Research suggests that up to 98% of what you say is in your body language, tone and physical environment, not in your words. So here’s how to make sure you’re sending the right signals in every situation, from experts in psychology, interrogation and communication!
- First scenario: you’re disagreeing with the boss. The key, according to former Army interrogator Greg Hartley, is to make sure there are no physical barriers between you. Remove things like purses or cups of coffee, and if you can get them out from behind the desk, even better! Cutting down on physical barriers keeps the lines of communication open.
- Next: you’re on a first date. If you’re nervous you might fidget or close your body off by crossing your arms, but that signals that you’re not interested. Dr. Ann Demerais is a psychologist and communications expert. She says eye contact and smiling are the two most important things you can do. She also recommends leaning forward just slightly to show you’re interested.
- Third scenarios: meeting the in-laws. We all want to make a great first impression but our nerves can get the better of us. Master interrogator Greg Hartley says there are tricks for keeping nerves under control, like curling your toes inside your shoes. No one can see you do it and it forces the more rational part of your brain to take over and suppresses your flight-or-fight response to stress.
- Like if you’re public speaking. In surveys, people often site public speaking as one of their major fears. If that’s you, here’s how to own the stage: Dr. Ann Demerais is a psychologist and she says don’t slump, stand very tall to project an air of confidence. And make eye contact to connect to your audience. Also, move around. The more you use the stage, the bigger your physical presence gets and the more confident you appear.
- Another nerve-wracking scenario: a job interview. In a way, a job interview is kind of like a date, so you want to use some of the same tactics. Dr. Jonathan Alpert is a psychotherapist. He says lean forward and tilt your head. Those two responses are the universal signals for “I’m listening.” And keep your hands in your lap or on the armrests to show you’re calm, but don’t be afraid to move them around to emphasize a point. According to Dr. Alpert that injects energy into the conversation.
Try these tips and hit me up on Facebook, tell me how they worked for you! Facebook.com/JohnTesh.