It has long been known that actions speak louder than words – not only in terms of what you do, but also in terms of your physical stance when you are speaking.
Research tells us that in face to face communication the majority of what is ‘put across’ is non verbal. Our subconsciouses communicate with each other through tone of voice and what is known as ‘body language’, and the latter comprises the majority of the message.
You can test this out: Watch a soap opera with the volume turned off, and it is amazing how much you can still pick up of what is going on. But the important thing about body language is that it continues to ‘speak’ even when our voice is silent.
Take a look at the pictures below, and imagine you were telling this person about a proposal you have made to make your meetings more efficient. For each picture, can you make a guess at what is going through their mind, and what might be the next words out of their mouth?
You probably can, and there is a good probability that you will be right in your guess. And that is just through photos of someone trying to act that feeling – if you were there, and they were not acting, and you could pick up nuances of movement, your subconscious would pick up those signals even more clearly.
There are some excellent resources available on body language, and you can spend an enjoyable few hours looking through them. At the end of it, you will likely recognise its value, but you will also realise that trying to analyse body language consciously is not always straightforward – each individual gesture in isolation can mean a number of different things.
But the reality is that we don’t need to do it consciously. Body language is subconscious communication – we not only telegraph things subconsciously, we also receive them subconsciously – if only we remain open to what our subconscious is telling us.
Once we are more aware of body language, and grow to trust our subconscious interpretation of it, and we spend a bit more time in our meetings tapping into what it might be saying to us as we look around the room, we will find that it is an excellent resource for keeping our meetings on track.
For more information on body language, check out some of Alan Pease’s videos on YouTube.
Track your progress to ensure the efficacy of this strategy.