INT 050: How to read your team members body language

Linda Yates, 50

Did you know that when we communicate, only 7% is in the words that we say? That means 93% of our communication is through nonverbal language. In today’s episode of IntHERrupt, Linda’s going solo to explain some of her findings and experiences in fostering positive nonverbal communication.

The goal with body language is to look at them in clusters, not just one instance of expression.

  • Nonverbal language is the way you move your body, the way you gesture, whether or not you’re smiling, and whether you make eye contact, all of which impact nonverbal language.
  • Did you know that we make over 3000 facial gestures a day? Humans are far more expressive than we might think.

Linda learned firsthand the importance of body language when interacting with a past COO

  • She wanted to share an idea, but his body language was not receptive to communication. (His arms folded, he was scowling and made no eye contact.)
  • Linda mirrored him, becoming equally closed off. 
  • Soon after, he began to nod and make eye contact, so Linda became more open.  Once they were both open with each other, they were able to share ideas.

Posture is integral to good nonverbal communication.

  • Keep your shoulders back, with your shoulder blades rolled back and down.
  • Keep your head up, and your body open, and your legs uncrossed and your feet flat on the ground.
  • Spending time moving your body and getting exercise will help you be more confident.

Use nonverbal communication to gauge if someone might be deceptive.

  • Sudden jerky movements or covering their mouth after speaking
  • Shifts in voice tone or a sudden dry cough
  • Increased blink rate or clenched eyebrows.
  • They might smile more than usual, trying to overcompensate.

Your body language is just as crucial as your teammates’.

  • As a leader, you want to be approachable. Your job is to listen to others. Therefore, you need to show that you will and do hear people when in conversation with others.
  • Be aware of where your or someone’s feet point. For example, if feet are pointed toward the door, they might be uncomfortable with the situation.
  • If in conversation with someone who is uncomfortable, turn your body on a slight angle, so you aren’t interacting with them head-on.
  • Linda’s final takeaway: Record yourself speaking, whether at an event or even in your living room, and watch your body language. It’s a great way to observe any nervous habits you have that you might not even be aware of.

Do you have any questions about body language or being aware of your own body language? Ask it in Linda’s Facebook group! 

Do you have stories to tell? Connect with Linda to share them. This podcast is produced by TSE Studios. Check out other podcasts by TSE Studios, including this episode’s sponsor, The Sales Evangelist, helping new and struggling sellers close more deals and achieve their sales goals. Subscribe to the IntHERrupt Podcast so you won’t miss a single show. Find us on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher. Audio created by Ryan Rasmussen Productions

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