Because it hugely impacts on your relationships and interactions.
It greatly influences the impression we make on each other and how other people think and feel about us. So if we get the job, promotion, date, respect, and so on is hugely impacted on by the non-verbal signals we send out.
Does your body language help or hinder you and your efforts? In your personal relationships or career?
Let’s look at some well established facts. Statistics show that people make up their minds about each other in two ways – by what they say, and by how they say it. And here’s where it gets interesting: only 20% of the decision is based on what is said and 80% on how it is said. That’s a whopping 80% down to the non-verbals!
We all make sweeping judgments based on each others’ body language – it hugely impacts on life changing decisions such as who we live with, who we ask out on a date, whether we hire a doctor, lawyer or other professional or not. In the last example, their professional knowledge will be less relevant than their body language!
So yes clearly, our body language largely determines the impression we make on others, and how successful our interactions are.
And of course the body language you display is entirely in your control. As long as you pay it attention. So when you prepare for the job interview, meeting or pitch don’t just think about the information you need to get a cross, but remember to include specific details around how you’ll present the information. Whether your message is heard and understood as you intended will be dependent upon it.
Equally, if you evaluate your life, don’t underestimate the importance of your body language in the current dynamics. If things aren’t great in any of your important relationships, such as that with your partner, other family members, boss, colleagues or friends, unwittingly, you’re probably sending across negative non-verbal cues. This has contributed to, and will continue to reinforce, the current problems in the relationship if left uninterrupted.
So consider the signals you’re sending (maybe frowns, defensive, annoyed or impatient stances and glares). However justified they may feel, they’ll also act as a guarantee that the relationship will continue down the current path. Further and further away from the one you’d really like.
So next time you’re telling an interview panel that you’d be perfect for a role, your partner that you’re sorry you upset him/her, your boss that you look forward to taking more responsibility at work, your colleague that you promise to do something, your children that you believe in them, say it with conviction. The conviction comes from the smile, the nodding head, the confident gaze, the relaxed shoulders and so on. Remember that’s where 80% of what the person opposite bases their opinion about you and what you’re saying on.
Why not set yourself a target to improve or develop positive new or existing relationships this summer? Who knows what it’ll lead to!