Most everybody is familiar or has heard of body language, but how many people have actually mastered it? Watch people from a distance and you will have your answer, not many! Body language is the art of telling a loud story without making a sound!
When I first started to learn how to read body language, of course I over analyzed every move a person made. I am pretty sure I accused hundreds of being serial murderers, cheaters, liars… I was young and found a new toy to play with! As I narrowed down my attention to a few key observations, I was able to make very accurate assumptions. I use this daily in my business as well as personal affairs. Do I claim to know people’s soul based on body language? Of course not! I use it as a guide, not an end all be all.
As a salesperson I had a blast with this knowledge! I would go into a sit down and have my potential client mimicking me like a puppet. Most were very receptive and I made them feel comfortable and secure, just by my facial expressions, posture, and eye contact. I did have a few people that were not receptive, I notched that up to them being weirdo’s (truly it was probably me being overzealous!).
Learning the basics of body language will help you whether you are searching for work, running a company, leading a group, or simply wanting to analyze your whackadoo friends. There are a zillion different interpretations of body languages, however, I can only speak on what works for me.
Here are the top three in my opinion;
1. Eye contact – Not stranger danger eye contact, frequent trust building eye contact. Eye contact establishes trust and shows that you are interested in what is being said. There are few things worse than speaking to somebody that will not look into your eyes! I tend to focus on the left eye of the person I am speaking with, it gives me a planned focus point.
2. Mimicking – This is the funniest one to watch, everybody starts out doing this aggressively! You will work into a subtle habit with repetition. Watch where their hands are placed and how they are placed. Mimic it. When they lean in or lean out, so do you (slightly). If they are sitting up on their chair, so do you. Mimicking builds an unspoken rapport. It can and will feel odd at first, however, it is very effective.
3. Facial expressions – I am one of those people that show a lot of expression on my face. If you can read body language, you could easily pull my card! I have to be extra careful what my face is doing when speaking with people. Make sure to smile, even raise an eyebrow to show interest. Work on not frowning or sneering. Personally, I smile a lot so it is natural for me but unfortunately, so is sneering! I had to work hard to not show disgust while speaking with people. Controlling your facial expressions is so very important because it tells the person how you feel about what he/she is saying.
None of these suggestions are meant to change who you are, they are meant to make people desire to know who you are! This is one more tool that will make you more unique than the next person (and it makes people watching a hoot!)
Make it a great day or not, the choice is YOURS!
Trifecta Executive Placement and Coaching