How High is Your “Resonance Factor”?

I have a close friend who doesn’t say much. He’s every bit a part of our group as the more bombastic types who love to grab centre stage…including me. My friend Paul absolutely loves the company of interesting people. He sits back, laughs, and takes it all in. With his keen intelligence and quick wit, when he does say something, it’s usually a zinger. In a world of incessant talking, Paul is a breath of fresh air. He has an incredibly high “Resonance Factor”. Let me explain.

Resonance Factor is actually a simple equation.

Resonance Factor = Words of Value
Total Words Spoken

We all know people who talk a lot and say very little. These people have a teeth-clenchingly low resonance factor. In fact, this species seems to be proliferating at an alarming clip. Of course, this only makes resonance factor that much more important.

Over time, your resonance factor becomes part of your personal brand. People come to know you as either verbose and boring on one end of the spectrum or concise and highly impactful on the other. The question is, how high is your resonance factor? Take a quick second and give yourself a ball park percentage rating.

The nice part about resonance factor is that it is fully within our control. The downside…Most people have relatively low self-awareness when it comes to their own resonance factor. If you really want to know what your resonance factor is, the bottom line is that you have to ask others. This means sticking your neck out and being vulnerable, but it’s the only way you’ll get an objective view. If you’re open-minded enough to ask a few people (friends and foes), the gap between your personal rating and an objective rating can actually be quite illuminating.

Ways to Increase Your Resonance Factor

  1. Don’t speak unless you’re adding to the conversation – Boardroom meetings these days can become an incredible time-waster. I have personally witnessed a group of 12 people sitting around a $50,000 table agreeing on a single concept for a full hour. That’s the time it takes for everyone to voice their version of agreement. What could be more boring and ineffective? Instead, make a habit of saying simply “I totally agree and in the interest of time I have nothing further to add”
  2. Listen and ask questions. Many people are really terrible listeners. They’re so busy thinking of how to spin a conversation or get to their own agenda that they miss important information. Make sure you hold back inserting yourself in any conversation (especially in a sales conversation) until you have a well-rounded understanding of the situation.
  3. Be willing to say you don’t know. We’ve all been there. Someone asks us a question we don’t have a good answer to and before we even think, we’re talking. Most of the time we start talking complete rubbish in the hopes that we’ll somehow stumble upon something of poignant value. Here’s the problem – We are not fooling anybody. People know you don’t know and you’re filling space to stall. There is very little that can decrease your resonance factor quicker. If you need to do some research or talk to someone before responding, just say so. People will respect you far more for that.

At the risk of degrading into an algebra lesson, I’ll offer you one more equation to finish this thought.

Your resonance factor = your client’s return on time.

You can finish the math on this one.


30 Minutes

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Brent C. Wagner