The implication of sending efficient and clear communication to those around us is of tremendous strategic importance. Whether you try to lead your gang, attract and keep women, step ahead of your competition or close successful business deals, communication is not something merely related to success but something your survival highly depends on.
In my previous article on the subject, Badass body language, I explain how to have a great body language in general that also communicates confidence and dominance. This is awesome and super important when you hang out with friends, chill at parties, date cool chicks or just walk down the streets of your neighborhood.
It is proper for “casual time”!
But, is it really suited for the specifics of business or career-oriented circumstances?
It’s not really optimal…
When you do “business”, whether you are dealing with a receptionist, the boss or a client, dominance is not something that you primarily want to communicate!
It is just not strategically smart. You don’t want to make them feel anxious, scared or subconsciously make them feel that you’re in control over them!
They will only “close the deal” with you if they feel they have some power to influence you, manipulate you. Also, if they can gain some extra benefits in the process, they are more likely to tag along.
Them, them, them, right? It’s all about them!
If you want to close a deal, the first and single most important thing they need to believe is that you are trustworthy.
Yes, trust is the key to business and good relationship in general.
If you want them to give you what you want, they need to trust you first!
But trust is a feeling and it is not simply triggered by what you will say but in fact it has way more to do with how you say it through means of non-verbal communication.
It is all about our primal instincts
You are alive and able to read this post today because your mind, which is the result of millions of years of evolution, has a way of rationalizing the world and finding the single best solution to increase your chance of survival. That’s why you will always tend first to distrust and seek out potential risks when you meet someone new.
Better be a little paranoid and alive than positive and open-minded, but DEAD! Ain’t that right!
For the majority of the human history, dealing with someone new also means risk and menace.
Where it is difficult to acquire resources, violent rivalry between tribes of men occur often. At least this is what life was all about back then.
Indeed, doubt, distrust and suspicion were all feelings that have served to increase you and your family’s chances of survival and promote a better future for your genetic line.
Body language is the original communication system
Way before humanity started to use complex language systems to communicate, just like animals, we used body language as the primary authentic way to connect, and underneath those recent technological layers, it is still the case today.
Simply because you will believe first what you can see and touch.
The feelings and attitudes that are communicated almost entirely of non-verbal nature!
According to scientific studies on the subject, body language signals are over 10 times more powerful than the words we use when it comes to conveying a message or gaining your audience’s trust.
It is all in the way you say it.
So, you might have the greatest ideas but without a good body language, you will not be able to convince others, and thus you will quickly lose value and power as you cannot participate properly in the social dynamic of business interaction. If the others don’t see you as an assets, you will most likely be perceived as a liability.
Yeah, it’s not about your ideas, it’s about how the others are “decoding” the message of your ideas.
Congruence is when your body, tone of voice and words all convey the proper message; this is when you can trigger trust. Unfortunately, even if you are authentic, if you are not careful about it, most of the times you will send a bunch of weird mixed signals.
You might be cold, burdened, tired or just feel sick from all that sun in your face, all these and such comfort issues will most likely broadcast something that will trigger distrust or indifference in your audience.
Because the physical experience is stronger, the mind of your listeners will most of the time rationalize in favour of what is physically happening while whatever intellectual message you are trying to convey.
In other word, unless he doesn’t see the correct picture, he will not hear the correct message.
First, let’s start with the hands.
Your hands must stay open at all times. You don’t point your fingers at anyone, as it is a bossy gesture and you don’t close your fists as it is a sign that you could hide a weapon or that you are ready to fight. Also, by putting your hands in your pockets, you will signal that you might be hiding something, again, maybe a weapon.
Showing upfront that your hands are empty is a universal message of friendliness that says something like: I come in peace, and I am unarmed.
Showing your hands face up, open and empty, right from the start of the interaction, will reduce anxiety, while they also induce a feeling of relaxation and prep the way for developing a feeling of trust.
Keep your hands above your waist line.
Besides being categorized as potential menace, the most common category you risk to be boxed in is the “irrelevant” category which comes by default. When you’re at the grocery store, or in any public place for that matter, people will always put you in that category.
This is simply because you’re not a fellow gang member and you don’t seem dangerous. So it is of no value to waste energy on you to process your communication. You’re just irrelevant!
By letting your arm hanging down below the waist line, you will signal that you’re unconnected.
Your listeners will most likely start day-dreaming about their grocery list or think about what they will say next.
In a business context, you don’t want to trigger this reaction!
By keeping your hands above your waist line at the level of your belly button using open gestures, meaning that you’re not hiding your belly area with your hand, will trigger the feeling that you are most likely a fellow gang member or an ally!
It’s a universal message that says something like: Hey… long time no see, it’s good to see you again!
Showing up with open arms and hands not only demonstrate that you are unarmed but also that you are un-anxious and friendly.
I can trust him because he is a friend; at least that is the reasoning your primal brain will deduct.
This type of arm and hand movement will also initiate feelings of calmness or coolness in your own body and, in return, will affect other elements of your communication, such has the pitch of your voice and the debit of your words.
This will also influence others around you to feel the same.
The eyebrows salute
When crossing one of your acquaintances, a co-worker or someone of the same subculture, a lot of people will signal by slightly raising their eyebrows and their head for a second. This little signal is a universal message that means something like: Hey, bro!
It also assumes that we are part of the same gang.
By doing it purposely at the beginning of the interaction, just when the other person sees you, will induce the feeling of familiarity, a phenomenon that means you are part of the same group.
This is also great to help building trust more easily.
Part one ends here guys; read part 2, where it becomes even more interesting. Stay tuned!
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