Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What is body language? Why does it matter?

Stuart McDaniels,
Materials Manager
Body language can be easily defined as various forms of nonverbal communication where a person may reveal indications as to their intentions or emotions. These can include posture, facial expressions, eye movement, touch or even space.

Why is body language important? Body language complements verbal communication, and interestingly enough can either support that verbal communication, or contradict it. Noticing the signals that people send out is a very critical social skill and can be a great tool to utilize to enhance both our listening and speaking skills.

As a fun little experiment, try turning down the volume on your TV when watching some of your favorite shows or the news and just focus on body language cues. It’s a great way to become aware of just how much communication occurs with nothing but our body language.

All day long most of us communicate with other people. Maybe it’s your co-workers, your boss, your subordinates, customers, suppliers or even friends and family. It’s important in all these situations that the correct message is either sent or received, and body language is a critical component of that. By becoming more aware of body language and understanding how it might be interpreted, you can learn to read people more easily. In a business setting, particularly a negotiation, this information could be extremely helpful in instances such as securing new business, keeping current business, settling on price, terms and conditions or many other situations.

I encourage you to challenge yourself to better understand body language and how to interpret it. The knowledge can go a long way in helping you improve the outcome of your daily interactions.

This article originally appeared in Modern Memorialization, Trigard Memorials' weekly electronic newsletter featuring information for the funeral industry. Sign up for your free subscription at http://www.trigard.com/thursdays.

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