Let me divide body language into two sectors, the first one is observing which we are not going to talk about right now, but it basically interpreting gestures, facial expression, body postures and movements and getting conclusions on how the person feels at the moments, what he intends to do, etc. The second sector is performing or using body language to create the desired impressions at people and also create opportunities for observing, it’s working in a spiral. Observing gives you information on the state of the person and you have to act upon these observations and then observe again to find out whether you are doing well or not.
There is a cliché study on body language which says that up to 93% of all communication is all nonverbal and a lot of so-called experts says it is a definite truth but the actual study done by Dr Mehrabian discovered that this number assigned to emotional expressions in conversation so it means that when you communicate emotions and messages related to emotional most of the job is done without even speaking.
And let’s face it, everything that has emotions in itself is somehow attractive for us and no matter whether they are positive or negative.
I am now getting to the point where you find out why is good to know body language when you want to become more impressive, more powerful leader, more attentive listener, more productive salesperson. To be successful and effective with people you need to know how to put emotions into your speech.
Everybody can communicate somehow, without any extra effort but when you are one of the few who knows how to properly use body language techniques while speaking you are not using only the full potential of words coming out of your mouth but also above mentioned 93% of emotional communication.
When you are selling a product and understands how to talk, act, speak to convey emotions, your chances to sell are much higher than if you coldly list the benefits of the product. When you are aware of how to assert a confident/dominant body language you will be respected by everyone around you. If you understand that: “I am listening to you” contains a specific body language traits that make it so powerful, you can’t even imagine, that actually one of the top secrets of effective conversation is to listen. But let’s save it for another time.
Let me tell you some personal story on why body language is important:
It was a London evening in the pub called The Bell, me and my wife were sitting at the not-that-comfortable table and there was very nice leather club style sofa right next to us but there still were some unfinished drinks on the table…I will skip the details but after the cut, I was standing between the sofa and the table and I notice a huge bald guy coming in my direction. I am not that tall and neither big as he was so my fight and flight response was activated but at the moment I realized, I can’t step back, this is an amazing opportunity for me to practise my body language skills so I went through the list of what does it take to be dominant in my head and activated all the traits.
Chin a little raised
Shoulder pushed back
Hands in “ready to fight position” (not the obvious one)
When he approaches I need also to approach him a little
NO STEP BACK
When he came, he was about a head taller and half of my body wider. I was basically playing a theatre so I was pretty afraid and in expectations what is gonna happen and as he saw I am also hard-ass as he is he changed a posture, facial expression to the friendly mode and we spoke for like 5 minutes. It turns out it was a Russian plumber who ran away from his country for a better life in the UK.
My skill passed successfully and I got the comfy sofa. Mission completed.
As you can see I haven’t even spoken yet but a great deal of conversation was already done, levels of confidence and intentions have been communicated even before we got to the distance we could speak to each other. And it worked because I knew what to communicate to tell I am dominant, strong and I will get the place. If I didn’t know, I am most likely still sitting at the worst table. You can also learn how to express yourself this way!
And one more but a little shorter…as I believe the most powerful body language trait is a smile I picked up my wife on it. So body language can change your life.
From the moment one when you are meeting someone you are communicating a lot about yourself.
Why not be aware of this information?
Why not learn how to use this to your advantage in almost every aspect of your life? As a date, you will know how to show your strengths, how to listen properly, how to support and how to be playful! During a business meeting, how to add emotion into the presentation and conversation, during a job interview you will know how to impress the employer by specific traits that are most convenient for the employer.
It is a priceless skill!