Communication will be greatly effective by improving your body language skills. Communication is both verbal and non-verbal. Non-verbal communication is manifested by the signs and signals of the body. The communication rule, according to psychology professor Albert Mehrabian is 7% – 38% – 55%. What is this? A rule in percentages? Actually this means that when communicating, 7% accounts for the words, 38% is allocated for the tone of voice and 55% accounts for body language. Overall, this means that over half of communication is based on body language, the non-verbal side.
Body language has a major impact on the way people speak and understand one another. If you are able to develop a keener awareness of the signals and signs of body language while you communicate with another person, the more you will understand people easily. It will also help you to establish more effective communication.
Improving body language skills
Although often overused, the saying that the eye is the window to the soul is still highly applicable today as it was yesterday.
• Your eyes convey more of your feelings and emotions. To be a better communicator, always maintain eye contact. But good eye contact should be subtle and natural. It is not good to stare.
• Your arms can say a lot as well. Keep them at your sides or behind you while you converse. Although interpreted as a defensive sign when you cross your arms in front of you, it is still a very effective means to show displeasure at a situation or person in front of you.
• Open palms are taken as a sign of friendliness and interaction. You will be interpreted as being aggressive and dominant if your palms are facing down. Avoid fidgeting with your hands and use them to augment the description of things you are talking about.
• Bringing your one leg up to rest on the knee of your other leg is often taken to mean as a defensive gesture. Keep your legs still even when you feel nervous or stressed. Like your arms, study how to cross your legs properly.
• Do not slouch as this is a sign that you have low self-esteem. It also makes you look shorter. Improve your posture by standing or sitting up straight, with your head up and your shoulders. This makes you appear alert and receptive.
• Learn about angling your body properly in relation to another person. Observe that you will usually angle towards people that interest you. Leaning is one component of this. You normally lean forward when you give more attention to someone. At the same time, know how to create personal space and how to respect another person’s personal space. Observe how close or far apart you should be to the person you are conversing with.
• Develop the art of smiling and learn when a smile is very effective. The movements of your mouth often show what you really want to say and what you actually think.
• Learn proactive mirroring, which shows that you are getting along with the person you are talking with. It is the unconscious mirroring of the other person’s body language if you are having a good time conversing. However it is very important that you also have the subtlety to not mirror the other’s gestures at the same time.