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  • Is Your Body Telling Tales on You? By Jane C Woods

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    11 posts, 7 voices, 945 views, started Apr 15, 2009

    Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 by Jane Woods

    •  



    • Body language.
      Your words may be saying one thing but your body may be giving out a completely different message! Most of us are very fluent in reading body language even if we don't realise it. You probably don't need telling in words that the girl in the picture is feeling sad or fed up.

      The actual words that someone uses only account for about 7% of the message we receive with over the half the message being a visual one (that's one reason why e-mails can be so disastrous at times; we only get a part of the writer's intended message).

      Stand Up for Yourself
      Have you noticed how we tend to pay more attention to the person who is standing? People who are standing usually look more powerful than those sitting (this fact has particular resonance for anyone with a disability). It's because they are taking up more space.

      We often assume, when we see someone standing amongst a group of people sitting, that they are of higher status. It can also make them look busier and important, as if they have many more demands on their time.

      Sprawl and Be Noticed
      If you are sitting it is still possible to look powerful by taking up as much space as you can. Stretch out your legs as far as you can, have your arms out over your chair, and keep your body movements open and expansive.  

      When you are on the phone and want to feel more powerful and in control, just try standing up. It will help you sound more assertive and project a sense of urgency.

      Read Your Client
      If your client starts using a lot of hand-to-face movements such as scratching their chin, holding their face etc, it most likely means that they are thinking of making a purchase but that something is holding them back; they have a concern about something.

      If customers are unsure about something they often don't ask for clarification but just leave. Reading their body language correctly could help you give them the information they need to feel comfortable enough to proceed.

      Nodding Off
      In the Western world when we're listening a lot of us move our heads or nod, women in particular do this to show that they understand. However, it can look as though we are seeking approval from the speaker and be interpreted as a weakness. If you want to look powerful try and keep your head movements to a minimum.

      Mirror, Mirror!
      We are all attracted to those people who we see as being similar to ourselves. It can create a sense of harmony or belonging if two people are adopting similar poses. Just look at people who are in agreement; they will often be sitting in a similar fashion, mirroring each other's body movements. Sometimes people consciously ape the movements of others in order to create this sense of harmony but be careful, it's easy to make yourself look ridiculous and simply succeed in irritating the other person!

      Stop Fiddling
      And finally, just try and be aware of what gestures and body language you adopt when you are not feeling confident. Do you start to chew your fingernails, or fiddle with your hair? Or maybe you revert to grooming yourself, like fiddling with your socks or brushing down your suit?

      We tend to do this when we are uncomfortable or with someone we are unsure of. We start grooming to make ourselves more presentable or we use the displacement type activities like hair fiddling. All dead give aways of our lack of confidence!

      Watch and Learn
      You may be surprised by how much you know about body language. The next time you find yourself with a few minutes to spare just sit and quietly observe the behaviour of people around you. You will be able to tell a lot from simply watching their body language! But be careful how you are sitting - they may be also watching you!

      Suggestions for Further reading from Amazon
      Body Language by Carolyn Boyes

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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Faye43 wrote Aug 27, 2009
        • This is very informative. Thank you Jane.



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          Coachmombabe wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • This is very good! I never knew the thing about the hand-to-face contact. I don’t have anything to “sell“, but it could perhaps signal someone deeply considering a concept as well?



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Jane Woods wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • Yes, I think so, coachmombabe. No one piece of body language is reliable but taken together you can usually get a good idea.
          Thanks for the comments.
          [Link Removed] 


          Changingpeople, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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          Vikki Hall wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • I have relied on body language to help me understand the people I am communicating with.... I find that I am able to better understand the needs and understanding when I have all the facts.
          I’m passsing this article on....Thx!



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Jane Woods wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • Thank you Vicki! I appreciate it. There is more of the same (well, not the same obviously!) on my [Link Removed] 


          Changingpeople, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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          Tina Sickinger wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • So sorry, but as some of us are DISABLED, standing is not an option and that does not make us any less IMPORTANT than those who can! I take great offense to that section. frown



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          Jane Woods wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • My apologies for offending you, I sincerely didn't mean to. I put that bit in because when I have worked with disabled women they tell me how hugely annoying and offensive it is when people talk over their heads etc, and we have discussed ways of overcoming that.  It was not meant to imply in any sense that people with disability are less important, just commenting on the view that the majority take. The idea that disabled people are less important is anathema to me; I'm so sorry it read it that way.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Marybeth Pitner wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • Thanks, some great advice.  I know I’ll be more aware of my movements and posture.happy



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          Tina Sickinger wrote Aug 28, 2009
        • Jane~ I would like to apologize publicly for the harshness of my post. This truly is NOT my nature, sometimes I just get a little too sensitive, I guess. It is difficult, though when you are disabled as not only do you have this to contend with, but usually bouts of depression to go along with it.
          This was an excellent post and I’m sure many will take away things they can use in their professional lives. estatic



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          Jane Woods wrote Aug 30, 2009
        • Twinkie, thank you! Glad we‘re all OK now;estaticestatic I can understand how you must feel from time to time, and I am so sorry to hear that you also experience depression. My husband does too so I have some first hand experience of the pain that brings.
          But hopefully you are well at the moment and enjoying life!
          Jane



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