Body language matters too!
I am happy to announce a quarterly guest blog series starting this month – “What you need to know to master business body language.” Barbara Chatzkel, The Body Language Pro, is going to give you guidance on what you need to know about your business body language. This is so important as we know that clothes and our appearance are part of forming first impressions. But when was the last time you thought about what you are saying with your body language? This blog is the first in the series of guest blogs – I know you will enjoy learning as much about body language as I have!
What you need to know about body language – by Barbara Chatzkel
You’ve worked to develop a professional, comfortable and unique wardrobe sense that showcases the inner you. But, when was the last time you thought about the body language that you use every minute of the day? Is it broadcasting the same unique, professional and comfortable body language message that you convey with your wardrobe?
Once a quarter I’ll be guest blogging on Business Body Language so that your professional appearance and your body language messages are congruent and fabulous.
What’s there to learn about business body language? EVERYTHING!
I am a confirmed people watcher, both professionally and personally. When I am working as an executive coach and a consultant, I continuously and carefully decode the visual information my client is broadcasting through their body language.
Yes, we all are a constant broadcast of a multitude of body language signals. Why should you focus on the signals you are broadcasting or pay attention to the signals you are receiving from others?
Multiple research studies findings show that:
- People form their first impression of you very quickly. The statistics range from one-tenth of a second, to three seconds, to seven seconds, to ten seconds.
- If you are walking to the front of the room to begin a presentation, the audience has formed strong first impressions before you show one slide or even say “good morning.”
- The information used to form that first impression is overwhelmingly non-verbal. Depending on the situation, your nonverbal presence accounts for between 60% and 93% of first impression data.
- “You only have one chance to a make a first impression” rings true.
And you form first impressions of others just as quickly.
Understanding and mastering business body language helps you present your message as effectively as possible. It also provides you with the tools to understand the person across from you and whether or not their words match their body language broadcasts.
BODY LANGUAGE TIP: If there is dissonance between what a person is saying and what their body is broadcasting, go with the body language signals. In general, body language doesn’t lie.
Here’s a preview of the business body language blogs to come.
In each guest blog I’ll describe one of the five body language broadcast centers and how you can evaluate your effectiveness in making your message consistent with what your body is broadcasting. You’ll also learn to translate the body language of others so you get the “real” message.
The five business body language broadcast centers are listed below in order of importance in communicating your message:
- Feet and Legs
Each of five broadcast centers sends out its own strong signal, yet each of those messages is only part of the whole. It requires combining the spoken word, the appearance, and all the different body language signals to decipher the full message. If you only see my hands moving, you’ll get some sense of my message and my emotions, but it is only a fraction of the full story.
Becoming aware of your body language and the body language of others is the first step in becoming a Body Language Pro. Over the next several months, take time to observe others’ body language in different situations – in an open office setting, at a networking function, during a sporting event, or in a presentation. Note the similarities and differences in the situations.
Jot down your thoughts and email Barbara (firstname.lastname@example.org). For those who send in thoughts (or questions), I’ll provide you with my Body Language Checklist for Meetings. I’ll compile the answers and the information will be answered throughout the next several blogs.
I look forward to getting to know you as we take the Body Language Pro journey together.
About Barbara: Barbara Chatzkel, The Body Language Pro, is an experienced Executive and Team Business Coach and Speaker. Her interest in business body language has been longstanding. She developed her expertise through negotiations, handling difficult personnel situations, facilitating hundreds of meetings, and coaching business leaders and teams for more than 20 years. Look for Barbara’s book Business Body Language which will be published in late 2018. Learn more by visiting her website.