You’ve all heard the idea that communication is only about 7% of the words you say, and the rest is body language and tone of voice?

Recently something happened at my office that reinforced the power of the ‘vibe’. I was expecting a couple to come in for an information session about their divorce options. A staff member rushed in and said to me that I had better go out to the waiting area ‘before they tear each other apart’. I moved quickly, and saw a man and a woman sitting, with a coffee table separating them. One of them was absorbed in reading something,and the other seemed more agitated and was flicking through a bunch of paper.

The paper shuffler looked angry, but there was no apparent communication between them. And it turns out there was reason for that. These two people were not  a couple at all, and were waiting for different practitioners.

The staff member knew that a couple was expected, and had observed the agitation of one half of the ‘couple’. The body language, along with the confirmation bias of the staff member, had created a compelling, but ultimately erroneous,  scenario about the scene in the waiting room.

The happy ending is that the ‘real couple’ were calm and amicable, unless that was my confirmation bias.