Body language is a primordial skill we were born with that often gets overlooked by us in our everyday existence. Have you ever considered what you are communicating to people even when you are not speaking? Unless you are a master of disguise, you are constantly sending messages about your true thoughts and feelings whether you are using words or not.
Studies show that your words account for only 7% of the messages you convey. The remaining 93% is non-verbal. 55% of communication is based on what people see and the other 38% is transmitted through tone of voice.
So think about it. In the business setting, people can see what you are not saying. If your body language doesn’t match your words, you are probably wasting your time. Body language can be used to help conduct an interview, give a presentation or make that important sale: a conversation stretches so much further than speech.
Whether it’s shrugging our shoulders, scratching our head or simply smiling, we are constantly sending signals that may seem mundane, but in fact are a large part of our inter-personal communication.
Face to Face is Best
Body language is the reason why selling face-to-face has a huge advantage over selling by phone.
Usually when we communicate with or see people, we only respond to what is being said, heard or generally seen. There is so much more involved and most of us do not pick up on it: it’s our body language and it can express a thousand words.
Our body language will give others an impression of ourselves or show our emotions, which means it’s an important aspect of running a successful business as we cannot always say what we really feel. This means we have to act positive in negative situations (and vice-versa of course). You can also identify other people’s body language and know what they really mean: regardless of the words they may be saying.
Body language can have an impact on how we are seen at work; whether we are understood, liked, gain promotion, develop strong customer relationships, win business, feel confident as a manager, present effectively or handle conflict easily.
Body language is present from the minute we are born throughout our working and personal lives. When we can understand why others do what they do and how they affect us we can develop skills which can increase our own sense of confidence and esteem. We can develop better ways of communicating ourselves and ensure that we are sending the right signals in the most natural way for us so that others can understand us clearly and easily.
The secret to building rapport with people again is mirroring their type and style of communication. If you can incorporate the way they speak, the speed, their body language and other verbal communication similarities they are using you will also communicate with them on their level. This will build rapport and the similarities will help you in your communication. Do no copy accents, personal disabilities etc. It is not about copying but bringing their communication on in yours also to help them feel comfortable.
So overall the secret really is to build rapport by mirroring the other person, communicating with them they way they do to you and reading signals to help understand the other person more fully.