Do you know that you are communicating with more than just your words?
We all do.
Our nonverbal communication or body language, such as the gestures we make, amount of eye contact we exchange, our posture, how fast or how loud we talk, and even how close we stand to someone can all send a strong and distinctive message.
Clearly, the messages don’t stop when you stop speaking. Even when you sit across from someone listening silently, you’re still communicating nonverbally.
Your body language is responsible for over 90 percent of your communication. Why is this important to know, you ask?
Because it’s this nonverbal communication or “body language” that can positively or negatively influence your success when developing interpersonal relationships.
When you are meeting someone for the first time, it is extremely important that you are aware of the message your body language is sending.
This holds true for all my clients, therapy and relationship coaching alike. If you want to make a good impression, beyond looking good, you must make sure you are sending the right message with both your words and your non-verbal communication.
Non-verbal communication can make or break a great first meeting.
Today I want to share some tips that will help you project confidence, positivity and deliver the message that you are open to meeting someone new.
When I uncover behaviour that is hindering my client’s relationship success, they are shocked. Typically, they are not aware that they are engaging in behaviour that is sending a negative message.
When we de code the body language that is having a negative impact, my clients can correct their body language—and uncover another important aspect of generating a true connection when meeting people for the first time.
Keep in mind if you appear closed off and negative, there is no way to recover. Be aware of these behaviours when you head out to that all important meeting, interview or presentation.
There are simple techniques that when refined and applied can help you become successful in your in your interpersonal relationships. Once mastered, these techniques will help you to appear open, positive and confident—all of which are required when it comes to developing your people skills.
Six Body Language Tips:
When we are faced with stress of any kind, even if it’s the nervous excitement of meeting someone new, we tend to forget to smile. While you don’t have to (or want to) have a smile plastered on your face, and helps to greet people with a smile—and make sure you weave more smiles in throughout your encounter. This will show that you are engaged in the person, positive and interested.
Plus, who doesn’t look good with their natural smile? Practice it often, when your walking down the street, commuting, shopping you will be surprised what a smile can do. Even for you! Try it.
They say the eyes are the window to our soul. While you don’t want to stare people down, eye contact shows that you are engaged in the conversation and that what they are saying is important. When in doubt use the 3 second rule.
Uncross Your arms!:
While it may make you feel more comfortable to have your arms crossed, crossing your arms will make you appear closed off and defensive. This includes clasping your hands in your lap. When you open your arms you are inviting a positive response. Keep your arms more towards your side, this is a “power” position and indicates you are confident and self-assured. The secret to this is to be aware take note, as soon as you pick up that you are doing it uncross your arms. Before you know it you won’t be doing it.
Just like your mother told you, sit up straight—and stand up straight too. You may be surprised to learn that this technique is one of the first things I work on with my clients. By adjusting your posture, you send a subtle positive message of increased confidence—and nothing is more attractive than a confidence individual.
The moment you feel your posture change, adjust your self and push your shoulders back, hold your head up stand or sit tall. Master it and I promise you, you will stand out from the crowd, you will be happy you did!
Mirroring is simply, and unwittingly, imitating someone else’s body gestures and movements. The theory behind mirroring is that we are attracted to people who are like us; it shows that we are comfortable in their company. These are simple gestures such as taking a sip of a drink at the same time or leaning towards or back from each other. Practice on someone you know first and then try it on someone new, once you have mastered it, it will become second nature and you will not know you are even doing it.
It’s easier said than done with someone you’ve just met, but if you relax your body language is likely to put you and the person you just meet at ease.
Yes, you heard me correctly breathe! Don’t forget to breathe!
Learning how to relax and breathe is something I work with all my clients on.
Whether you’re heading out to meet someone for the first time, conducting a professional interview, giving a presentation or simply entering into a new social situation—improving upon the tips above will help you to achieve your communication goals.
Nonverbal communication is very powerful; by changing your behaviour, you can change your life. The unconscious messages we send are picked up and decoded each and every day.
Be clear about what you are really saying.
Try applying some of these tips when you meet up with an old friend.
Then try it out on someone new.
Let me know how it goes.
I would love to hear from you.
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