Always think of your body language as being your autobiography on the move. It is a means of conveying your feelings and thoughts to the world. It can also help you catch a liar. Overall, body language tells you much about a person and can give away your true intentions.
In order to improve your interactions with everyone, you should get really good at reading body language and controlling your own.
First, let’s begin with the 55, 38, 7 Influence and Persuasion Rule. About 55% of communication is your posture, such as how you look, your facial expression, how quickly you speak, and how long you pause between sentences. Roughly 38% is how you say things, like your pitch, tone, and the speed of your speech. The final 7% is the words you use.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this rule means the 7% of words you utter are less important if you project confidence, dress to kill, and deliver your speech with the proper seductive tone. Rather, consider it like this. If 55% of your visual body language is bad, people will barely pay attention to the 38% of your pitch and tone. They may hear those 7% of words, but that doesn’t mean they will believe you.
You need to also consider the “3 C’s” of Context, Congruence, and Cluster. While a person who is crossed arms may appear to project a defensive or angry air, this is not always the case. The individual could just be chilly. Therefore, you always need to pay attention to the Context.
Next is Congruence, or matching of the words with the person’s body language. If a person said, “I did not eat your cake,” but they are patting their stomach, then the congruence of the action would tell me they did eat my cake.
Cluster is the last “C” to consider. Single gestures aren’t always an accurate representation of what a person is trying to convey, so we should look for a cluster of gestures whenever we are attempting to interpret body language. Because of the large number of muscles in the human body, it is difficult to mimic body language.
Although you may believe you have control over your anatomy, you will leak feelings even if you try to hide them. It’s not possible to be completely oblivious to the subtle cues that others are sending out, no matter how hard one might try.
Of course, we are being analyzed by others, as well. One of the first things to do in order to learn more about body language is to become more aware. Pay attention to what people do and say, as well as to your own actions and words.
Next post, we’ll look at the difference between an Open and Closed Body Posture.