Reading body language: Body language and non verbal communication encompass so many things that you may or may not think of when it comes to how people are reading you or even when it comes down to what others consider what communication is or how you are effectively or not effectively delivering your verbal or nonverbal message.
If you are delivering a message and it is not understood or even conveyed properly whose fault is that?
That would be for the most part yours. Learning how to control your nonverbal communication or body language signs is all on your shoulders not someone else’s yours.
This may sound harsh but it is your job to gather as much information as possible and do as many role playing or projection projects so that you can overcome persuasive obstacles or stop making mistakes while communicating with others.
No when most people think of communicating nonverbally or with their body language they think of:
- · Hands
- · feet,
- · facial expressions
- · standing
- · sitting
- · Flirting
- · The body language of men vs the body language of women
What has been left out of this equation of what body language is may just surprise some of you.
One of the most overlooked areas of nonverbal communication is that of personal grooming. You don’t have to read minds or be clairvoyant to know that something is out of place with people
How you walk around in public or on video says more about you in the eyes of other people than your words in most instances. You communication skills are more important than you could imagine.
Some of the areas that could be considered as grooming issues can be:
- · You hair and how you decide to keep it. Is it there? Is it stylish? Is it non kept? Did you take the time to get yourself ready for whoever you come across or did you throw a hat on?
- · Next up would be your teeth, now we are not discussing those who were born with a perfect smile but did you brush your teeth when you woke up. As a side note have you considered that bad breath could be looked at as lack of control on your part and then would affect your nonverbal communication? Yes bad breath may be communicating that you don’t care about the recipient of your message. Did you brush your tongue or get the white film off. Would you benefit from teeth whitening? Did you brush your teeth? Is there something there from your last meal. Sometimes people will stare at your teeth and lick theirs while talking to you, this is a fairly good and almost blatant nonverbal sign you have something there at this point it is ok to ask them.
- · Your skin may also determine what others thing about you, once again this is a personal grooming issue. Some people need some lotion to make their skin sparkle just a bit more. Some people have had issues in the past and have developed large or small blemishes. Whatever can be done reasonably to minimize these issues should be done.
- · Facial hair some people prefer moustaches, goatees or Vandyke’s but are those statements trimmed? Where they meant to intimidate? Are they even when trimmed or not trimmed? If the facial hair is long is it intentional to keep people away or hide away from society? These issues or styles can mean more than just conversation pieces they can be deterrents nonverbally or a disguise to slip away.
- · Did you zip your zipper or button your blouse all the way. Either one of this issues can throw off your message nonverbally as it may cause more attention than you would like, If you are a female and delivering a message to men and there is a reason to stare at the button mistake your female body language may portray a message that isn’t wanted. In some instances this can include too much or excessive cleavage. Now understand that there is not a meter or judge for excessive cleavage but if it is getting too much attention and derailing your verbal message it may need to be toned down meaning either closing another button or eve using a jacket.
For the men checking to see if your pants are zipped or buttoned is always a good idea. This nonverbal message that could be delivered may cause others to think you are sloppy. This is always a good think to check before standing in front of a room to deliver a message because it will not matter how good what you have to say is nobody will be listening inside they will be laughing and questioning why someone has not told you. As a side note it may be a good idea to wear some underpants on days of presentations if that is not normal for you so that you don’t deliver the wrong message at the worst time.
- · Body odor can also be a sign of self-control. You don’t have to be an expert in reading the body language of men or women to find some of these smells offensive. If you have something that is a distraction from your message it is indeed a way that your non verbal communication can become ineffective.
- · If you take a look at people’s hands are they clean? What do the fingernails look like? Are there callouses or are the hands smooth. In your own mind would you want the other persons hands to touch you? Do you want them anywhere near you? The hands can tell you what possible type of work people do and communicate once again the type of internal self-control that may be used.
- · Make up is a form of non verbal communication to help read women. Now some women over do their make up and you do not need a book on body language to understand that there may be something wrong. If this distraction is made on the part of the woman what beliefs do you have about her? Are your thoughts positive or negative? Is the message she is trying to deliver being distracted?
Remember non verbal communication or people reading your body language is received by others and looked at like a mental algebra formula that determines whether people will be receptive to your message. Body language reading is what the other person believes most of the time when watching you. When you read body language correctly others may think that your skills are on par with mind reading or even being clairvoyant.
If you have anything that is a distraction your non verbal message is interfering with your intended message and therefore ineffective. If your self control is questioned then your abilities may be questioned or put under more scrutiny than normal. Your body language or your nonverbal communication will determine where you go in the future.
As always I would like to thank you in advance for your comments and or questions.
Now go implement!
Scott Sylvan Bell