The importance of body language
Martha Graham, one of the greatest dancers of all time, emphasized that the body says what words cannot say.
Whether we are smiling or expressionless, looking forward or down, touching others or being distant, we communicate behaviors and emotions that are perceived by others, even subconsciously.
In other words, when we meet a new person and say, “he made a very good impression on me” or “I do not feel very good about him” or “I like his energy”, this is related to the expression of body language.
According to research from Princeton University, it takes just one tenth of a second to draw a first conclusion about the other side. Therefore, it is understood that since in such a short period of time we do not manage to communicate verbally, the first impression is formed at an extremely high percentage by body language.
Essentially, body language is a non-verbal communication, which helps us to express what we want or often reveals something that we may have wanted to show or even hide. Ultimately, it is accomplished through facial expressions, gestures, body movements, rhythm, tone of voice, and even appearance and clothing.
Effective communication is 20% how well you know something and 80% how well you feel about what you know.
Imagine a man who wants to propose to his beloved. The first scenario is to be at home, to look somewhere else when he speaks to her, his voice to be loud and to say to her: “I am very much in love with you. Will you marry me;”.
What did you think of it; Objectively, the words he said were very beautiful.
Let’s go to the second scenario. They are in a very beautiful place, with low music and lighting, he looks at her, smiles, falls to his knees, takes a monolith out of his pocket and in a low, melodic voice says to her: “I do not know what to say, I am anxious. What do you say we get married?
Objectively, less beautiful words than before.
Now close your eyes for a while. Consider the two scenarios. What marriage proposal would you like to make or be made?
Therefore, the fact that body language is not completely controlled, unlike verbal communication, makes it particularly interesting and the message transmitted is authentic.
One of the most important benefits we can get from an open body language is that we ourselves will begin to experience the positive impact internally, in the form of emotions. This psychological principle is called reversal and we are interested in it as follows: when we smile we are more likely to automatically feel happier, when our posture is positive we may immediately become more open to any kind of communication and when we are close to our interlocutor there is a big case to share thoughts and feelings with him more easily.
The last thing I want you to remember is that in the beginning, we may not do so well. Need more effort to have a positive body language, but also to understand others effectively. But do not put it down. He tried again and again. Until you succeed.
In any case, as Winston Churchill used to say: “Success is going from failure to failure, without losing your enthusiasm.”
Nikos Giannakopoulos, Public Speaking Coach, PhD candidate – University of Piraeus
Nikos Giannakopoulos and theSPEAKERS will deliver a 15-hour workshop on December 7 on body language entitled Body speaKING. For more information and registration go here https://thespeakers.gr/product/body-speaking/
Source: Εναλλακτική Δράση by enallaktikidrasi.com.
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