Do you know non-verbal communication accounts for 60 to 75% of the impact of a message? That’s why one can use body language to become extremely successful, in career, business, relationships, love life, and anything that involves interacting or communicating with people.
Body language is also a proven way to accurately see people’s thoughts, emotions or mood. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi shook hands with the US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama at the same time during their 2015 visit to India (left hand with Obama and right with Michelle) media was awestruck seeing PM Modi’s extreme confidence. It was also interpreted as friendliness and comfort in the relationship and something nice to look forward to.
Body language experts say that we always believe what we see far more than what we hear. In the 1960 TV debate between John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon, both candidates answered well. But on a poll conducted the next day, there were completely different results between TV and radio audiences. Listeners on radio were convinced Nixon had won the debate, his arguments were clear. And viewers on TV were convinced Kennedy had won, he came across as likeable and believable. People believed Kennedy more – they bought into his body language and the signals he gave of. They didn’t trust Nixon from the body language he was using.
“The effective use of body language plays a key role in effective leadership communication,” says Carol Kinsey Goman, author of The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work. Various studies suggest that people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by what you are saying. Here are 9 body language tips that can help you achieve all your goals this New Year.
Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond. A recent study on handshakes showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. Researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly. You can make a long lasting positive impression by shaking hands at workplace and other informal get togethers as well.
Assume high power pose
Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, high-power poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for just two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone—the hormone linked to power and dominance—and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. So, whenever you feel little low on confidence, you should go for high power pose. It leads to increased feelings of power and a higher impact on others.
When making a formal presentation, move then pause
Human beings are drawn to movement. “If you move when you speak, you’ll get people’s attention. It can be especially effective to move toward the audience before making a key point, and away when you want to signal a break or a change of subject. You can also use space to reinforce your ideas,” says Carol. But don’t move while making a crucial comment.
Look like you are listening
It’s important to hear people. Focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention. So, forget checking your mails and messages when somebody is talking to you. It is not only important to listen, it is essential to look involved and interested.
Flash a genuine smile
When you wear a smile, you are considered as someone who is cooperative, trustworthy and approachable. Smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. To achieve whatever you want, it is very important to have a positive influence on people around you.
Work on your arms and legs
Arms and legs communicate a lot. Crossing your arms suggests you feel defensive, self-protective, and closed off. Crossing your legs away from another person can suggest you dislike them or feel discomfort. If you clasp your hands behind your back, you might be saying you feel bored, anxious, or even angry. Tapping your fingers and fidgeting tells others you are bored, impatient, or frustrated. So, begin to pay attention to what you do with your arms and legs.
Use your hands while delivering a speech
Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca’s area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we’re talking, but when we wave our hands. So, if you want to power up your thinking while talking or delivering a speech, gesture. It will help you have clearer thoughts and speak with more confidence.
Watch your foot
Many people often work on their facial expressions and body postures and forget the feet. Have you ever noticed that when people are under stress, they display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements? Feet will fidget and shuffle. Some people stretch out to relieve tension. People can easily know your mind by analyzing your foot gestures. So, watch your foot.
To improve your memory, uncross your arms and legs
Body language researchers Allan and Barbara Pease said in one of their study findings that when a group of volunteers attended a lecture and sat with unfolded arms and legs, they remembered 38% more than a group that attended the same lecture and sat with folded arms and legs. So, to improve your retention capacity, uncross your arms and legs.