. It can often tell you much about the people with whom you are speaking. Are they open to your ideas? Are they listening to what you have to say? And perhaps most importantly, are they interested and receptive to what you are talking about? The ability to discern and determine what a person is saying non-verbally can often be as important as the dialogue that takes place between the two parties. And though many people are "sure that the person they're talking to is intently listening to what is going on, their body language
and mannerisms may be saying something else entirely.
Some of the most familiar advice you've heard about body language
, for instance, was based on folklore, not research. Consider, for example, "open" and "closed" body
stances. People with crossed arms are often not any more closed to your thoughts, while people with open arms are not necessarily open to you and your ideas.
To test your knowledge of body language
basics, take this quick nine-- question quiz. Some of the answers may surprise you. By remembering these insights, you can go a long way towards cultivating genuine, enduring professional and personal relationships you can savor.
1. Do people get along better when talking to each other if they are facing each other or if they are standing side by side?
2. Who tends to face the person with whom they are speaking (men or women) and who tends to stand side by side, facing more or less the same way (women or men)?
3. If you want to increase the chance of knowing if someone is lying to you, what is one helpful factor to notice about that person's face when he or she is talking to you?
4. If you want to keep someone's attention, is it better to wear a patterned shirt or blouse or a plain blouse or shirt?
5. What is the most directly emotional of all the senses, bypassing the thinking facilities and causing a quicker, more intense reaction in the limbic (emotions) system than any other sense?
6. Are you more likely to get someone to support you or buy something if you give them something up front, unasked, before you ask for the favor?
7. Who tends to maintain wider peripheral vision when entering a new place-men or women?
8. Who tends to be more specific in their descriptions-adults or children?
9. Of the previous eight questions, which is the one people are most likely to ask for the answer to first, and if reading the questions in a group, are most likely to comment on first?
So how did you do? (See answers on page 14) Surprisingly, many people either do not realize or do not understand the importance of body language
when it comes to speaking and relationships. Here are some tips that will help you not only improve your ability to communicate with others, but also indirectly aid their acceptance of your thoughts and ideas.
Tip: Make more moments meaningful and memorable.
Move to motivate, because motion is emotional. It increases the emotional intensity of whatever is happening. Further, people remember more the things they dislike or fear that they experience in motion, more than things they enjoy. Motion attracts attention and causes people to remember more of what's happening and feel more strongly about it, for better or for worse.
Imagine the bizarre picture of someone swinging his whole body
around, sweeping down low before you, and then reaching out to shake hands. While moving in many dimensions will surely make you more memorable, it won't necessarily make you more credible. Get others involved in motions with you that create good will: walking, sharing a meal, handing or receiving a gift, shaking hands, turning to face a new scene. You are more likely to literally get "in sync" (vital signs become more similar: eye pupil dilation, skin temperature, heartbeat) and to then get along.
Tip: True timing can be vital to impressing a point to your listener.
If a person likes the way he acts when he is around you, he sees the qualities in you that he most admires. The opposite is also true. Two universal truths: people like people who are like them, and people like people who like them.
Pick the moments when someone feels most at ease and happy to move the relationship forward. Don't make suggestions or requests when they are acting in an unbecoming way. Your efforts will only backfire. Praise the behavior you want to flourish. Don't ask for more from someone until they have invested more time, money, other resources, or emotional "chits" in the relationship.
Here are five more tips for getting along better:
1. If you embarrass someone you probably never will have their full attention again.
2. Even and especially when you have the upper hand, do not make a victim of the underdog.
3. Offering something free and valued up front, unasked, often instills the desire to reciprocate, even beyond the value of the offer.
4. Problems seldom exist at the level at which they are discussed. Until you get some notion of the underlying conflict, you will not be able to find a solution.
5. If you want more from another person, wait to ask for it after they have invested time, money or other resource.
By incorporating these techniques into your everyday speaking and presenting, not only will you find that people will listen to what you have to say, but they will be interested in how you say it. By getting people excited about your ideas, you have already cleared a huge hurdle in developing relationships and building new concepts.
Basics Quiz Answers
1. People get along better when they "sidle" stand or sit side by side rather than when they "face off", stand or sit facing each other.
2. Men are more likely to "sidle" than women.
3. Note the timing and duration of the first "reactive" expression on someone's face when you think that person is not telling you the truth. When lying, most people can put an innocent expression on their faces, yet few (except pathological liars) will have the right timing or duration of that expression. If you ignore the expression itself and, instead, consider whether the timing and duration of the expression seem natural, you'll greatly increase your chances of knowing if that person is lying.
4. Wearing a plain, unpatterned shirt or blouse will increase the chances that the listener will hear you longer. A patterned top or ornate jewelry or loud tie will break up the listener's attention span sooner, and that person is more likely to take "mental vacations" sooner.
5. Smell is the most directly emotional of the senses. The right natural scent can refresh or relax you and others in your home or work site. Vanilla, apple, and chocolate are the scents Americans most prefer.
6. Yes, up to 14 times more likely to get their support or a purchase. This gut instinct is often called "reciprocity reflex."
7. Women. That is why storeowners who serve men will increase their sales if they have prominent, eye-level signage over large displays where men will see the signage soon after entering the store.
8. Children are more vividly specific, hitting their prime around fourth grade and then beginning to speak in generalities, more like adults. Yet the specific detail proves the general conclusion. Specifics are more memorable and more credible.
9. Question number 3. It seems that we have an inordinate interest in lying.
. What was your score on the quiz?
2. Were you surprised by any of the answers?
3. Are these hints useful to know in a business environment?
4. How can this benefit you in business?
Write three to four pages answering the above questions and hand it in by the end of this module.
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