The more you focus on and observe body language, the more you will become aware of how much information is available by observation for your use. The other side of the coin is that you are unconsciously broadcasting equally as much information.
For example, learning to read body language allows you to:
• More accurately sense the amount of truth in what is being presented
• Become more conscious of your own stress and tension other people are experiencing
• Better understand the behavior patterns of persons with whom you are dealing
• Then, customize a response more easily understood and acted upon by that person
• Create powerful “agreements that stick” anchored in common sense.
Being conscious of the body language of others helps us to become more aware of our own body language, especially when it is not in alignment with what we are saying or thinking.
It will become unavoidably apparent that certain behavior patterns are often in direct conflict with certain values we say that we represent. As a student of non-verbal communication you begin to notice the dis-ease of someone who is out of alignment with their own integrity. Of course, we must be aware that one of the best ways to read body language is to look in the mirror. Hopefully, this is not bad news.
The good news is that you are conscious of what your body has been expressing. Now, you can begin to make a few changes or adjustments. Here are a few things that will cause your body language to be out of alignment with your statements:
• Politely biting back some choice words you desperately wanted to say to someone
• Enforcing a policy that you know is counterproductive to the people affected
• Achieving a goal you desired by ignoring the objections, feelings or pleas of colleagues or team members
• Selling something that is inferior to or more expensive than your competitors’
What if being on “Technology’s cutting edge” is making it even harder and sharper? When you consider email, voice mail and texting, our technology may have changed us to accommodate it, often without our realizing it? Humans need require a softer touch and a reconnection with our emotions, and the ability to express empathy and compassion. Your body language is a great communication tool.
We have the choice to ignore all this new input and keep behaving how we have habitually trained ourselves, or adjust our behavior, minimize our dis-ease and create more harmony.
Since your knowledge and understanding of how much leverage your body language adds to who you are, what you say (and don’t say), as well as what you do (and don’t do), this first choice will cost more and more. Knowing what is causing your dis-ease and still trying to consciously to suppress or avoid the behavior causing it costs lots of energy and will only add to that dis-ease.
Consciously changing or adjusting how you respond to the situation may not be politically correct, but you can begin plugging some very leaky holes in your own metaphoric boat the ”HMS Integrity”. Many people actually feel they have more energy once they make this choice. Yet, taking a stand is rarely an easy decision. You are then literally asking for a confrontation with those in power who still have more to gain by ignoring or suppressing the consequences involved.
Taking a stand based upon being a person of integrity in the face adversity is defined by some as the very essence of leadership.
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