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Human Relations - Topics & Resources: Body Language

Platinum Rule: “Treat others the way they would like to be treated.” If you think that is too hard, then just be kind.

The snowball technique for conversation

Pay attention (Feel what they are feeling) – Learn a and store up a number of different facts about people which could all become conversations on their own.

Reword their wording – Whatever they say, take the main point and summarize in your own words back to them.

Add your opinion on their topic – Now that you’ve rephrased their point, add your opinion or build on their point in a positive way.

Dig deeper – Ask "Why" questions to learn someone’s true feelings, motivations, and interest.

Don't judge - If someone says something you don't like to hear, judge yourself, not them. (Later, ask your self why you were uncomfortable.)

Recall – Conversation points made earlier, and bring it up. Recalling something they said previously will demonstrate your excellent listening skills and interest in what they were saying.

Make Body Language Your Superpower

Nonverbal Communication: The Unspoken Message

Joining the group

"Why Body Language is Critical for Facilitators" Excerpt: Hand-shakes

Decoding Deceptive Body Language

Do you lean in or fade away?

  • Slouching – makes you look insecure - as if you are trying to take up less space.
  • How you tilt your head – if you tilt it slightly to one side, it shows you are listening intently and interested. Too much and you look submissive. Keeping you head straight up shows you are confident in what you are saying.
  • Lean into a conversation – when you lean in you are showing that you are more involved and interested in a conversation. When you lean out of a conversation it shows that you are done participating in it.
  • Make eye contact – don’t stare someone down because that is just uncomfortable. But avoiding eye contact gives the impression that you are being insincere or lying. 
  • Relax your shoulders – it is a sign of stress and tension when they are raised. It sends a signal that will put your conversation partner on edge too.
  • Make your handshake firm – this is another move that shows engagement and confidence. Too tight and it will be viewed as aggressive, while if it is too loose it communicates complete lack of interest.
  • Mind your hands – keeping your hands clasped behind your back shows confidence; while in your pockets can show over-confidence or boredom. Hands clasped over your belly area looks like you are trying to protect yourself from an attack, and will put your conversation partner on the defensive.
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