“Hey, how are you doing today?”
“Then why don’t you notify your face!”
Now imagine if someone said that to you. What would be your response? Harsh but true.
Most people are totally oblivious to their own body language, so the discipline of controlling these gestures can be quite challenging. Most of them are reflexive in nature, automatically matching up to what our minds are thinking at any given moment.
A simple sigh.
A curl of the lip
The tone of our voice.
The shrug of our shoulders.
Crossing of the arms.Being on your phone while someone is talking (that’s called phubbing by the way.)
There are many ways to tell someone they are wrong without saying a word. Small nonverbal changes can make a big difference in how people perceive and relate to you.
Think about how many arguments have been caused by a sigh, a tone, a look..It is true what we don’t say can have a bigger impact than what we do say.
Studies show that your words account for only 7% of the message you convey. The remaining 93% is non-verbal. 55% of communication is based on what people see and the other 38% is transmitted through tone of voice. So think about it. In the business setting or personal setting, people can see what you are not saying. If your body language doesn’t match your words, you are wasting your time trying to explain something.
Just the other day I was in a discussion and I started to shake my head left to right without my knowledge. I thought I was listening but I was only hearing what they were saying.
How did I learn this? They stopped me and said, “You are already disagreeing with me before you hear me out.”
“How is that?”
“You are shaking your head NO.”
People are constantly monitoring us for emotional cues. Your entire body participates in the business of either showing or hiding your mental state and telling others when we disagree.
Nevertheless, with the right information and a little practice, we can train ourselves to overcome most of our negative body language habits and stop telling others they are wrong with our body language.
Here are 3 simple steps to train ourselves to overcome our negative reflexes.
- Ask someone you know to give you feedback on your body cues when in disagreement.
- Record yourself-Instead of using your phone just to catch videos of the latest tornado to post on Snapchat, turn it on you and record yourself doing ordinary everyday activities. You’ll be able to diagnose the characteristic bodily language cues that convey too much, too little, or just the wrong message about how you’re feeling.
- Learn situational awareness- If someone say you are yelling at them and you disagree. Don’t argue. Ask why. If someone says I don’t like your tone. Ask why. Start to understand your emotional triggers. Listen and watch yourself.
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson…
What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what
You say. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
What is your face saying today?
Equip, Educate, Empower, and Encourage others to become better leaders!
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