When we’re in school or at work, we’re taught to improve our words. We learn to improve our language and words to impress. We learn to construct clever chains of words to gain an upper hand and to communicate more clearly. But when we grow up we learn very little beyond improving our words. A bit strange since…
1. …words are only 7 percent of your communication.
The rest is your voice tonality (38 percent) and your body language at 55 percent. That’s according to research done by Albert Mehrabian, currently Professor Emeritus in psychology at UCLA. These numbers may vary depending upon the situation and what is communicated (for instance, talking over the phone is obviously different from talking face to face) but body language is a very important part of communication.
2. Increase your attractiveness
It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. A better posture, a more open body language, a more controlled and focused body language will make everyone more attractive. And not just in a sexual way but when talking to new friends or in job interviews and business meetings.
3. Emotions are linked to your body language
Emotions work backwards too. If you feel good you’ll smile. If you force yourself to smile you’ll feel good too. If you feel tired or down you might sit slumped down. If you sit slumped down you’ll feel more tired and negative. Just try to sit straight up for 5 minutes and feel the difference in energy from half-lying in your chair.
4. Reduce mixed messages
If you’re in a job interview and you talk with a steady voice and say all the confident things you should but your body language tells your maybe-employers that you are very nervous or guarded then you are incongruent (and perhaps without that job). What you want is be congruent, that is for your words, your voice and your body language to say the same thing.
5. Improve your communication skills
If you improve your body language you can get your thoughts across in a more effective way. You can create a connection to another person more easily. When using more powerful and appropriately balanced body language your communication skills become more focused and better.
6. Better first impressions
Everyone stereotypes everyone on first impression, even if we are reluctant to do it. We all get a first impression of a new person that creates a mental image of his or her personality in our minds. That image of you often lasts. Having a better body language will consistently give people a more positive mental snapshot of you.
Be on the lookout for the follow up-article on how to improve your body language tomorrow.