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Body language

By ITS Education Asia

Body language  … how body language can improve your communication  

The message

Body language is an important part of communication which can constitute 50% or more of what we are communicating.


Okay, so you’ve got an extensive library of words in your head and you are aware of how to use all most all of them, and to top it off, you’re a good listener. You are classified as an all round, good communicator…well, maybe. You need that financial report from your accountant tomorrow morning. Do you send an email marked ‘urgent’? No. It’ll be better to communicate your need face-to-face. When you do, you tell your accountant very clearly that you must have the report by 9:00am tomorrow. You hear her assure you that you’ll have it on time. You leave her desk happy and relieved!


The entire message  

Body language“Oh, but what happens the next day” It’s ten past nine in the morning. No sign of your accountant or that report. ‘So far, does any of this sound familiar?” Why don’t people do as you ask? The plain fact is that good use of words together with active listening doesn’t always result in good communication. Evidence shows that body language constitutes 55% of a well communicated message! The good news is that it too in itself is a language and, you can learn it.


What is Body Language

Body language consists of clusters of signals and gestures. Some of these signals and gestures are quite obvious while others are completely subtle. They can range from waving hands to involuntary twitching of facial muscles.  


 The Full Picture

   Watch other people and learn to read their body language, but beware of falling into the traps of reading individual gestures stand-alone. For example, you can tell little from looking at a photograph (you can guess, but you will need more data to be sure). 

Also be very cautious about trying to control your own body language too much. It is better to work from the inside.

In the workplace, someone rolling up their sleeves may be suggesting that it’s time to get serious. But in a social situation they may be demonstrating their attraction to you by showing you their wrists. Remember, weigh up all the evidence!Verdict: So, back to our scenario…try steady eye contact and read facial expressions. Does she (accountant) mean what she says?

Reading the signals that others send is not as easy as it may first seem. It thus gives importance calibrating a person before making assumptions. It also means that people will often give you extra information beyond common body language, particularly on a one-to-one basis. The good news is that people will repeat the tell-tale signals or gestures in a habitual way and, with observation; you can acquire the needed skills. TIP: OBSERVE and LEARN

Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

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