Did I Say That_Ebook

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  • 8/7/2019 Did I Say That_Ebook


    Did I Say That?

    What is Your Body

    Language Saying?

  • 8/7/2019 Did I Say That_Ebook


    Did I Say That?

    What is Your Body

    Language Saying?

    By Sharon Skaling

  • 8/7/2019 Did I Say That_Ebook


    Did I Say That?

    What is Your Body Language Saying?

    It happens all the time. You start a business or

    sales conversation with someone; you think that

    they understand you, and you understand them,

    and that you have the beginnings of a mutually

    beneficial professional or client relationship.

    Later, in developing that relationship, you

    discover a problem. You find that the message

    you wanted to communicate was not the

    message received, or you have misunderstoodthe other person's intent, and what seemed like

    a great opportunity is suddenly lost, or in

    jeopardy. Trying to make sense of what went

    wrong with your message, you find yourself

    asking: Did I say that?

    Usually, when we ask ourselves this question,

    we focus mainly on what we said, never realizing

    that communication is a more complex process

    that goes beyond mere words. In fact, over 90%

    of what we communicate is interpreted

    nonverbally by how we say it, and how we look

    when we say it. Yet we are likely to put more effort

    - 1 - - 2 -

    into what we say because we think that is the key

    to getting what we want in business, and in life.

    From tone of voice and facial expressions to

    body language and other distractions not within

    our control, there are many nonverbal factors

    that determine how others will interpret what we

    say, and vice versa. Little wonder that we

    frequently ask ourselves: Did I say that?

    The most effective communicators and the most

    successful business people understand and

    use both body language and image techniques

    t o c re at e c om pe ll in g m es sa ge s a nd

    presentations. Through this booklet, you will

    discover and learn how to harness these proven

    techniques so you can communicate more

    effectively, better understand what others are

    saying, enhance your ability to achieve your

    goals, and enjoy more rewarding, long-term

    professional and personal relationships.

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    - 3 -

    What is this thing called


    Essentially, communication is an exchange of

    information written, verbal or behavioural

    between individuals. It is:

    A process; it cannot be reversed or repeated


    A system; a message is sent via a channel

    (e.g., verbal, written) to another person.

    An interaction; any person involved in

    communication undergoes some form of


    Transactional; we share ourselves with one


    Functional: it produces change.






    - 4 -

    Understanding the

    communication cycle

    The communication cycle appears relatively

    simple: you, as the source, prepare a message

    either verbal or written which you transmit to

    someone else a receiver. The receiver then

    decodes your message, determines i ts

    meaning, prepares a response, and transmits it

    back to you. This process can take milliseconds,

    or days, depending on how you communicate. It

    seems like such a simple process, so why does

    communication often go wrong?

    The truth is that communication isn't quite so

    s im pl e. R es ea rc h b y e xp er ts s uc h a s

    Dr. Mehrabian at UCLA shows that any

    p re se nt at io n y ou m ak e h as t hr ee k ey

    components: visual (your body language, facial

    expressions, physical characteristics, even

    clothing and grooming), vocal (the sound,

    volume and clarity of your voice) and verbal (the

    actual content of your message). Of the three,

    visual has the greatest impact in communicating

    successfully, accounting for 55% of your

    presentation. Voice accounts for 38%, and

    verbal just 7%. It has been suggested by some

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    - 5 -

    interpreters of this research that 90% of your

    total visual presentation depends on clothing

    and grooming. While I am unable to find other

    research to support this interpretation, it is

    certain that the clothing you choose can affect

    your body language - even modify or

    camouflage physical characteristics, making a

    highly professional wardrobe essential.

    So your wardrobe, along with grooming, body

    language and tone of voice, will either enhance

    or compromise the verbal portion of your

    presentation, the essence of your message.

    - 6 -

    With the what apparently having so little impact,

    it is often assumed that the information we areconveying is not important in our overall ability to

    influence individuals and audiences. In reality,

    however, who we are and how we deliver ourinformation is really only important so people will

    listen to us, understand what we are saying, andact on it. ~ Suzanne Stevens (Content is King,

    Speaking of Impact, Summer 2005)

    Simply put, style will get you in the door, and

    your substance will keep you there. Enhance

    your style, and you will enhance your substance.

    How can you ensure effective


    Often, what you don't say is more influential than

    what you do say. The nonverbal signals that you

    send can suggest, accurately or inaccurately,

    your attitude, understanding and empathy even

    your ethics. Within seconds of meeting

    someone, that person is judging you based on

    what he or she sees and feels. It's these silent

    messages that will determine your ability to

    make a strong first impression. Learn to identify

    and interpret these nonverbal language cues,

    and how you can use them to send a complete

    message that is consistent in words, gestures

    and meaning.

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    Did you know: In the business world, where

    companies will judge you against other equally

    quali fied candidates, appropriate body

    language can give you the edge you need to get

    the career you want?

    Body language is extremely important in any

    face-to-face communication. In fact, it may be

    as important as what you say. Used correctly,

    body language can reinforce and enhance the

    impact of your message.

    Positive Body Language

    Our body language is an important aspect of

    running a successful business as we cannotalways say what we really feel. This means we

    have to act positive in negative situations (andvice-versa of course). You can also identify other

    people's body language and know what they

    really mean: whatever they may be saying.~Bizhelp24.com

    Like all nonverbal communication, your bodylanguage helps to shape the overall image that

    others have of you. It should be a carefully

    p la nn ed c om po ne nt o f y ou r p er so na l

    presentation, just like your hairstyle and your

    professional wardrobe. Your clients, customers,

    - 8 -

    employers, colleagues and acquaintances will

    det ermine your honesty, inte gri ty and

    professionalism based on subtle messages they

    observe in your body language, and that can

    influence whether they start or continue a

    business relationship with you.

    Here are some typical interpretations of

    common body language cues:

    open-lipped smiling;

    open hands with palms visible; unbuttoning coat

    upon being seated.

    leaning forward in chair; chin up;

    putting tips of fingers of one hand against the

    tips of fingers of other hand in praying or

    steepling position; hands joined behind back

    when standing.

    smoking; whistling; pinching

    skin; fidgeting; jiggling pocket contents; running

    tongue along front of teeth; clearing throat;

    running fingers through hair; wringing hands;

    biting pens or other objects; twiddling thumbs;

    biting fingernails (or evidence of); tongue


    Openness and Warmth:



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    - 9 -

    Untrustworthy / Defensive: frowning; squinting

    eyes; tight-lipped grin; arms crossed in front of

    chest; pulling away; chin down; touching nose

    or face; darting eyes; looking down when

    speaking; clenched hands; gestures with fist;

    pointing with fingers; chopping one hand into

    the open palm of the other; rubbing back of


    Now, let's look at the individual elements of body

    language so you can ensure your nonverbal

    cues are always consistent with your verbal


    Let's face it: Your face is the key to your identity,

    and your facial expressions are the most honest

    indicators of what you really feel. These

    expressions are also hard to control, or conceal,

    so let's begin our look at body language and itsimpact on our ability to communicate with others

    by exploring facial expressions.

    About face

    Given that people believe what they see more

    than what they hear, your expressions may

    betray the message you want to convey. Using

    a mirror, or other methods, study your facial

    - 10 -

    expressions, discretely if you are in a

    conversation. As you become more familiar

    with your expressions, you can learn to control

    them so they are consistent with the message

    you want to communicate.

    Did you know: Paul Ekman, professor of

    psychology at the University of California

    Medical School, has conducted considerable

    research on expression, the physiology of

    emotion and interpersonal deception? He has

    identified over 10,000 possible combinations of

    facial expressions. Fortunately, only 3,000 of

    them mean something to the average person!

    Of the thousands of facial expressions you use

    in everyday communication, your smile is the

    most important one when it comes to making a

    good impression. Everybody looks better whenthey smile. A warm smile also puts people at

    ease, while communicating confidence and

    trustworthiness. Keep yours unforced and


    When you're smiling

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    Did you know: Even the slightest smile can help

    you make a favourable impression? Look at the

    most popular models. They are professionals

    when it comes to managing their smiles,

    creating an accommodating and attractive look

    that engages consumers, a technique valued by

    both their clients and their fans.

    While a natural smile may be your strongest

    asset, your mouth can also convey weakness.

    Downward turns or flat lines send negative

    signals. Touching your mouth frequently, faking

    a cough when faced with a difficult question, or

    gnawing on your lip absentmindedly all suggest

    weakness or lack of confidence.

    Tight smiles and tension in your facial muscles

    indicate you cannot handle stress. Pursed lips

    imply that you are secretive, even dishonest.

    And frowns, sideways looks, or peering over

    y ou r g la ss es s ig ni fy h au gh ti ne ss a nd


    - 12 -

    The eyes have it

    When talking to a new or long-time business

    colleague, maintain direct eye contact with

    smiling eyes and relaxed brow to show that you

    are interested and comfortable. Limited or no

    eye contact indicates a lack of interest,

    discomfort, or distraction. Rolling eyes break

    eye contact and suggest disinterest, disbelief, or

    exasperation. Tension in your brow implies

    confusion, stress, or fear. Appropriate Personal

    Space is equally important for maintaining eye

    contact in a business conversation.

    F or n et wo rk in g o r s ta nd in g b us in es s

    conversations, the ideal space is approximately

    to 1 metre, or arm's length, while to 2 metres

    is recommended for a seated conversation.

    Other quick cues to remember:Exasperation



    Raised Eyebrows =

    Lowered Eyebrows =Askew Eyebrows =

    Concave Eyebrows =

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    A heads up

    Most of us, while listening to someone speak,

    tend to nod our heads, either in agreement or to

    convey that we are interested in what he or she

    has to say. Be careful to avoid rapid nodding,

    which suggests that you are impatient and too

    eager to add something to the conversation.

    Slower nodding implies interest, validates the

    speaker's comments, and subtly encourages

    him or her to continue. Tilting your head slightly,

    combined with eye contact and a natural smile,

    also conveys interest, even friendliness andapproachability.

    Upper body strength

    Creating a strong first impression starts with a

    confident handshake. Use one hand and always

    shake vertically three times. Be sure to put your

    hand all the way into the other person's hand so

    your thumbs touch; do not give a wimpy

    fingertip handshake. And always smile and

    make eye contact when you are shaking hands.

    - 14 -

    Speaking of hands, professionals like to see the

    hands of potential business partners, so keep

    yours well groomed, and, after the handshake,

    in front of your body, with arms crossed at hip

    level. Avoid fidgeting with objects (e.g., pens,

    paper, your hair), pen tapping, or drumming offingers, all of which can suggest impatience or


    Your upper body posture is also important in

    m ak in g a p os it iv e i mp re ss io n i n a ny

    conversation or presentation. A closed-off

    posture tells others that you are close-minded,

    w hi le a n o pe n p os tu re s ym bo li zes a n

    enthusiastic attitude. Finally, mirroring or

    imitating the actions of the person you are

    conversing with indicates that you like and

    respect them, and wish to be friendly. Be careful

    not to mirror negative nonverbal behavior.


    Closed-off Posturelacking interest

    or feeling inferioranxious, uptight

    can be just coldor protecting the body

    agitated, anxious, boredbored, or

    has something to say

    Shoulders hunched forward =

    Rigid Body Posture =

    Crossed arms (chest level) =

    Tapping fingers =Fidgeting with hands or objects =

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    - 15 -

    Open Postureinterested

    very open to ideas, comfortable

    Remember that your posture can make a

    positive or negative impression when you are

    offered a business or career opportunity. For

    Leaning forward =Fingers interlocked, placed behind head

    leaving elbows open and armpits exposed =

    Getting a leg up

    Smooth moves, smart stances

    Whether you are sitting or standing, a fidgety leg

    s i g n i f i e s a n x i e t y o r i m p a t i e n c e .

    Crossed legs, while sitting, do not necessarily

    mean anything, but when combined with

    bouncing legs, crossed arms, or slumped torso,

    they suggest a closed-off posture.

    Good overall posture and movement convey

    assurance, professionalism, and credibility.

    For example, standing straight and tall is a sure-

    fire indicator of self-confidence and self-

    awareness. If you have a habit of slumping or

    hunching your back, you can unlearn that

    behaviour through practice, and by building

    your self-esteem.

    - 16 -

    example, standing tall with strong shoulders,

    head up, arms out by your sides and closed fists

    says that you are ready for any challenge that

    comes your way. If you stand with your

    shoulders hanging, arms folded, and leaning to

    one side, people will assume you aren't ready for

    or interested in the task in question.

    Quick tips on movements, posture and stance,

    and how they are interpreted:

    sensualopen and comfortable

    closed,uncomfortable, disagreement

    vulnerable, protectivewaiting, angry

    restlesslooking for security

    in controlfeeling of inadequacy

    feeling heavyresponsibility (carrying a heavy load)

    unsupportedlack of interest or enthusiasm

    various meanings; ifspeaking, it may conflict with your message


    if speaking, it may mean a lack ofconfidence

    Playing with hair =

    Hands unlocked =Crossed arms (at c...