Body Language – 5 Secrets to Get What You Want!

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Body language is a powerful tool that can affect the way we think, and influence the decisions that we make. When used skillfully, it is possible to influence others and make them think and react the way you want them to behave, by strategically projecting your own intentional body movements, facial expressions and gestures first.

Projecting powerful cues and avoiding a few simple pitfalls will serve you better in two simple ways:

1. You will look and feel more confident when you use positive body language. When you move and carry yourself with confidence and appear to “project” positive vibes, you immediately feel more poised and in control.

2. Body language communication is infectious. We tend to mimic one another in conversation. Have you noticed how we seem to match the other person’s speech rate, body movements, gestures and facial expressions?

Isn’t it amazing that we do this every day when we communicate. Yet we do so, without even realizing it.

If you use positive body language, the other person is more likely to use positive body language (mirror you), which will in turn make the other person feel certain emotions (happier, or more confident in their decisions etc.)

Caution: The opposite also holds true so don’t display body language movements, facial expressions or gestures which are negative in tone or thought, if your intent is not to do so.

We know that using positive body language improves everyone’s mood. Look at how a stand up comedian can use the gestures, facial expressions and body movements to make an audience laugh. Quite often the verbal message is funny but the body language simply amplifies the humor and audience reaction.

Here are a few ways to positively communicate more effectively without the use of words:

1. Pay attention to your own positive cues which you project.

a. Make direct eye contact whenever possible. About 70% is acceptable in North America and United Kingdom. In Japan for instance the acceptable “gazing rate” is closer to 50% and in most Scandinavian countries, acceptable “gazing rates” can be as high as 90%. Realize that cultural differences are one of the three keys in body language interpretation.

b. Smile or relax your lips. Avoid pursing your lips or touching your face repeatedly. Nobody trusts someone who touches their face repeatedly while speaking.

c. Stand with an open posture. Keep your arms and legs loose and relaxed and try to stand off to the side, either on a slight angle to the other person or right eye to right eye if directly across from the other person. Looking into the left eye of the other person is most comfortable when speaking or listening.

d. Keep your palms faced upward and hands relaxed when speaking. It’s important that the open palm is revealed more frequently while gesturing when speaking. This appeals to the unconscious mind that you are non-threatening.

e. Avoid nervous or fidgeting gestures such as tapping your nails or jingling change. This signals a high level of “internal dialogue” or “self chatter” taking place. It can project that you are anxious, restless, and nervous or simply want to move on.

2. Pay close attention to the body language of the other person as you maintain dialogue. Watch out for signs of negative body language or clues that the customer is bored. This could be having the other person beginning to look over your shoulder, playing with the zipper on a jacket, jingling keys, preening with miscellaneous articles such as scarves, mitts and hats. These are displays of emotion and attitude.

3. Subtly begin to mirror the other person’s body language. If the customer leans forward, you should lean forward, displaying interest. If they have their arms crossed, cross you arms too, but reveal your fingers and ensure they are spread apart. Once you are in rapport, begin to lead. Test to see if you can lead. For instance, if dining with someone, reach for your water glass. If they too reach for theirs and follow you lead, you are now in rapport!

4. When you want to inject a more positive tone into the conversation, slowly shift your body language to appear more positive. Uncross you arms and legs, tilt your head slightly when listening, and straighten your head when speaking. Nobody is taken seriously when they speak with a tilted head in business. (Note: When dating or flirting, the head tilt works wonders and is extremely powerful!)

5. It’s important to note the following. Try not to change your body language (excessive shifting of the body, touching the face, nervous knee movements, figure four) when you begin talking because this typically will signal that you are trying to take control of the conversation. If possible, you are more appealing if you can shift first or during a pause, be relaxed in posture and then begin speaking.

In short, pay attention and strategically control your body language and observe the reactions you receive from others. With practice, you will begin to realize how effective it is to strategically use your own body to infect the other person and gain the desired outcome you wish.

You will be amazed how simple it is to get what you want, when you want it, without uttering a word!

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