Wednesday, May 24, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part One

There are two ways you can use body language to enhance your face-to-face interactions: by observing the body language of the person you’re speaking to and by controlling your own body language. Understanding what others are telling you through their nonverbal communication and taking control of the signals you are sending has the potential to improve your ability to communicate. Your body’s actions and responses actually do speak louder than words.

It’s all a matter of knowing what to look for. Positive nonverbal communication is usually quite reliable as an indicator of the way a person feels unless gestures become exaggerated. Exaggerated communication suggests a negative response. Negative nonverbal actions are less reliable. Actions that are most often construed as negative may simply reflect comfort level, energy level or personal distraction. Do not jump to conclusions if you observe what you think is negative body language. Here are some things to look for when you are communicating with someone:

Relaxed Posture. There are probably no major barriers to communication if the person you are talking with appears comfortable and is breathing naturally. If their body is tense, their motions choppy, their hands clasped in front of them, or they have turned their palms face down on the table in front of them, there may be cause for concern.

Body Language. A person who is relaxed and open generally keeps their arms, legs, and feet uncrossed. Keeping one’s jacket open is also a sign of openness -- and honesty. Crossing one’s arms is often a sign of defensiveness, and if it is done in conjunction with leaning back, it may convey superiority or smugness. If it’s done in the context of an established relationship, it may simply be a relaxed gesture. Leaning forward demonstrates interest and involvement.

Eye Contact: Direct eye contact is generally expected in western cultures. It demonstrates the person you are talking with is interested in you and what you have to say. It builds trust and strengthens the bond with the person you are communicating with. When we are talking with someone we generally maintain eye contact for about one-third of the time, looking away from time to time. To look at someone less suggests you are bored or have something to hide. It may convey a lack of interest which makes the speaker feel uncomfortable. Looking at someone for longer periods of time may intimidate them or, conversely, demonstrate enthusiasm and caring. It depends on what other nonverbal communication accompanies the prolonged eye contact. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Monday, May 15, 2023

How to Read Body Language: The Definitive List

Here are some lists of nonverbal cues that tend to substantiate one another. The presence of multiple signs generally leads to reliable conclusions or confirmation of what you perceive.

• Inhaling fully 
• Rocking one’s body 
• Shifting weight forward or upward

• Closing eyes 
• Falling posture 
• Turning away from you

• Asymmetrical position 
• Blinking eyes 
• Facing downward 
• Fidgeting 
• Furrowed brows 
• Random Movements 
• Rubbing of eyes 
• Shifting in one’s seat 
• Shuffling feet 
• Wandering eyes

• Clenching teeth or hands 
• Crossing arms or legs 
• Pointing legs toward exit 
• Placing hands on hips 
• Turning upper body away

• Covering mouth with hand 
• Touching nose

• Expanding gestures 
• Spreading arms and legs 
• Standing with toes out

• Bouncing knee crossed over leg 
• Crossing legs 
• Tapping Feet 
• Rapping fingers on one hand against table

• Leaning head and/or body forward and blinking 
• Raising eyebrows inquiringly 
• Smiling

Questioning honesty? 
• Clenching teeth 
• Furrowing brows 
• Looking downward 
• Grimacing 
• Compressing lips in a thin line 
• Squinting

• Aligning shoulders 
• Establishing increased eye contact 
• Leaning in

• Crossing arms 
• Grimacing 
• Looking away 
• Stiffening of body

• Crouching 
• Hugging themselves 
• Reaching up to touch their throats 
• Standing, toes pointed inward

Nonverbal clues are just that -- clues. No one exhibits every classic symptom. Sometimes people have taken charge of their nonverbal communication and don’t show any marked indications you might expect. But most often, like the actors who portray emotions, people you communicate with will provide some nonverbal messages that reveal what they are feeling. Just look. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

How to Write a Powerful Resume

Your resume is an opportunity to meaningfully differentiate yourself from the competition. Speak with your own voice. Share what you do along with the associated benefits. Let the reader know you’re special and why. Avoid corporate jargon. And don’t use over-worked meaningless phrases like ‘results-oriented.’ Develop several resumes that are job-specific to apply for different kinds of positions.

State Your Objective at the Onset. Modify it when applying for different jobs to increase your chances of being considered. Each company needs to know there is a good fit.

Use Original Creative Language. Let your voice shine through. This is a positive way to differentiate yourself from other applicants. Use strong verbs and powerful descriptions when describing what you have accomplished. If you have great communication skills, make sure they shine throughout your cover letter and resume.

Be Specific. Vague general language is meaningless and wastes the reader’s time. It also makes you sound like every other applicant. That’s not a good strategy for getting an interview or landing the job.

Be Concise. State your ideas succinctly. If you are relatively new in the workforce, you should have no trouble keeping your resume to one page. If your experience and credentials are more extensive you’ll need more space but should still make a concerted effort to edit appropriately so your resume does not become unwieldy. Shoot for two pages.

Share Your Accomplishments. If you deliver 110 percent on the job, say so and let the reader know the impact. Provide work history, education and training. Then highlight relevant skills and achievements. Now is not the time to be modest. Make sure your prospective employer knows the value you bring and why you will be an asset to the company.

Create a Visually Attractive Design. Your resume should be clean and simple with significant white space. Choose one font and stay with it. Use variations of that font for different purposes. Use bullet points when appropriate. And print your resume and cover letter on high quality paper. It helps make a positive first impression.

Include a Cover Letter. This is your opportunity to offer compelling reasons for why the reader should consider you. Focus on your most outstanding attributes. Be original and use a conversational tone. Close with a request for an interview. Nothing beats face-to-face communication for establishing rapport and advancing your cause.

Be Sure to Proofread. Bad grammar, typos and misspelled words are very telling. If you can’t manage to get these things right with your resume, what can the reader expect when you’re on the job? #resume #resumewriting #curriculumvitae

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

How to Build Sales Through Active Listening

Be the most effective salesperson you can be by having a customer focus. How do you cultivate a customer focus? By listening, interpreting, evaluating, and understanding your customers’ wants and needs. It’s only after listening and internalizing your customers’ goals that you can respond appropriately.

Ask good questions and then listen carefully to the responses. Be sure to observe nonverbal communication, too, including tone, pitch, intonation and energy level. Note body language to truly understand what your customers are trying to tell you. Being an active listener does not minimize your need to be clear, concise and persuasive. It simply improves your ability to perform those tasks to the best of your ability. Astute listening skills arm you with the tools you need to respond appropriately and be more successful.

Establish conversations where there is interaction between you and your customers. Ask open-ended questions. Listen to the responses. Respond by letting them know how you interpreted what they said to make sure you didn’t misunderstand. Listen again and then ask another question that will help you address their wants. You’ll not only get the information you need but also establish a relationship with customers that has the potential to bring in future business.

Customers appreciate it when you listen attentively. They want you to focus on them -- tune in to their special needs. You can let them know you are listening by nodding from time to time or with brief spoken responses. If there is something you don’t understand, don’t act as though you do. Ask for clarification.

Don’t let your mind drift or look around to see what else in going on in your store or office. Don’t worry about what you will say next. That will happen naturally by responding to what the customer has to say. Work on solving customer problems and becoming the ultimate resource person for subsequent ones.

The best salespeople don’t sell products or services. They solve their customers’ problems. By asking open-ended questions you can sometimes uncover issues the customer wasn’t aware of and avert a problem before it occurs. That makes you a hero -- a ‘go to’ person who can be relied on to not only solve but also avoid problems. When you listen actively, you position yourself to identify and address customer needs productively and profitably. That’s the stuff great salespeople are made of. And it all happens because you are a good listener. #listening #interpersonalcommunication

Check out my book, Louder Than Thunder, a parable about listening for all ages. I have copies available.

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms

Monday, May 1, 2023

How to Become the ‘Go To’ Person in Your Industry (Part 2)

The Clock is ticking. Are there key people you'd like to meet? Make a point of meeting them. Arrange for a mutual friend or business associate to introduce you. Attend a function at which they're speaking and go up to talk with them when their address is over. Call them to make appointments. Don't wait for opportunity. Make it.

People You Know. Don’t overlook the people with whom you already have relationships. Make your contacts and resources available to people you already know and work with. They are likely to reciprocate.

Use PR To Your Advantage. PR or public relations is similar to advertising. Both get you exposure. Advertising is often hard sell. PR is always soft sell. Advertising costs money. PR is free. If you have a story you believe others would like to know about, contact the media. The media gets its stories because people just like you call them.

Become A Sponsor. Consider sponsoring an event or getting your business to do it. Donate a site for a charitable function. Pay for shirts for the local little league team. Contribute favors for a charitable event. This is one more way to gain respect and get your name out there.

Only You. Set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Create a unique identity for yourself. Have a logo and/or slogan that attracts people and makes them think of you. Free gifts? Letters of thanks? Offer something extra that meaningfully differentiates you.

Reputation. Reputation. Reputation. Develop a reputation for high quality and reasonable prices, honesty, and respect. Cultivate qualities in yourself that you value in others. Give your customers and clients a reason to refer their friends.

Find A Happy Medium. Some folks specialize. Some folks don't. Find yourself a niche but don't make it too narrow. That's how to have your cake and eat it, too. Don't expect to make these changes overnight! Take one step at a time. You'll be surprised how quickly you can get where you want to go and become others ‘go to’ person in the process.

Flirting with becoming a film angel? Let me know and I’ll keep you in the loop with future developments about Bernhardt on Broadway, the movie musical I’m producing about Sarah Bernhardt. 😊 #musicals #moviemusicals #musicalfilms #musicalfeaturefilms