WHAT IS BODY LANGUAGE?
(This is an extract from my book Body Language for Busy People).
Are you are aware that there is a concept known as Body English? If not, then don’t despair because the phrase is definitely not in every day use, but it is perhaps the best way to get one to understand what body language is about.
In a recent basketball game in the USA the sportscaster made the comment that, “Air Jordan used a little Body English to coax that ball into the hoop as he released the free throw.” In plain English, he simply meant the player moved his hips sideways, as if using mind control, to ensure that the ball would go into and through the basket.
In even plainer English, the use of the term “Body English” is just one of many deeper or more descriptive examples of body language that we use to more clearly convey the power of “Body Magic” (another known alternative) as a means of a direct method of communication, replacing or complimenting the use of words with gestures or other alternatives, be it on a daily basis or as we need to in a variety of situations, either consciously or unconsciously.
It’s a Language, Not a Series of Gestures
Body language can be described as the unspoken or non-verbal complementary kind of communication we engage in, while in conversation and/or through adjusted gestures that can either confirm the words we use. Conversely those same or similar gestures can send out alarm bells to those that have been trained to understand the subtleties of our interaction with another person or with groups of people.
Some describe the art of Body Language being somewhat like a mirror that gives us an indication of what the other person may think or feel in response to the way we use our words, or the actions we apply, in conjunction with those words.
Body Language involves gestures, mannerisms, and other bodily signs that may be interpreted by communication experts by gestures that either confirm or send out contradictory signals to the words being spoken at the time.
The reality of body language is that in real life situations, around 60% to 80% of all the messages that we convey to other people are transmitted through the combination of verbal and body language, while actual verbal communication alone accounts for only 7% to 10%. However, it is also suggested that if one were to try and read the language of any one person purely by “reading” bodily signs and gestures from a distance. That too may be no more than 7% to 10%.
Now, Consider this
In order to assume that we can effectively read another persons mind purely from one or two gestures associated any statement is also bordering on hopeful fantasy. Body Language is mostly that, Body Language.
Just like you will mostly never be able to understand what a person is thinking from just one or two words that they may utter on any subject and you would be better waiting for the person to convey what they want to say based on a sentence, you should also not endeavour to “read” another’s body language unless you are able to combine what they are saying based on a cluster of gestures that may either confirm or seemingly contradict what they are saying.
Not one person has been able to use body language to accurately read another person’s mind. However, those that understand and use body language in a positive way do so as a means of helping them communicate better and to lead the communication closer to a more favourable outcome is what separates the men from the boys, and can become a powerful adjunct tool.
Body Language can also be a creative and powerful tool to help accentuate and/or disguise personality traits, create short term illusions about ones personality, or become a really fast-track way to overall personality development.
Used effectively and in the most imaginative of ways, it will assist in the understanding of how body language works and how it can help create a great impression for work, business, and even romantic situations. This is simply achieved by understanding of how this not-so-common, yet extremely powerful field of study can help you see and sense things that others may not be able to.
The application of Body Language can be one of the best adjuncts to the many other spoken, unspoken and visual tools that one can use on the life-long journey to a successful life.
So read on and find out how you can read and utilize body language – the most used yet most misunderstood secret language in the world.
A little more you should be aware of
Body language is made up of bodily and facial gestures that either confirm or may contradict what we are wanting to convey verbally. It also encompasses the majority of the voluntary and involuntary non-verbal movements we make as a part of how we communicate no matter how much we may try and disguise or hide what we want others not to see.
Body language also involves long term developed gestures such as waving hands waving hands to all forms of involuntary gestures such as the twitching of facial and other muscles. Each of which are difficult to “read” unless analyzed against what is being said, or in more extreme cases, what was meant to be said but the person saying it at the time was unable to get the words out they way they wanted to.
We all are intrigued by Body Language
Whenever I speak in public, conduct seminars or do a key-note speech, the one subject that seems to attract the largest audience is body language. An in-house seminar audience can double or treble for the body language segment, then return to normal numbers for the next segment. It seems that everyone is intrigued by and wants to know how non-verbal communication can be used and can be of benefit to their every day lives.
There are the six factors that make up body language. And these include:
- The basics of every day communication, which is made up 7% words, 38% tone of the voice and 55% as body gestures, signals and body language.
2. Non-verbal communication as a stand alone subject.
3. Communicating by touch alone.
4. Communication by body movement.
5. Communication and control gestures based on body positioning.
6. And the unconscious signals we send out when we least want to.
The most important part is
Every one of us feels we can already do a good job simply by watching other people and learning how to read their body language. Most of us get this wrong simply because we fall into the trap of reading individual gestures as stand-alones. Just as you can tell very little from looking at a photograph, where you can guess, but will always need more data to be sure of what you see, you need to take in from as many gestures, signals and verbal confirmation.
You should also be extremely wary about trying to control your own body gestures too much and too often. The harder you try, the more likely you will be sending out confusing signals. And it’s the confusing signals that make others wary . . . and wary people do not buy.
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and of the 130 books he has written over the past 48 years, Peter has 65 Business Books to his credit, (but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale). Peter also has written 23 Christian books. One of Peter’s books sold almost 2 million copies in the late 1970’s and is still selling well through second hand online marketers worldwide. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
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