Body Language 101
Time and time again this blog has referenced the importance of both reading and displaying body language when communicating with others. In his article “8 Great Tricks for Reading People’s Body Language,” Dr Travis Bradberry points out that “only 7% of communication is based on the actual words we say. As for the rest, 38% comes from tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from body language.” Exactly how does one read another’s bodily communication cues? Bradberry discusses exactly this in the article. Here are our favorite points:
- Crossed arms and legs signal a closed off resistance to the conversation at hand. Bradberry mentions that a person might be smiling and appear to be engaged in the discussion, but this body language (unconscious in nature) actually reveals a person who is both physically and mentally blocking your words.
- Real smiles crinkle at the eyes. It’s easy to smile in an attempt to hide what we may really think or feel about a situation, but you can tell a fake smile simply by observing the crinkles (or lack thereof) around one’s eyes. A genuine smile is accompanied by eye crinkles.
- Good posture conveys power. Bradberry notes that “the brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up.” Standing straight, shoulders back, with feet slightly spread is a very basic and effective power position that immediately communicates leadership and command. Slouching, therefore, conveys just the opposite.
Today’s message for utilizing and understanding body language is brought to you by Contemporaries.