Do you think a lot about what to say?
Do you carefully choose your words to craft a great question or comment?
Do you think about the message you want to put across to someone else?
We would guess that the answer is yes to most if not all of those questions.
But what about your body language? Do you think about that as much?
Ultimately your physiology; your body language, your facial expression and your tone of voice will shout much louder than your words.
You’ve probably heard the stats – that words make up only seven per cent of our message, tone of voice 38 per cent and body language a staggering 55 per cent.
With this in mind we probably need to put more focus on body language than words at times, right?
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here are three simple ways to take control of your body language:
- Put yourself in a good state of mind – don’t communicate when you are angry for example. Take a deep breath, listen to music that makes you feel good, stretch your legs, get some fresh air.
- Consider what message you want to convey – and then think about how to match your body to that. If it’s a serious message, how can you look serious without being too stern for example. If you want to put across constructive feedback, how do you do it without looking and sounding aggressive or accusatory.
- Practice saying what you want to say in the mirror – and watch your body language at the same time. And see how to adjust it. In fact, we’ve found that we do some of our best communication on Skype and similar, as we can see our own body language in the corner of our eye and therefore always keep it in tune and use it appropriately
Communication is your most powerful tool as a leader. Communication can build bridges, form partnerships, promote collaboration and achieve results – and sadly the opposite too.
Your physiology is extremely important and sends all sorts of messages to other people – use it with care to complement rather than drown out your words. And enjoy the results you get.
About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.
Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com
Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leaders”Debbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA