You and most anyone, can improve body language to increase presence, influence and confidence. Many of us don’t realize that in everything we do, we are communicating something. The question is, are we communicating what we want to be communicating?
Nonverbal communication makes up the majority of our communication…up to 93%!
I know, right? Your facial expressions, your tone of voice, the way you wear your hair, make up, jewelry, your clothes and your body language, like hand gestures and posture are all telling a story…your story. The important question is the story we’re telling the story we want to be telling?
Taking control of our non verbal communication can help us communicate our messages more effectively and increase our influence by reinforcing our verbal communication with our non verbal reinforcements.
Here are 5 tips to get you started:
Show your hands. Hands are trust factors so when you hide them in your pockets or under a table or desk at meeting or interviews you are essentially telling people you are hiding something even if you aren’t. This makes trust building hard to take place reducing your trust, know and like factorability.
Perfect your handshake. A happy hormone is generated through touch and a good handshake equates to two hours of face time, so make sure yours is firm, vertical and dry. Keep it to one to two pumps. Any more and it’s just uncomfortable.
Gaze with purpose for impact. You want to be intentional about looking in to people’s eyes, but you don’t want to bring too much intensity to most social exchanges. It can feel overly aggressive. Great eye contact is no more than 70%. Any thing less makes you look avoidant or uninterested and any thing more like a creep. Don’t be a creep.
Power Pose before your next big thing. That’s right, channel your inner Wonder Woman and strike a pose before you leave the house, in the ladies room or even in your office before walking into a big meeting. This pose opens up your chest allowing you to take in deeper breaths and it changes our posture. Mix in a mantra like, “You got this mama!” and immediately you will feel more energized.
Front with people. When we like something, we turn our whole body towards it, especially pointing our feet toward it. Whether it be a sound, sight, smell, person or thing, we give it full attention by facing it. When someone you want to make an impact or impression front with them. It makes people feel valued or feel your genuine interest or support with this non verbal cue. After all, who doesn’t want to feel important?
These sound simple, right? They are and can have great impact, but you need to practice them.
Take on one of these skills to practice every day. Once it feels comfortable and easy, move on to the next one.
These five practices will become part of your everyday experience with practice and they will amp up your presence and influence simply because you’re intentionally putting others at ease and exuding confidence.
This piece first appeared in Mompreneuer Success Network online publication
Has your face ever blown your cover? Like totally betrayed you by sharing information before you were ready to share? Yeah, me too. I would often get the question, "Are you mad?" or the dreaded one, "What's wrong?" when I was in meetings. It turns out that my thinking face looks like my angry face. It got me into a lot of trouble.
A few years ago I learned about the seven universal facial expressions and oh man, why don't we teach these skills in school??
This year I decided to get certified as a Body Language Specialist. So I did it to be able share non-verbal communication skills with my clients and friends. It's life changing. Once you learn how to decode facial expressions and read non-verbal cues, it's impossible not to experience a whole new world.
What's come to me as a result of learning these skills is that I'm now able to rectify some of my own non-verbal communication. These skills help me in negotiations or meetings or even in social situations. When I see a micro expression of fear or surprise or yikes! contempt, I can offer more clarity on the topic or ease a pain point.
Not everyone wants to be a human lie detector (yes, I can teach you these skills!) but who doesn't want to win at putting people at ease and being a better communicator? So the next time you ask WTF (What's the face)? call me, so we can talk about it.
We are just about one year into our business and it has been such an amazing, paradigm shifting, affirming and learning experience. I started this business with a commitment to do meaningful work with great intention and purpose. I left a long time career in non-profit and never looked back. There is something magical about taking a leap of faith and betting on yourself.
My greatest learnings are as follows:
1) A trusted business coach that you really, really vibe with and has her own jam going on and thriving is VITAL;
2) Your people, your circle, your supporters are critical lifelines when you need a thought partner, an inspiration or a hug. Choose them wisely!
3) Identifying ideal clients is harder than it sounds and crafting and refining your offerings happens more then one time. Patience is required. Doh!
4) Systemizing what you can is essential. Emails, payments, calendars...It makes life that much easier.
5) There are a ton of badass boss women out there and they rock my world! They are major influencers, inspiration and got it going on! Noelia Sanchez, Christine Kane, Danielle La Porte, the chingonas from Morado Lens podcast, the badass gals from Badassery Magazine, Carrie Green...the list goes on. Develop your bigger circle of influence and inspiration. They will be generous with sharing what they’ve learned along the way. If they aren’t, find other influencers.
6) Curate the best places to work that invite good energy into your work. I LOVE my co-working space, Pro Desk Space. It has good energy, is supportive and I’ve made friends with other entrepreneurs.
7) Marketing is not an option, it’s a must!
8) Practicing gratitude is essential to inviting more fabulous things to be grateful for back into the business.
9) Create business rituals such as learning days, admin days, network days and creative days and PLAY days.
10) Always thank those who help, love and support you and then thank them again and again: Alyson Yarberry, CEO of Modera, Inc who created my beautiful website and whole brand, making all of it reflect the spirit of my work. Noelia Sanchez, creator of Noteworthy Lab, and my super awesome business coach who is a whole world of knowledge. And, my dear business and life partner, Ray Mijares, who reads my proposals, keeps track of the numbers, boosts our postings and believes in me always. Thank you all, with love!
I lead Vision Board workshops regularly and remind folks to take pictures of their boards so they can glance at it every time they need some inspiration. That works, but for me, I have daily intentions that help me manifest my dreamiest dreams.
I feel happier, more creative and inspired when I come across inspiring quotes or pictures in my notebooks/journals that I am working in. Those “in love with life” feelings are what I want to feel, like all the time.
So, I started making these baby boards once a week and now so can you, whenever in 3 easy steps.
STEP ONE: Grab your fave mag! Look in it for images that resonate with you. Think about what you want to invite into your world in the next week or month. Pull those images and words.
STEP TWO: Get your favorite notebook. You know, the one you dream, scheme and plan in, that one. Pick a clean page and lay out what ever you've pulled from your magazine.
STEP THREE: Scissors and a glue stick to give permanency to your pocket inspirations!
1) Be intentional with what you choose.
2) Have fun! Be your own inspiration!
3) Show me yours! Share it with me! Get it out there and let the world conspire to get you what you most want!
YOU GOT THIS! YOU NEED AS LITTLE AS 10 MINUTES, I PROMISE! CLARITY IS KEY :)