You’ve probably heard that body language says a lot about a person, but have you ever wondered what your body language says about you? In fact, would you be willing to consider that your body language has, at different times, affected your friendships, interactions with co-workers and directly impacted the success and stress in your romantic relationship?
Statistical results indicate that the non-verbal component of communication (only 7% is verbal, 93% non-verbal) is made up of body language (55%) and tone of voice (38%).
Body language is as dynamic and complex as we are as individuals.
As a bodywork practitioner, I examine body language with as much importance as measurements of the physical structure.
For example, if someone keeps eye contact while speaking (present, engaged & available) but submits by slouching back fully in their chair, shoulders down (defeat, surrender) it sends a confusing message. Are they engaged or checked out?
Another example: suppose you are listening to a man speak about how kind and compassionate he is, always leaving room for other opinions and input. But he’s leaning back so his eye contact is looking down ever so slightly, his knees wide apart and his hands laced behind his head, elbows out. Would you believe that he’s sincere and approachable?
So that last one is classic but it illustrates a strong point. When communicating with someone you care about or about something meaningful to you, the goal is to be in alignment, physically, emotionally and mentally for that communication to go smoothly, be understood and make impact.
Further, it’s most important to be in alignment with yourself. What I mean is getting really honest about what you say and how you feel about it. Taking a look in the proverbial mirror and witness yourself and the messages you are conveying. Are they in alignment?
I recently had the opportunity to look in that mirror publicly. A colleague was interviewing me on this very topic (!!) and I found myself needing to check my communication alignment. When I caught myself, I made it part of the lesson as a real-time example. The interview airs TODAY, you can see it here.
Interested in learning how your body language may be showing up in your life? Sarah Ouellette has a remarkable video series with more than 30 experts talking about how you show up in work, platonic and romantic relationships. And she’s gifting each of you access to these expert talks! Take full advantage – there’s nothing like this out there.
Here’s to alignment of verbal & non-verbal language,