Conversations depend highly on our body language. People judge us subconsciously initially when they see us even before we say anything. We can use our body language to help others feel more warm to us unconsciously and in the process, want to communicate or continue to communicate with us. Here are 5 quick and simple ways on how you can use your body to engage more effectively with others
1. Open your body up
When we open our body, people generally respond more positively to us, seeing us as more approachable, confident, comforting and a more attractive. It also changes our state and makes us happier and make better decisions. A simple example is not avoiding the crossings of your arms.
2. 60-70% eye contact
For most cultures holding eye contact is crucial for rapport and also intimacy. People are more likely to feel better about you when you hold eye contact, whether that be in business or for intimacy. Avoid turning it into a staring competition, use the situation to depend on when to look away.
3. Body positioning
The way we angle our body is crucial to conversations. For some, we may need to be more direct and front on, other times facing the side of a person. Generally if you are meeting a new person a 45 degree angle to each other is a great position keeping low pressure on each person, or even side to side is okay. When rapport is establish you will tend to face each other directly. People can use the belly button principle aligning each others belly button when facing each other shows you are deep in rapport.
4. Facial expressions
A smile can be very comforting and appealing to people. A recent study mentioned that men prefer women to smile to them, whereas women prefer a man to give them a sort of mystical glance. Sounds strange but its important to turn that mystical glance into a smile after eye contact is established or you have there attention.
5. Your State
The time of the day, the amount of sleep you had, how busy you are, the weather. All these factors can change your state so be sure to be conscious of how these are effecting your state and ability to have energy around others. Some incantations, anchors or changes in physical state can help to quickly change your state and put you in your optimal state to communicate at your prime.
Body language plays an important role in our ability to communicate. By learning how to express your body language, it can help you engage with others, be more persuasive, likable and lead to more opportunities and success in the future.
Great books to help you understanding non-verbal communication are:
The definitive book to body language by Allan & Barbara Pease
Human Lie Detection and body language 101: by Vanessa Van Edwards