Improving Face to Face communication
Written by David Alssema- Body Language Specialist.
Many people recognise the importance of strong communication skills. The most important of all these communication skills is using body language effectively to communicate. Body language can account for 55%-80% of the communication depending on culture and other factors. Knowing this it is imperative that we learn how to communicate with our body and also how to read some of these signals. All body language must be read in context, congruence and clusters.
Visual Accessing Signals
These are mainly used when accessing information within the brain. If asked a question the person would look either up, left or right, or down depending on what you have asked them. Here are some great ways to identify what is happening. If someone looks up they are visualising something. Maybe you have asked them to picture something? This would mean they are either constructing or remembering an image. What if they go only left or right? This would mean they are doing something auditory, again either constructing or remembering a sound. If the person looks downward they may be feeling something internally or using internal dialogue. This information can help you identify what they other person is doing and thus helps you form your next question. It can also be used to tell if someone is lying to you or constructing answers. To do this you can ask several questions that you know they will remember for example: “What did you do last night?” or how has your day been” then you watch their eyes. They will go to the remembered side more than likely as you don’t really construct what you did last night. Then you can ask them another question if you want to work out if they are making it up. If they go to the other side this means they are constructing the answer and possibly lying. Coupled with hesitant speech and other signals this may help in unravelling the truth. But be careful with it.
To help people feel comfortable look at them as much as they do you. Some cultures or people do not look you in the eye. To do this may be offensive. Mirror the other person and the length they look at you and you should be right.
Handshaking is a form of greeting. It’s the very first thing we do to greet and build rapport with people. In fact it shows our strength to an issue, our behaviour type and motive for the meeting. So if our handshake is to build a relationship what should we do? Well in communication the correct way is the way the other person understands. This means to build rapport you need to show and share similarities with the person you are trying to build rapport with. By showing that you are similar you build a character that the other person can relate to. In other words, by mirroring the client or other person you will build a relationship with similarities.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with a handshake. Well if you shook someone’s hand and you were extremely stronger than the other person do you think this will build or detract from the relationship? Likewise if you go in with a soft handshake and the person you approach has a strong handshake, will this help? No. Ultimately you need to match the other person’s behaviour to build a relationship as by doing something that detracts from the meeting will not help.
To show you on a different level why it is important to mirror the behaviour of your guest, some cultures do not shake hands at all. To shake hands with someone that doesn’t shake hands it can have detrimental effects on the meeting. People from different parts of the world will do things differently and if you can help them feel comfortable by greeting them they way they wish to be greeted you are a step ahead. Even in some places city people will greet differently to country people. Some may come up close to you and shake your hand others may just wave and stand away from you comfortable. You need to realise greeting people in their language or the way they greet is a way of respect and will help you in building rapport.
Use gestures if the person you are speaking to uses them. This will help in the conversation. Only use them to illustrate and convey meanings. Do not have them out too much as this may confuse the communication. Be careful as some gestures may mean different things to different people. Mirror the other persons gesturing and you will communicate more effectively.
Negative Body Language Signals
Negativity can be seen on forms of barriers and body posture. Anything across the body is a negative communicator, maybe holding a barrier, folded arms or even maybe a coffee cup placed across the body can all identify is someone is positive towards you or not. Folded arms at points within a conversation can identify that something is bothering the person or there is something on their mind. The feet will also point to what the person is interested in so if they are not facing you then the person may be closed off to what you are saying. Look for open body signals like open arms, palms facing towards you, and also feet being open. Be approachable yourself.
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 another communication types 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 mirror the other person, Communicating with them they way they do to you and reading signals to help understand the other person more fully.
David Bio :
David Alssema is a body language specialist and motivational speaker. For more information on David please visit here. Body Language Specialist