How can I build rapport with people? Do you have any body language tips for me?
These are the two main questions that people used to ask Charles Tabansi, CEO of Dreamerspro, when he was conducting seminars on leadership and public speaking In Italy. In this article, I want to share with you 3 body language tips that he has shared with hundred of thousands of people.
Communication is a complex concept that requires not just verbal exchange but also non-verbal cues that are constantly exchanged consciously or unconsciously between the parties involved.
Whether you are aware of it not, every time you communicate with a person, you are telling them more than what you are verbal expressing. Communication also involves body language cues.
These cues form opinions and leave impressions on the person you are communicating with. Your body language gives your thoughts and true feelings away. You can, however, learn to use body language to your advantage. If you do not master this skill, you might end up passing the wrong message across. Here are three body language tips to build better rapport with anyone.
Handshakes are the most common form of greetings and are acceptable across several cultures. A handshake is a simple way of establishing contact and rapport with the person you are attempting to communicate with.
As simple as a handshake is, there are meanings embedded in the exchange that could create room for the other person to misunderstand you.
When you want to shake a person’s hand, you need to be firm but not too firm that you come off as aggressive. While a flaky handshake makes you look unserious about the encounter, an overly firm handshake might make you come off as being too forceful. Again, when you are shaking a person’s hand, different angles could imply different things.
When you shake a person with your hand on top of theirs, it subconsciously passes across a message of your desire to dominate them during that exchange. While this might be the effect you are going for, you can choose to soften the impact of that by moving in closer and holding the person’s elbow while shaking the person’s hand. This establishes better rapport and camaraderie.
If you want to have a visual representation of when a person is trying to dominate you when shaking hands, then watch the following video.
Your posture when addressing a person says a lot about you, your message and your relationship with that individual. Your posture can emphasise your message and make it all the more believable.
In a pose where you put your hands on your waist and stand tall, your intent could be understood as aiming to exude power. This is called a power pose.
Slouching with your hands folded in front of you only depicts a lack of confidence or intense relaxation. A normal power stance involves you standing straight with your arms straight as well. Your chest is not thrust out so much but just enough to depict that you are confident, yet approachable.
There are postures that represent barriers in non-verbal communication. Crossing your arms across your chest when in a conversation might represent disagreement with the person you are in the conversation with.
Crossing your legs also represents disagreement. If you were at an interview and your interviewer assumes this posture, crossing his legs or arms, you are aware enough to steer the conversation in a different direction. A normal power pose works for presenting yourself as a relaxed yet confident person.
To explain this, I’d utilize an illustration. Imagine you are meeting a person for the first time. It could be a potential client or an interview for a job position.
You greet the person politely, with a formal smile and with a normal level of energy. This is good but it is the amount of energy you put in that you are going to get back. This does not leave any lasting impression on the person, as he was probably greeted the same way by the other potential clients or interviewees that just left.
Now imagine we replay the scenario and this time when you greet this individual, you are not only polite, you also sound energetic and enthusiastic, thereby injecting the person with as much energy as you put into this initial contact.
The message here is, people mirror your energy in a conversation and give that same level of energy and enthusiasm back. Your tonality conveys a lot about what you are attempting to say and the message you intend to pass across.
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What's are your favourite body language tips? Have anything else you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below!
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