Language is a complex system of symbols and sounds used to articulate a statement of fact or emotion. There are over 6900 known languages all around the world, each with their own set of rules, sounds, and dialect. The mere fact that they exist is a miracle. Where did they come from? Who had the vast understanding of noun and verb agreement when communication, according to popular scientific beliefs, evolved from grunting and moaning? It is mind boggling.
In our everyday interactions communication is focused around the words we speak. It is constant exchange of ideas, emotions, stories and experiences that give us a connection to the people and the world around us. Through language we voice our frustration, share words of encouragement, and paint vivid pictures so detailed that the recipient can almost envision being there themselves.
If used appropriately the art of communication can change the very world in which we live in. Imagine a world where everyone speaks the same language. Nothing gets lost in translation. People would relate on a level that they never knew was possible. Why do you think that the understanding of communication is a multimillion dollar industry? People want to learn how to talk to one another.
I will be the first to say that I have thrown my share of dollars toward the very topic in my quest to become a better communicator. It was not until recently that I learned I was investing in the wrong stock. Every book I have read is based around the words you speak and the vocabulary you use but only 30-40% of communication is based upon that. 60-70% of communication is based upon body language, non-verbal behavior. (Albert Mehrabian)
Where would you like to invest your money?
The language your body speaks is so important that is can override the words you say. Have you ever tried to tell someone you loved them with your back turned away? It just doesn’t seem honest.
Physical expression is paramount.
Here are some quick tips to help you improve your body language and maximize your future interactions.
The basics of body language consist of 3 major areas of focus. They are the eyes, head, and hands. I promise to not bore you with all of the details but I will hit the bullet points.
- Eye contact conveys confidence and positivity
- Avoiding eye contact conveys dishonesty and discomfort.
- Hand placement over you mouth displays dishonesty and discomfort.
- Hidden hands could indicate you have something to hide.
- Positive hand placement would be ones that indicate you are thinking or in reflection.
- Tilting your head forward is an indication of interest.
- Leaning to the side or away from the person is an indication of boredom, distrust or dissatisfaction.
- A swiveling head is one that is looking for an escape.
If there is a message that you are trying to convey, it is important that you control every aspect of the way you communicate it. This may seem like very simple common knowledge but I dare you to put it to the test. You can greatly enhance your interactions by being conscious of the language your body speaks.
Learn to master your body language and control your interactions permanently.