I’m sure you’ve heard of it before in some form or fashion, but words are not the biggest or most important thing that we communicate to other people. As a matter of fact, studies, specifically those done of the Mehrabian nature, show that the actual words you say are only communicating about 9% of the message that the other person is receiving.
35% – is it 35%? Somewhere between 35% and 36% of what they’re getting is in the tone of your voice as you say. That last 54%-55% is your actual body language, the way your expressions are going, how you’re moving your arms and your hands, the way you’ve positioned yourself.
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Quite frankly, if you don’t know anything about body language, you’re missing out on a very large portion of communicating effectively. Just think about that.
If you’ve ever been misunderstood in your life. If you’ve ever felt weird around other people or other people have felt weird around you or if you’ve never clicked with certain groups, maybe it’s just because ya’ll are not communicating on the same level, for the 91% of the reason that has nothing to do with the actual words you’re saying.
So, you want to learn body language? Well, it’s an awesome thing to study and there’s a ton of material out there. I’ve read a couple of books, I’ve seen a couple video training courses and I’ve done my own study and really the best thing you can do is to just pick one that maybe has a lot of reviews on Amazon and then just try everything in it for weeks or months at a time and just get used to it.
Once you’ve actually tried something from a single source, seeing what works, what’s true, what doesn’t work, then you can branch onto other and see where there’s overlapping patterns.
What I would recommend that I found most entertaining, useful, accurate and based on what seemed like legitimate information was Janine Driver’s “You Say More Than You Think.” It’s a good, quick read. It has a lot of really neat exercises in it that will help you pick up the body language skills you need to get that extra edge in communication and understand what people are really saying to you, even if they’re not really saying it with their words.
I think one of the first exercises is videoing yourself talking about a subject that is near and dear to your heart or that is important to you and then putting it aside, learning more from the book and then going back and watching the video and seeing the motions and the expressions and the movements that are talked about in the book after you’ve learned some of them.
It’s an absolutely eye-opening experience and that’s only a couple chapters in. I highly recommend that. Pick up that book. Give it some shots. Learn that communication that you have not probably picked up to date and be more effective.
Good luck and peace out my friends.