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11 Body Language Tricks To Make You Successful In Life

11 Body Language Tricks To Make You Successful In Life

Getting your body language down is imperative in life. Whether you’re a businessman or a deli clerk, if you deal with people you have to know how to communicate effectively with them.

They say up to 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. Therefore, it’s essential that you understand what you’re saying beyond just the words you’re uttering.

Here are 11 tricks to better understand body language and communicate more proficiently.

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1. Use mirroring

Mirroring is doing what the other person you are speaking with is doing, albeit subtly. You don’t want to blatantly copy every little action they make, but you do want to delicately do, as they do. By mimicking their actions, whether it’s crossing your arms if they have their arms crossed, speaking soft if they speak soft, or keeping great eye contact if they keep it on you—you build a rapport with the individual. They feel more like you and therefore they feel more connected to you. It’s really effective in this sense. It can be used anyplace, but is especially helpful on dates, business meetings, and when meeting someone new.

2. Don’t make unnecessary adjustments

Oftentimes, nervous men will cross their arm over their body in an attempt to make an adjustment to say a cuff-link or a watch on that arm. They may be walking in front of a large crowd, or walking up to a beautiful woman, or perhaps getting on stage to make a speech, but by making this unnecessary adjustment on their arm, they’re displaying a great amount of insecurity. They do this as an unconscious attempt at covering their body with their arm. This action is all too common in guys and must be avoided. Stop fiddling around with something you don’t need to and you will not reveal your potential uncomfortable-side to the world. Instead, keep your arms on each side and confidently stroll into wherever you are going!

3. Do the power pose

The power pose is the extension of your arms up and over your head as high as possible. It creates a V-shape over your head. This pose actually has been studied and documented to increase testosterone, confidence, and leadership qualities in all who make it. Next time you’re feeling nervous or unsure of yourself before a big meeting, raise up those arms of yours and strike a power pose! You’ll be happy you did.

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4. Uncross those legs

When people cross their legs, they signal that they are really resistant and unreceptive. It can be great if you want to distance yourself from someone, but if you are negotiating a great deal on a new car you want to buy or if you’re trying to convince your boss for a new raise, displaying resistance is not a good idea! Instead, uncross your legs and be open with your posture. After all, we all love getting a great deal!

5. Laugh to really connect

What’s better than a smiling, happy face? A smiling, happy, and laughing face. Laughter signals the ultimate form of connection between two people and it speaks so many volumes of rapport and bonding. Laugh when you want to really connect with someone in a business sense or a personal sense. Laughing on a date or making your date laugh are incredible signs of attraction and affection. Telling a playful and pertinent joke during an interview can be a great ice-breaker and a great way to connect with your potential boss! Laughing, and getting someone else to laugh, can be extremely beneficial when it comes to communicating effectively!

6. Uncross your arms

Just as crossing your legs can be a bad body language position to take, so can crossing your arms. Crossing your arms signals defensiveness and skepticism. When you cross your arms you distance yourself from whoever you are speaking with. Instead, uncross your arms next time you are trying to connect with someone you’ve just met and you’ll notice it’s easier to build a rapport with them.

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7. Lift your chin up

When you lift your chin up, you display a great amount of pride, confidence, and dominance. If you’ve ever seen someone with their head down, you’ll understand the importance of lifting it up! By keeping it up you show you’re content with yourself and secure in who you are. Next time you want to display confidence, such as on-stage making a speech, telling a story to a group of friends, or interviewing for a desired position, keep your chin up!

8. Keep your palms up, too

When you are communicating with your hands, make sure you effectively incorporate the palms-up position. By doing this you subconsciously communicate trust. This shows that you are open and not hiding anything with whoever you are talking to. You don’t have to have your palms up the entire time, but regularly having them up is a good idea. This technique is incredibly effective in sales, marketing, or in trying to convince someone of something. Basically, any place where honesty or integrity may be in question.

9. Nod your head

When trying to build rapport with someone speaking to you, nod your head on occasion when the person says new things. This is a huge sign that you are in agreement with them and that you are listening and accepting what they are telling you. It creates a great bond in conversation when the listener is nodding their head and displaying that they are really listening. Next time a friend or spouse is telling you a story, nod your head occasionally and you’ll find them happier because they appreciate your listening skills.

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10. Refrain from tapping your foot

Look, you may be bored, and you may want to do something else—like hit up that new burger joint down the street—but tapping your foot while your manager is making a point about something important, is not going to make him happy! In fact, it’s going to annoy him because you’re body is telling him how bored he is making you. Instead, keep your foot still for another minute or two, and let him vent. Instead of annoying him, listen to him (or at least pretend to) and really connect with him. The next time he reviews his upcoming promotions, you might just be on the top of the list!

11. Gently touch the person on the arm

By gently touching someone you are speaking with on the arm, say when you are telling a story or making a light-hearted joke, you build the feeling of trust up. This is not to say it’s okay to go around touching people all the time, it’s not. However, this is referring more to a light touch on someone’s arm or a playful pat on the shoulder or some other non-intimate place. By doing this, you actually create a bond between you and the person, and not just a literal connection, but a mental one as well. Next time you are on a date with someone, try touching them lightly while in conversation and you’ll notice a better connection.

There you have it! 11 tricks to help you succeed in your personal and professional life! You may not be the best speaker or the best chatter, but if you can get your body language down, you can be the best communicator! And this is so much more important in the overall picture. After all, communication is what life is all about, and your body communicates almost everything!

Featured photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr.com

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Justin Stenstrom

Nationally-Acclaimed Life Coach

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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