I can’t express enough that it’s more than what you say, it is how you say it. It is in your tone, in your conviction within the message you are sending, and most importantly, in what the receiver of the message sees, your non-verbal message, your body language.
Dealing with people on a daily basis, and no shortage of people walking in and out of my office, I place reading non-verbal cues as the main focus of all conversations. Also through experience, it has become apparent that an individual’s non-verbal communication will determine the weight placed on what is being said. Non-verbal communication, body language, plays a huge role in conversation outcomes. Wordless signals hold just as much, sometimes more, weight and power than verbal messages.
What does this mean… in a nutshell?
The way you look, listen, move, and react tells the other person whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, rapport, and clarity. When they don’t, they generate mistrust, tension, and confusion.
Right now what is important is that you acknowledge not only the importance of your verbal cues, but your non-verbal cues as well. Every interaction requires preparation. When preparing, keep in mind, there are two messages being sent at all times, verbal and non-verbal. Be sure to lay out a plan for both.
The infographic below presented by American Express Open Forum lists 6 body language mistakes to avoid. Self-awareness is key. If any of the mistakes listed are habits you have picked up, take note and make appropriate corrections. Your body language could be the reason you are turned down for a promotion, even a raise.
Click on the infographic to view full size.