Today I took a Body Language class at my Real Estate association and was it ever enlightening! Statistics show that actual words comprise 7% of what a listener focuses on. 38% of their focus is on your delivery and 55% of their focus is on your facial expressions indicating nonverbal behavior outweighs the impact of the spoken word.
It starts with the physical space and how close you should be to someone else during various conditions. Close friends can be arms length away (less than 2 feet), Personal Space is 2-4 feet apart, Social Space is 4-12 feet and Public Space is more than 12 feet away from someone. We should remember these distances when interacting with others for the first time.
What can you observe from someone who accepts your ideas? They will cock their head, squint slightly, pinch the bridge of their nose, take off or play with eyeglasses, lean forward while uncrossing legs and scooting to the edge of their chair, increase their eye contact, put their hands to their chest, touch their forehead or chin, and maybe even touch you.
What can you observe if someone is resistant? They will clutch the back of their neck, fidget nervously, reduce eye contact, place their hands behind their back or over their mouth, lock their ankles, cross their arms in front of their chest, squint dramatically, make fist like gestures, and twist their feet to point to the floor.
Pay attention to the nonverbal clues in the next conversation that you have. These are easier to pick up from people you know well because you know their normal behavior so anything different should be the give away.
Your body language has a way of telling how you really feel if whoever you are speaking to will take the time to pay attention.
Kelly Harden, REALTOR®
CENTURY 21 Shaw Realty