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SL Column: Body Language

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Body Language

     Steer a conversation like you are steering a 600-pound motorcycle…through your body language. Motorcycle riders are taught to push the handlebars in the direction they want to go rather than to turn the front wheel. While this may seem awkward, the maneuver requires less strength to accomplish and it works. To go left, push left; to go right, push right. The more we push, the tighter the steering around curves.

     You can steer a conversation using your body language.

  • Look more attentive by leaning towards the person speaking and they will be encouraged to continue talking.
  • Mirror the other person’s motions and hold a stance similar to theirs and they will feel that you are in sync with their words and messages.
  • Step back a step and cross your arms while frowning and you signal disapproval or disagreement, causing the speaker to hesitate, stop, or question your reaction.
  • Nod your head while asking a question and the other person’s answer will more-likely be “yes”.

     Next time you are engaged in conversation, try steering the direction using subtle body language and imagine yourself maneuvering a 600-pound two-wheeled vehicle with relative ease.

Bonus gift: Research specific body language signals .

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