Our body says much more than we do; understand body language
Imagine if you could decipher whether someone likes you or not, is telling the truth or is lying, or what the other person's feelings are; by just observing his body movements. Unbelievable as it may sound, reading body language is possible
Imagine if you could decipher whether someone likes you or not, is telling the truth or is lying, or what the other person's feelings are; by just observing his body movements. Unbelievable as it may sound, reading body language is possible and here's how you can master this powerful tool to build better personal and professional relationships.
Effective communication is the cornerstone for every healthy relationship. However communication does not only include what we say to others. It also majorly includes things we don't say with words, but non-verbally through gestures, facial expressions, and attitude. Non-verbal communication or body language is a significant aspect of modern communication. In fact research has proved that majority of messages that we send out while communicating with others are actually non-verbal.
Non-verbal communication or body language, technically known as kinesics (pronounced 'kineesicks' with stress on the 'ee') is not just about how one holds and moves their body, but also includes:
|Body Language Trivia:
The human face is capable of over 250,000 expressions.
Humans produce up to 700,000 different signs.
Over 5,000 distinct hand gestures have been identified.
Globally body language differences are infinite however, six signals are common to all world over. These are: happiness, sadness, surprise, disgust, anger and fear.
An effective communication piece consists of 7 percent words, 38 percent tone of voice and 55 percent body language.
- how we position ourselves
- proximity to the other person
- twitching of facial muscles
- how we touch ourselves and others
- breathing, heartbeat and perspiration
- and how we connect to objects, for eg: hold a pen
While we understand others through their non-verbal communication; our own body language also makes a difference on how others judge us. Just like you, the other person is also sub-consciously interpreting your gesture and judging you by your actions.
Tips to read and interpret body language
Learning how to interpret body language is not an impossible task. It needs a lot of practice and observation skills though. Past studies have helped researchers identify a large number of feelings and associate them to corresponding postures. Here are some tips to help you decipher non-verbal communication:
Notice the kind of eye contact being made. Dilated pupils or prolonged eye contact, mean a show of interest; while an avoidance of eye contact shows guilt. Where raised eye brows indicates surprise or shock; a fleeting look indicates shyness or feeling threatened.
These are easiest to read, expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust can be easily recognised.
Tone of voice
One needs to pay attention the speaker's tone of voice, to understand what he's actually feeling while talking. Judge whether the person's voice is warm and friendly or stressed and edgy.
Hands and arms
An open palm indicates good comfort level. While folded arms may indicate anger or disapproval, unfolded arms indicate honesty. Fingers too are great non-verbal indicators. Tapping fingers indicate frustration or tension. A person with bent toes generally needs something.
A person standing with legs apart to shoulder width shows a relaxed mood, while the one sitting crossed legs shows discomfort and protectiveness.
Touch is a great reflection of feelings. A firm or loose handshake, a tight or warm hug, a light tap on the shoulder or was that a well done pat on your back; speak volumes.
Although body language is not an exact science and neither is it an absolute reliable indicator; none the less, non-verbal communication is a very powerful tool, which when mastered can be used at great lengths to build healthy relationships at home and at work.