Learn how you can make your life easier and take yourself to the next level simply by understanding the messages your and others body language says.
BY- Jon Michail
Most people do not realise that body language is what primarily makes up one’s image in another person’s mind. It was Dr. Albert Mehrabian, the famous behavioural psychologist who identified the key components that influence people in communication, be it one-on-one or one to a group. His study results surprised many who had not understood the importance of the non-verbal component of communication.
Research conducted by Dr. Mehrabian has shown that 55% of what people think and believe about you is solely based on how you look (body language). 38% is based on tonality and only 7% of how you are perceived by others depends on verbal communication. This clearly highlights the importance of body language in different arenas of life and how it can make or break your image and personal brand.
Personally, when I first studied Albert Mehrabian’s work on non-verbal communication over 30 years ago, I myself did not believe in his research. But after putting Mehrabian’s theory to the test with senior executives, entrepreneurs, politicians and media personalities, now almost 32 odd years later, I can honestly say Mehrabian’s argument about the importance of non-verbal communication is more important than ever, even more in the fake-news environment we are currently living in.
Your body language (non-verbal communication) makes up a very important part of your overall communication. It tells the world how you “carry” yourself. Non-verbal communication helps a person to gain trust, confidence and respect towards another person, way more faster than verbal communication. In terms of effective and influential leadership a lot depends on how a leader can positively influence and inspire people.
When so much of your daily communication is made up by your body language, how can you positively influence people if you do not understand the ways body language adds to your identity, leadership skills and personal brand?
Don’t be misled by the online ‘Gooroos’. Even in today’s tech savvy world, the most influential medium for communication still remains that of real face-face communication. This is something a lot of people especially executives and entrepreneurs underplay, that in order to be successful you still have to be aware of what your body language might be doing to your personal brand in various different scenarios, also using a VOIP Provider to help your brand and business
As Caroline Goman (PhD), writes in Forbes, more and more business executives are starting to try and learn both how to send the right messages through body language and also how to read messages that other’s body language might convey.
Your body language is part of your personal brand and both go hand in hand. Your body language can increase the value, power and authenticity of your personal brand. Or also it can also devalue, destroy and make your personal brand extremely weak. Your personal brand needs to highlight the strong, authentic and influential YOU in front of the world. Body language adds to the authenticity of an individual’s personal brand.
Congruency is everything when it comes to people thinking of you as a credible person. If your verbal communication is not congruent with what your body language might be conveying, then it makes people uncomfortable, with the end result a loss of trust and credibility in you.
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Image Source- Image Group International
Image Source– Image Group International
As can be seen from Warren Buffet’s quote above, it is extremely easy to ruin your hard earnt reputation in a matter of minutes. This can happen if your body language conveys signals of you being untrustworthy, inauthentic and inconsiderate to others around you. This not only blocks individuals to move ahead in a professional context in the corporate world but it also creates tension in their personal lives.
Poor body language leads to weak personal branding and it’s a recipe for disaster and something that needs to be dealt with urgently as it conveys a lack of confidence.
Image Source– Image Group International
In today’s tech savvy world, many people including successful businesspersons find it highly uncomfortable to have important fact to face interactions. This can result in dire consequences as they may not be able to put their critical points forward and may even devalue the worth of their personal brand.
A personal branding coaching system becomes crucial here to avoid such dire consequences. An expert personal branding coach can teach you even if you are an introvert on how to step outside of your comfort zone and have positive, influential and powerful face-face interactions that will truly make you someone that commands respect, trust and authority.
As I have said before, one of the reasons many people face issues of miscommunication or a breakdown in communication is that a lot of people find it uncomfortable to talk face-face and therefore, prefer to interact via a digital medium. This is where things can go horribly wrong.
Although technology has its perks, we may deny ourselves important interpersonal cues of communication when communicating through a digital medium (even FaceTime, Skype, etc.) and ultimately risk a breakdown in communications.
Therefore, being aware of the ways to positively use your body language in order to strengthen your messaging and personal brand while improving one’s face-face communication skills is of utmost importance in order to succeed.
“No matter what industry you work in, we are all in the people business. Regardless of how tech savvy you may be, face-face meetings are still the most effective way to capture attention of participants, engage them in conversation and drive productive collaboration.”
-Michael Massari (Ceasars Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of National Meetings and Events)
Moreover, body language, personal branding and reputation are all interconnected. Your body language plays a big role in building and also in maintaining your reputation. It is extremely important to build a solid, trustworthy and powerful reputation for an individual because your reputation is your personal branding and something that sets you apart from everyone else in this chaotic world.
Some examples on what body language does and how it can affect your brand are described below-
- Image is everything! Your body language is one of the primary aspects that others around you use to create an image of you in their minds. Your reputation, credibility and your success all depend on what your image is. Therefore, it is extremely important that you are aware of your body language and how it is contributing to your image.
- In a corporate environment or any environment where money and power is prevalent the body language of potential investors and clients can give you an intuitive indication if they are an ideal match to work with you or if you are better off without them.
- Your body language plays an immensely critical part in how successful you are going to be, be it in your personal or professional life.
- Good body language skills help executives to make their employees feel at ease around them, this in turn, allows employees to be more vulnerable and honest. An honest working environment always results in greater results for any corporation in the long term.
- Authentic body language is one of the important aspects of what separates a leader who is trusted, recognised and respected as compared to a leader that most people are sceptical about. Body language plays a massive role on who stands out as a powerful leader.
Image Source– Image Group International
This article was first published in Thrive Global.