared to death of speaking in public,  see and sense the difference in how they use their heart to ”share” their emotions compared to how the News Anchor uses mostly intellect to report his/her message.

Effective Communication, Body Language, Soft SkillHow can you profit from using this soft skill?

Have you ever…

  • Been lied to? Could it help to know how much a liars body actually resonates the lie?
  • Lost a sale because your prospect was not convinced of your sincerity?
  • Missed a deadline because someone in your team did not get the importance or conviction of your message?
  • Lost a customer because they could not sense that you really were trying to help them?
  • Broken someone’s heart by saying something that they interpreted in the wrong way? Despite your best efforts?

Each one of these situations and just about every other one you can think of can be handled more efficiently, truthfully and authentically for all concerned when you practice using the soft skill of sharing versus reporting.

About The Author


I am fascinated with what makes us humans ”tick”, especially when it comes to how we consciously communicate and express ourselves with our body language. My business background is in international sales and sales management, selling everything from automobile tires in Houston, Tx, to retail banking delivery systems in 20 countries. I have graduated from CoachU’s 3 year Coach Training program, been certified as an Extended DISC consultant and become a Certified International Body Harmony Teacher with over 20 years of ”hands-on” experience in bodywork. This rich and varied background combined with over 20 years of being an entrepreneur has blessed me with insights and experiences I never would have noticed in the corporate world. Mainstream business now seems to be waking up to the riches available from more conscious and responsible business practices. Expanding Understanding’s Sensational Soft Skills Toolbox , the books I have written and training I have developed now provide savvy decision makers and their colleagues measurable results and a more restful night's sleep. These tools provide an edge in consciously understanding, deliberately using and profiting from the most powerful communication tool available, our bodies. I look forward to meeting you on this path to mastery in non verbal communication.

Comments are closed.