Tuesday, June 27, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Six

Combinations Substantiate Isolated Cues 
One piece of nonverbal communication out of context may not provide enough information to provide the receiver with conclusive evidence of a speaker’s intent. Evidence is significantly stronger when there are several pieces of information that complement one another.

Let’s imagine a young man courting a young woman. He comes to see her and presents her with flowers. What does he think if she simply smiles? Is she pleased? Is she simply responding that way because she thinks it’s appropriate and feels she has to? What if she also moves slightly closer to him, places her hand on his lower arm, and says, ‘Thank you.’ Body language is more convincing when more than one expression presents concurrently.

Transitions Substantiate Isolated Cues 
While individual movements or positions are not conclusive, transitions from one to another definitely direct the careful observer to meaningful conclusions.

Let’s assume two business people are engaged in an important negotiation. Throughout a meeting, they are both engaged and leaning forward as they speak with one another. At some point, one person proposes a new idea. The other responds by leaning back in his chair, raising his arms and clasping his hands behind his head. How do you think the negotiations are going? The transition from one position to another speaks volumes. #nonverbal #nonverbalcommunication #bodylanguage

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Tuesday, June 20, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Five

Be an Effective Speaker

Face the person you are addressing. Sitting at an angle or facing away from someone suggests you are not interested. It may also make you look rude.

Use a conversational tone. Change the pace at which you speak occasionally to maintain interest. Place emphasis on certain words and phrases to underscore important points you are making. Use pitch and volume to your advantage. And don’t race through what you have to say. You will appear nervous.

Stand about two feet away from the person you are talking to. It’s a distance you should both feel comfortable with. Standing closer will make the other person feel as though you are encroaching on their space which triggers defensiveness. Standing further away is awkward and will make the other person question how you feel about them.

Use gestures to emphasize the points you make but limit the space in which you make them. Avoid pointing at anything or anyone -- especially the person you are talking to. It is not only bad manners, it’s aggressive and will not be well received. The experts have conducted many studies that demonstrate the importance of nonverbal communication. Being aware of what their research indicates is just one more way you can be sure to communicate to the best of your ability.

Lon Chaney Sr. was one of the most famous actors from the silent film era. He was known as ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces’ because of his ability to not only transform himself through creative makeup but also project different personalities and feelings without the use of words. Chaney was raised by parents who could not hear or speak, which forced him to cultivate his nonverbal skills. By addressing this need he inadvertently trained himself to understand and convey deep feelings without talking.

He became a master of body language. Early Hollywood recognized his talent and took advantage of it by casting him in hundreds of roles. While the silent film era is long over but a command of body language remains important. You can improve your personal and professional relationships by cultivating your ability to understand nonverbal communication.

When talented actors play roles, they recognize it is imperative to provide many believable cues to be convincing. This entails providing verbal and nonverbal communication that conveys what the character is feeling. Just speaking with expression is not enough. Just having certain facial responses is not enough. Just having telling mannerisms is not enough. All different aspects of the performance have to work together. #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

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Four

Using Body Language Effectively Always be as aware of a person’s body language as you are of the words they speak. When you first meet someone, it’s not unusual for them to appear nervous or reserved. This makes sense. After all, they don’t know you and don’t know what to expect. If you have perfected your nonverbal communication, you will most likely be able to set them at ease. As a result they will tend to display more open body language.

If someone responds positively to you, you know you are on the right track. If you sense a negative reaction, you should change gears and modify the direction you are headed in. Try to figure out what the problem is to determine how to proceed. Try asking open-ended questions to increase involvement. Focus on the other person’s interests. Figure out something you have in common to establish increased rapport before moving ahead.

Being an Effective Listener Lean forward slightly. If you lean backward the other person may be confused. Are you comfortable or distracted? Are you simply relaxed or are you being disrespectful?

Pay attention to your posture. It speaks volumes. Don’t slump. It’s unattractive and riddled with negative nonverbal cues. If you are seated, sit up straight and leave your arms and legs uncrossed. If you are standing, don’t lean against walls or doors as if you cannot support yourself. Refrain from constantly shifting your body weight from one foot to the other. It’s distracting.

Be attentive and try not to fidget. Don't finger your jewelry, hair, clothing, or anything in your pockets. It suggests boredom and impatience with the speaker or the topic. Either way, it is unattractive.

Maintain good eye contact. It says you are paying attention. It says you are interested. It says you want to be there. Avoid staring, however. It will only make others uncomfortable.

Be aware of what you are doing with your arms and hands. If you fold your arms in front of you others may interpret this to mean you are unreceptive. Resting your clasped hands in your lap suggests you are critical of what is being said. Can’t you just picture someone doing this with pursed lips?

Nod your head from time to time. It lets others know that you are actively listening. #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

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

How to Read Body Language: Part Three

Gesturing. Using gestures to speak is more common in some cultures than others. Talking with one’s hands, especially with exposed palms, demonstrates openness and involvement. Fidgeting, on the other hand, is most often a sign of boredom, nervousness or lack of patience.

Touching. A well-intentioned touch can easily be misconstrued. Be careful. Don’t touch unless you have mastered the art of nonverbal communication. You will be treading on thin ice.

Mirroring: Pay attention to the person you are talking with. In what position are they standing or sitting? How fast are they talking? What is the speed of their breathing. Try mimicking these cues to establish rapport more quickly.

Note Taking. Do you want to let the person you are speaking with know that you find what they are saying of importance? Take notes. It’s a great compliment. Keep your verbal and nonverbal messages congruent. This is the best way to deliver your messages. If, however, you do make a hostile statement in a friendly voice, the listener will discount the hostility and perceive the message to be friendly. And that’s because nonverbal communication is more powerful than the words you speak.

Professor Ray Birdwhistell of the University of Louisville determined that more than two-thirds of communication in face-to-face settings takes place nonverbally. Fellow researcher Albert Mehrabian discovered that only 7 percent of communication is verbal. His studies indicated that 38 percent of communication can be attributed to the tone of one’s voice while a whopping 55 percent results from facial expression and body language. Add to this the fact that nonverbal communication reveals a person’s true feelings when it is contrary to spoken language.

People may be dishonest in what they say but facial expressions and other body language tend to be more telling. When a person's words and body language are consistent, we believe that person. When their words and body language say different things, we tend to believe the body language and doubt the words. Bottom line. You need to be cognizant of nonverbal communication and how to use it to your best advantage to be an effective communicator. #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

How to Read Body Language: Part Two

Handshakes and Hands. One of the first things you do when you are introduced to someone is shake hands. What does your handshake say about you? What do others’ handshakes say about them? I am always surprised when I shake hands with someone who only proffers their fingers or presents like a limp fish. It is equally disturbing to have your hand grasped by what someone who seems intent on breaking your fingers. Not too strong. Not too weak. Your handshake says a lot about you and it needs to be perfected.

Hands are not just for shaking. Exposing them when you gesture suggests honesty and truthfulness. Movements with your palms positioned downward suggests authority. A person may make a fist and with an accompanying gesture that signifies ‘ataboy.’ One may pound their fist on a table for emphasis. Simply clenching ones hands suggests anger and aggression.

Leaning Forward or Backward. People who are interested lean forward. When someone leans backward they are generally rejecting you or remaining aloof.

Standing and Distance. In the United States, most people are comfortable standing just under two feet away from someone they are speaking with. Further apart is strained. Closer has sexual overtones and creates responses in accordance with the feelings of the one being approached. Comfortable distances vary dramatically from culture to culture as do other nonverbal signals.

Nodding. Nodding in response to another’s remarks suggest interest and understanding. Bobbing of one’s head, on the other hand, indicates the person you are talking with has tuned you out. Shaking of the head is generally a negative response.

Smiles. Smiles demonstrate interest, enthusiasm, excitement, empathy and a host of other positive responses. There is nothing like a genuine smile to convey a positive response. Frowning or a narrowing of the lips, on the other hand, is negative.

Facial Expressions. Expressions can be very telling. A wrinkled brow may indicate one is perplexed. Raised eyebrows can demonstrate enlightenment. Looking around all the time suggests disinterest. Opening one’s mouth frequently makes it appear you want to interrupt. Try observing others and their facial expressions to see all the things that can be conveyed with one’s face. #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