What Is Body Language?
Body language is the unspoken or non-verbal mode of communication that we use in every single aspect of our interactions with another person. If you listen closely, it tells you what the other person thinks and feels in response to your words or actions. Body language involves gestures, mannerisms, and other physical signs.
|What does his body language say?|
Did you know that 60% to 80% of the messages that you convey to other people are transmitted through your body language? Verbal communication accounts for only 7% to 10% of your communication! The ability to read other people’s minds through their body language and to use body language in a positive way–separates the men from the boys and the women from the girls.
How Do We Use Body Language?
Actions speak louder than words, and body language is the literal translation of that old saying. Take this quick quiz to see how adept you are at listening to what a body is really telling you.
What do these physical signs mean? Match the physical movement to the letter that represents the intent or meaning attached to it. One physical sign may have more than one meaning. A key is included at the end of this newsletter.
- Head inclines forward signifies:
- Hands placed behind the back signifies:
- Palm under chin, one or two fingers pointed up signifies:
- Legs spread while sitting signifies:
- Rubbing back of neck signifies:
- Hands on hips, legs spread apart while standing signifies:
- Eyes opening wider signifies:
- Palm under chin, staring blankly signifies:
- Rubbing palms together signifies:
- Clenched fists signifies:
- Tapping hands or feet signifies:
- Biting nails signifies:
That the person is:
- A – Bored
- B – Angry
- C – Interested
- D – Insecure
- E – Receptive
- F – Going to take action
- G – Dominant
- H – Thinking, probably judging
- I – Thinking, probably worried
- J – Frustrated
- K – Nervous
- L – Excited
This material is so practical for you in all aspects of your life – personally and professionally.
This is about human lie detection and human body language and it’s not about making you an expert in this topic – but to open up your awareness of the potential that exists here.
Why is Non-Verbal Communication Important?
The first thing that I want to discuss is why is non-verbal behaviour or non-verbal communication important?
Here’s a fascinating study. It’s one of my favourites; they had students watch silent videos of teachers teaching a class and then rate or rank those teachers.
The student’s watch the video for somewhere around 4 to 5 minutes and then the surveyors had the students rate the teacher’s ability to teach.
Now these are silent videos, so all that the students could see and rate was the teacher’s facial expressions and body language. What’s amazing was that they compared the ratings or rankings of those students (who had watched the videos) with the ratings given by the ‘live’ students the teacher had the whole semester.
The rankings / ratings and the grade matched up.
So for example, a teacher who had gotten four’s and five’s from their ‘live’ students after a semester long class received the same rating from people who watched a silent video of them for about five minutes.
So this was a really interesting and momentous piece of research in the non-verbal arena because what they realized was that words don’t matter nearly as much as we they think they do.
When a teacher is preparing for a class, they put all their energy and effort into organizing WHAT they are going to say, they very rarely think about HOW they are going to say it.
When dealing with clients – are you the same perhaps? Do you pay attention, more attention even, to HOW you say it than to WHAT you are saying?
I’d guess not….
How you say something is actually more important – people’s first impression of just your body language is very important and very accurate for people who don’t even maybe actually ‘listen’ to your words.
- 7% of our communication comes from the verbal content,
- while 55% is from our face and our body, and
- 38% is from our voice tone.
When I saw these numbers I was pretty flabbergasted. You know when you go to an interview or when you’re preparing a presentation or when you’re meeting with a client, do you think about what are you going to say – of course you do and probably in a great amount of depth and detail.
However – we rarely think about how we want to say it, the specific methodology of the delivery and/or how you want to non-verbally emphasize your points.
And for those of you who do a lot of phone calling (like the receptionists who are talking to clients on the phone for a lot of the day), the power of voice tone is hugely important!
Key to Body Language Quiz
- E or G
- B or K
BIO: This article was written by Dr Diederik Gelderman of www.businessproductivityacademy.com
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