Posted tagged ‘Linguistics’

How to Communicate With Body Language

July 24, 2012

BodyLanguageCards - 56 Flash Cards - Master Body Language!

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

It is often said that in face-to-face and even body-to-body communications, the words we speak actually account for less than 10% of the message that we convey, while body language accounts for more than half of our message. Here’s how to start using body language to improve your day-to-day communications and improve your quality of life.

Steps

Understanding Your Own Body Language

  1. Be natural. Even if you were to succeed in controlling your body language “by the book,” you would look fake. While there are certain aspects of body language that can be improved upon to create a more effective message, you still need to act like yourself and not be robotic.
  2. Is he saying hello, goodbye, or stop? Identify your body language patterns. Make a conscious effort to think about what your body is doing in different interactions with different people. A mirror can be useful to examine facial expressions and posture, but mainly you just want to pay attention to what your body does when you’re angry, nervous, or happy.
  3. Determine whether your body language is in sync with your message. Your body language is effective if it communicates the message you want it to communicate. Does your posture communicate confidence, or does it make you seem unsure of yourself even though your words express confidence? If your non-verbal signals match your words, you’ll not only communicate more clearly, you’ll also be perceived as being more charismatic.
    • Look at the big picture. You don’t have to have every little nuance “correct” as long as the overall effect of the cluster is in sync with your message.

Gestures

  1. Emphasize a point. Have more than one gesture. This will help you better get your message across. If you want to make sure you’re not misunderstood, repeat both gestures when you speak the idea aloud. If the listener doesn’t pick up on one gesture, he or she will likely be familiar with the other. You don’t have to use a body language gesture (or two) for every word, but it’s a good idea to have a toolbox of gestures you can use to reinforce very important, yet easily misinterpreted concepts.
  2. Direct the most positive gestures toward the listener. This lets you more clearly indicate that you are offering a favorable outcome to the listener. Direct the most negative gestures away from yourself and the listener. This way you clearly indicate that you wish that no obstacle stands in the way of your intended message.
  3. Use hand gestures carefully. Be conscious of what your hands are saying as you speak. Some hand gestures can be very effective in highlighting your points (open gestures), while others can be distracting or even offensive to some listeners, and can lead to the conversation or listening being closed down (closed gestures). It also helps to watch other people’s hand gestures to see how they come across to you.
  4. Keep a check on other body language signals. Watch for wandering eyes, hands picking at fluff on your clothing and constant sniffling. These small gestures add up and are all guaranteed to dampen the effectiveness of your message.

Being Aware Of Your Audience

  1. Recognize people. Sure, you don’t necessarily know the people in your audience or that new friend in your group, but they’re nodding along with you and looking knowingly at you all the same. This means that they are connecting with you. So reward them with your acknowledgment.
  2. Use facial expressions consciously. Aim to reflect passion and generate empathy with the listener by using soft, gentle, and aware facial expressions. Avoid negative facial expressions, such as frowns or raised eyebrows. What is or isn’t negative is dependent on the context, including cultural context, so be guided by your situation.
    • Be alert for unexpected behavior that suggests you’re cross-culturally colliding, such as a clenched fist, a slouched posture, or even silence.[2] If you don’t know the culture, ask questions about communication challenges before you start to speak with people in their cultural context.
  3. Communicate eye to eye. Eye contact establishes rapport, helps to convince that you’re trustworthy, and displays interest. During a conversation or presentation, it is important to look into the other person’s eyes if possible and maintain contact for a reasonable amount of time (but don’t overdo it; just as much as feels natural, about 2-4 seconds at a time).
    • Remember to take in all of your audience. If you’re addressing a boardroom, look every member of the board in the eye. Neglecting any single person can easily be taken as a sign of offense and could lose you business, admission, success, or whatever it is you are endeavoring to achieve.
    • If you’re addressing an audience, pause and make eye contact with a member of audience for up to 2 seconds before breaking away and resuming your talk. This helps to make individual members of the audience feel personally valued.
    • Be aware that eye contact is culturally ordained. In some cultures it is considered to be unsettling or inappropriate. Ask or research in advance.

General Tips For Effective Communication

  1. Touching one’s face signals anxiety. Improve your posture. If you’re constantly hunched over or touching your face, you’ll never look confident, approachable or at ease. Improving your posture and working to eliminate nervous tics can be difficult and will take time, but you’ll quickly improve your overall non-verbal communication.
  2. Hand gesture commonly used in Argentina to roughly convey “What the heck are you thinking?” Identify cultural norms. If you have recently entered a new culture, you may need to adjust your body language. Cultural norms regarding body language (i.e. how far away you should stand from someone, how much eye contact you should make, and what gestures are considered taboo), vary considerably and if you don’t speak the same body language as the locals, you’re liable to be misunderstood a great deal. This can even sometimes be met with very serious implications.
  3. Concentrate on difficult situations. It’s most important to make sure your body language is clear in interactions with people you don’t know very well. These situations (first dates or job interviews, for example) may merit some special attention. Get in front of a mirror and practice these interactions. Speak aloud as you normally would and carefully watch what your body is doing. You could also videotape yourself for several minutes and then watch the video to identify how you might present yourself better.
  4. Say what you mean. For most people, body language that effectively reinforces the speaker’s intent comes naturally when they mean what they say. The problem, of course, is that we don’t always say what we mean. If you’re trying to lie convincingly, for example, you’ll probably have to alter your body language to prevent it from arousing suspicion. It’s often easier to just say what you feel.
  5. Observe your own expressions Use your body language to help you understand how you feel. If you’re not quite sure how you feel about something or someone, pay attention to what your body is saying. Other people will be able to read your body language to help uncover what you’re feeling, so you should be able to read your body language better than anyone else can. Using body language effectively means not only communicating with others, but also learning more about yourself.

Tips

  • One way to work on developing your own system is to study sign language and then occasionally use similar symbols when speaking.
  • It is sometimes useful to observe the body language that is appropriate for a given setting or among certain people, and then match your gestures to those of people around you. If you’re not familiar with the culture or the people with whom you are speaking,it may be the only way to get your message across or avoid an embarrassing gaffe.
  • Use the most positive (or, if warranted, negative) gestures and facial expressions first and last. While it is true that we make our most memorable impressions within the first 5 to 10 seconds, we also make a crucial impression within the last 5 to 10 seconds as well.
  • Once in a while, use the opposite gesture of your intended meaning. This is not meant to confuse the listener, but rather to see how well they pay attention to your gestures.
  • If you know you are using a sign that may easily be misinterpreted, state so as quickly as possible and state your intended meaning, right away. For example, if you cross your arms for warmth, you may want to say, “I’m cold, are you?” That way the person won’t think that you’re just being unreceptive.
  • Be honest and non-judgmental. Speech and gestures are co-expressive. If you say what you mean, your body language will follow.
  • Do not try to read too much into a stranger’s body language. It makes them uncomfortable and may give the semblance of you judging them.

Warnings

  • Not everyone uses the same gestures to convey the same meaning. For example, in the US feet spread apart typically conveys the message that you are standing your ground. In Japan to convey the feet would typically be together, with the hands directly at the sides to convey this meaning.
  • People’s usage of body language can and usually does change over time.
  • Understand that people are liable to misinterpret your body language. Always try to be clear and try to reinforce your meaning.
  • Do not assume that you have correctly identified the meaning of another person’s body language without verification. For example, many people believe that if a person’s arms are crossed it means that they are distancing themselves. Perhaps they are simply cold!
  • Faking a gesture or facial feature to convey a meaning is the same as lying and can be interpreted this way. When people say that someone seems phony, they’re usually referring to mannerisms that seem faked.

BodyLanguageCards - 56 Flash Cards - Master Body Language!

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How and Why Do We Instinctively Protect our Main Artery with Our Hands?

July 9, 2012

A part of the human being remains to be an instinctive drive. Even in our contemporary world of new technologies that take us far from our original environments, there are certain behaviors which remain to be instinctive and universal indicators; this is particularly true in the realm of non-verbal communication.

One of those instinctive indicators is protecting the main artery, and in general the neck region. Under the threat of a predator, any animal will attempt to make it small and protect its neck area, particularly the main artery. Many animals first lunge for the neck, as this usually deals a fatal blow to their prey, thus animals have evolved to first protect their necks. This indicator is alive and well within ourselves too, it is exemplified in non-verbal communication when someone feels “under attack”. In other words, they are being defensive.

What are the most common ways we attempt to protect our main arteries, and what exactly do they mean?

  • Tugging on your collar. It is a signal for “more air” and shows dissatisfaction.
  • Massaging or Pinching the throat. This indicates difficulty accepting the message or terms of agreement.
  • Hiding the main artery behind your wrist. When they support their head by holding the side of their chin with their hands, their wrists cover the main artery. This indicator is twofold: the wrist is pointed away from the person (which may indicate defensiveness) as well as it protects the main artery.
  • Playing with a necklace or searching for an imaginary one. A person is uncertain, insecure, or feels a certain tension.

In general, protecting the neck/main artery region signals defensiveness. Depending upon the context, you may understand what exactly is causing the defensive posture. These are but four ways of protecting the main artery, and once you begin looking for this defensive gesture, the many other ways will bring themselves forward.

As for your own body language, it is a matter of changing habits to correct this gesture in your own non-verbal communication. If you do not want to make it seem as though you are being defensive, then it is best to refrain from this gesture. However, if you are actively attempting to signal to someone who you’re uncomfortable with a message or situation, then you may utilize it to your advantage.

For more information on the secrets of body language and the easiest and most effective way to master it please visit our website at http://www.bodylanguagecards.com

BodyLanguageCards - 56 Flash Cards - Master Body Language!

Understanding Body Language Shouldn’t Be A Difficult Task!

May 30, 2012

Understanding body language shouldn’t be a difficult task. While it is like a spoken language, with vocabulary that you “listen for” and also “speak” to others, body language is definitely easier to learn! Begin with small sets of gestures and as they become familiar, move on to understanding other gestures. In time they will all come together as you become aware of the non-verbal communication constantly going on around you.

As with many of the things people learn, it is best to understand some general things about body language before learning the particular gestures. So presented here are the two basic groups of body language: the open/closed and forward/back groups.

The open/closed grouping of body language is the most obvious. In general, if an audience is open to a message it means that they’re receptive; if an audience is closed off to a message, it means that they’re rejecting something of the message. The open gestures include open hands, facing forward, and keeping their feet on the ground. Main arteries, the chest, and groin being open are also indicative of the open group. Instinctually humans cover these parts of the body if they need to be defensive, thus not covering them means they feel secure.  The closed gestures include folded arms, crossed legs, and not facing forward. Conversely, also, the covering of main arteries/chest/groin signals rejection to the message. Keep in mind that an “audience” may be a single person or an entire conference. In the latter case it is more difficult to adjust your message as you’re going along, but it is still helpful to understand their body language.

The forward/back grouping of body language indicates whether the audience is actively or passively reacting to your message. A forward posture consists of facing the other person directly, leaning their bodies forward, and essentially not leaning back. A backward posture consists of a few more things; leaning back, looking up at the ceiling, and cleaning glasses are all indicative things of a backward posture.

These two groups are merged together to create four basic modes: responsive, reflective, fugitive, and combative.

  • The open/forward position is the responsive mode: they are actively listening and accepting of the message.
  • The open/back position is the reflective mode: they are interested and receptive but not actively accepting. Perhaps present further facts and allow them more time to think.
  • The closed/back position is the fugitive mode: they are unreceptive, uninterested, or just bored. This would be the time to make the message more interesting, spark their curiosity!
  • And finally, the closed/forward position is the combative mode: they are actively resisting the message. They’re closed to your message but actively reacting to it; this tends to indicate that they’re disregarding your message. Usually in this mode a person is just repeating their own rebuttals mentally so that they can present them after.

Understanding these four basic modes of body language can broaden your receptiveness of body language as a whole. After learning how to use these two basic groups of body language, fitting in the particular gestures associated with certain non-verbal “vocabulary” will become an easier task. They provide the proper context for interpreting a person’s non-verbal communication.

Learn the secrets of body language and enhance communication, relationships and leadership skill.

BodyLanguageCards - 56 Flash Cards - Master Body Language!

Sign To Look For On Your First Blind Date

May 19, 2012

Author: Andy Khazonovsky

A first date with somebody you don’t know involves, obviously, getting to know them!

Whether your date was introduced to you by a friend, or if they are a person you accidentally met at a bar, you cannot be truly sure of their words. We hopefully assume that your friends would arrange dates with good people, but let us continue with the latter example: a random person you met at a bar. They will need to impress you (particularly if you’re a lady) and in doing so may stretch the truth, exaggerate, or plainly just fabricate a story.

So what should you look out for when they’re telling you who they are, what they do, what they like, where they’re from, and so on? As far as verbal communication, we should see if they contradict themselves in their stories, if they stumble on certain answers, or leave out seemingly important details of a personal story. Most people will catch these things immediately; so what do we do if they’re a “smooth-talker?” If they’re a frequent predator at bars, they have most likely learned what to say to prospective (excuse the terminology) prey. Awkward changes in their tone of voice and speaking slowly during a story may indicate that they’re lying, but this is as far as detecting lies through verbal communication can take us.

We must therefore focus on non-verbal communication. Imagine that you are sitting across a table with them, or next to them on a bar stool. You ask your date, “So, what do you do for a living?” They have been maintaining eye contact with you, but now they break it and cover it up by grabbing their beverage. Even if their verbal message says “I’m a doctor” in the most clear and honest voice, their bodies still communicate closure, a lack of confidence, or defensiveness. The incongruence between their verbal and non-verbal messages should indicate that they aren’t fully comfortable with what they’re saying.

As with all body language gestures, these movements should be taken within context. These gestures do not necessarily indicate a lie, but by spending time with a person face-to-face (even if it has only been half an hour), one can tell that there is something else on their mind. The previous example would seem more like they are troubled at work, perhaps on the verge of being fired, or one of their patients recently died and so they’re unsure of their abilities at work. On the other hand, if they sit back, grab a beverage with one hand, cover their mouth with the other hand, cross their legs, and look away while saying “Oh…I’m a doctor.” This ‘context’ of body language generally indicates a fabricated story rather than just a lack of confidence; especially if they had been non-verbally communicating in an opposite manner the entire time.

Give a nervous date the benefit of a doubt, as generally they will be consistently nervous until a good amount of time has passed to allow them to be comfortable. People who are confidently and honestly expressing themselves aren’t trying to hide something. Their body language should communicate the same thing. An open body, good friendly eye contact, honest smiles, and attentiveness make for a good confident date. If they’re tapping their fingers, feet, looking at their phone often, looking at the door; they’re being impatient and want to go. Either they’re not interested in you, or they have alternative motives that you may not necessarily have.

As with all non-verbal communication, it is imperative to keep in mind that gestures should be taken into account within a context. Sometimes they just want a sip of their drink. Sometimes their face actually is itchy. Sometimes a person walks by who looks familiar and causes them to look away. Look for multiple gestures at once, keep the positioning of their body as a whole in mind.

Lastly, have fun on your next date!

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The Eyes Can Tell You A Lot

March 3, 2012

People are much more of an open book than they are aware of. Body language can tell a great deal about what is going on inside ones thoughts. One of the most easily observed, yet widely unnoticed aspects of body language is eye movement. Our eye movements are often a reflection of what type of mental processes we are engaged in.

The following illustration depicts the major types of eye movements and their significance.

If you are chatting with someone and they keep looking to their right, laterally or upward, they are likely engaged in imagination or fabrication.

If they look to their left, laterally or upward, they are likely engaged in recall of an actual experience from their memory.

Looking downward generally signifies internal dialog. Eyes down and left signifies internal auditory dialog.

Eyes down and to the right signifies internal kinesthetic dialog.

Give it a try… it really works!

Why cards?

It’s the easiest way to discover what others really think and feel!

The information in this field is organized mostly in books, which is amazing taking into consideration the fact that it’s a visual mode of communication, and the crucial thing is to have the visual memory of the movement in mind when one encounters the relevant gesture.

Cards send a signal to our brain that it’s a game and not another bulk of information that we have to learn. People like to play and thus the information is more effectively consolidated.

By flash cards much of the information is integrated in additional brain areas, those involved in habits acquisition.

It’s also a very easy way to practice and repeat the information which is more complicated with other means.

To purchase the kit with 10% discount use coupon bodylanguageexpert

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Gender Differences in Body Language

February 4, 2012

Often we are asked if there are gender differences in body language. In the past 20-30 years, the conventional perception was that  in general, women are more communicative than men, both literally and with their body language. Today, the gap is blurry.

Women and men express the same body language positions, gestures and facial expressions, that’s why it’s called body language. It’s a matter of communication, if there were too many differences we couldn’t have called it “language”.

It is very crucial to look at a cluster of gestures pointing at the same direction and not only at one gesture before coming to any conclusion, it’s as if we are listening to one word out of a whole sentence and assume we understand it.

Even today, in modern life, there are slight gender differences in the extent and duration of gestures, yet the distinction requires more training and experience than learning basic body language.

Examples of a slight gender differences in extent or duration of a particular gesture:

1.   Everyone stroke their hair with their fingers  – in women, the duration is slightly longer.

2.  Men and women will both bite their lower lip in times of stress, lick their lips when sensing dry mouth or  attraction, in women though it’s more observable because it is a bit more frequent and sustained.

 3.  Women are capable of tilting their head longer than men while listening to others, perhaps because they concentrate more on the verbal communication’s details which creates the whole picture. You can see an example of this situation when two men sit at a restaurant table, they usually will sit facing each other.  Women, will often sit side by side.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

4.   Women and men blink frequently when they are interested in the conversation. With women it’s just more obvious and noticeable to the eye of the observer. It could be because of their makeup.

5.   Men and women tend to surround themselves with little things such as phone, keys, etc. Men do it more to the front to mark frontal boundaries while women tend to put things on their side, perhaps to “protect against harassment,”

The most noticeable differences in signals are seen in dating:

In men: the signals are simplistic – legs apart, more hair stroking, they stare longer at the woman, they play more with objects, more self-touch (more  means more than usual, not more than women), hands tucked in belt toward the pelvis, opening a shirt button, and hands in pocket.

In women: Body language is far richer – lower the shirt sleeve,  play longer with their hair, emphasize thighs movements, more licking lips, more  legs crossing exchange, they will remove their feet from shoe, more stretching to enhance their chest, keep legs apart.

To purchase the Body Language Cards kit – The Easiest Way to Master Body Language visit  the Amazon Store: http://www.amazon.com/Body-Language-Cards/dp/B006DMBVJI/ref=sr_1_17?ie=UTF8&qid=1326911375&sr=8-17

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