“You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes,” the Eagles cautioned in their mid-1970s Top 40 hit. And they were right. We like to think that words are what matters. But in communicating with other people, what we do is at least as important as — and perhaps more important than — what we actually say. Body language is a powerful form of nonverbal communication that consists of hand and arm gestures, body position and movements, and facial expressions and eye movements. It clues others in to what we’re thinking, often without their even realizing it [source: Mehrabian].
Psychological researchers first began studying body language intently in the 1940s, and since then, they’ve learned just how influential it is. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) psychology professor Albert Mehrabian, one of the leading researchers of the phenomenon, has found that within the initial four minutes of meeting someone for the first time, our facial expressions account for 55 percent of the impression we make. In comparison, only seven percent of that impression comes from our actual words, with the remainder of the information coming from tone of voice [source: Mehrabian].
Body language can make or break our efforts to establish long, trusting relationships. Our body language can help to reinforce and add credibility to what we say, or it can contradict our words. Understanding what signals you are sending, as well as being able to read the signals that your clients send, is an essential skill in sales and throughout our lives. What is your body language saying about you?
Churchill Square Training & Development offers a one or half day workshop to learn and understand more about Body Language, we also offer an online eLearning module.
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