You have been working hard enough, yet, it has been surprising to notice that some of your friends, colleagues and peers do manage to have that influential edge within the friends circle, an affiliation towards the bosses and a certain kind of unsaid command with peers.
Although these tips might not immediately put you in their position but will certainly help to gauge some of their tricks of trade or it might help you to have an unfair advantage over the ones who have not read this post yet…you never know.
I have recently been doing some reading and came across an article by Dr. Travis Bradberry , award-winning co-author of the bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0.These are the excerpts from the same article but with actual experiences from my corporate and personal life.
As soon as you become aware of these 10 tips, they will start popping up wherever you look, giving you an opportunity to practice them and experience the results for yourself. With minimal effort on your part, their unconscious influence on behavior can make a huge difference in your day-to-day life.
Tip 1. When a group of people laughs, each member of the group can’t help but make eye contact with the person they feel closest to
Observing people when they laugh together can tell you which members of your team are bonding and learning to trust one another, just like in The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman lists the 6 things that predict divorce. His ability to predict divorce is based in part on his analysis of the 130 newlywed couples who were observed at his “Love Lab” apartment at the University of Washington. Among other things, he asked these couples to spend fifteen minutes in the lab trying to resolve an ongoing disagreement they were having while he videotaped them. He was able to predict fairly accurately which of them will not be together in the next 15 years. Similarly, you’ll learn a lot about how youfeel about other people just by paying attention to whom you make eye contact with.
Tip 2. When someone does a favor for you, it actually makes them like you more
I recently left for my annual vacation and was dropped to the airport by a Godly neighbor living next door. On our way to the airport, he mentioned that I need not be obliged with his favor and he had justified “rational” to take this opportunity to know the road to the airport. When you convince someone to do you a favor, they unconsciously justify why they are willing to do so. Typical justifications include things such as “he’s my friend,” “I like him,” and “he seems like the kind of person who would return the favor.” These justifications serve you perfectly. Not only did you just get help with something, but the other party also likes you more than they did before.
Tip 3. Silence gets answers
I have been one of the lucky employees to have one manager over the number of years. One thing that I have learnt from my manager over the past several years is the art of silence in a conversation. When you ask someone a question and they’re slow to respond, don’t feel pressure to move the conversation forward. Remaining silent plays to your advantage. Moments of silence make people feel as though they should speak, especially when the ball is in their court. This is a great tool to use in negotiations and other difficult conversations. Just make certain you resist the urge to move the conversation forward until you get your answer. This has been an excellent tool to have as you move up the corporate ladder.
Tip 4. Open hands and palms create trust
There’s an employee policy at LEGOLAND that says whenever someone asks where something is, the employee “presents” (open-palm gesture) their directions instead of “pointing” them. This is because the open-palmed gesture conveys trust, making people more likely to agree with what you’re saying and to find you friendly and likeable. Pointing, on the flip side, is generally seen as aggressive and rude. Although I myself have not experienced using it, I definitely plan to do it in the near future.
Tip 5. Nodding your head during a conversation or when asking a question makes the other person more likely to agree with what you’re saying
This is another skill that I have learnt from my mentors. The next time you need to win someone over to your way of thinking, try nodding your head as you speak. People unconsciously mirror the body language of those around them in order to better understand what other people are feeling. When you nod your head as you speak, you convey that what you’re saying is true and desirable, and people are more inclined to agree with you. Just ensure that the nod is subtle as too much and you could have the listener distracted, too less and it might not even be noticed. Moderation is a key here.
Tip 6. People remember unfinished things better
When was the last time you were reminded of the project that was or is left unfinished and it has been haunting you since then. I would not be alone to having delivered multiple success stories but being reminded of the one that remained “unfinished” for what so ever reasons. The natural tendency to remember unfinished things is called the Zeigarnik effect. Ever notice how some television commercials get cut off early? The company paying for the commercial cuts it off so that it sticks in your head longer than other commercials. The best way to forget unfinished things (commercials or songs) is to finish them in your head. If a song gets stuck in your head, try singing the last lines to yourself. You’ll be amazed how quickly it goes away.
Tip 7. Chew gum to relax and focus
Although chewing gum in a corporate setup is not considered to be professional businessbehavior, especially if you are in a customer facing role, chewing gum actually lowers your cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress. But chewing gum doesn’t just reduce stress, it also makes you more alert and improves your performance in memory-oriented tasks. It does so by increasing the blood flow to your brain and alerting your senses. So the next time you experience a stressful situation, try chewing gum and your body is less likely to go into the primal fight-or-flight mode (which results in poor decisions and inability to focus).
Tip 8.People’s feet reveal their interest
Carol Kinsey Goman has researched the importance of body language in the workplace for many years. One of her best tips is to watch your feet. A lot of the time, we focus on our upper body or faces, yet our feet reveal more about our emotions than we might think.When you approach 2 people talking, you will be acknowledged in one of two ways. If the feet of your two colleagues stay in place and they twist only their upper torsos in your direction, they don’t really want you to join the conversation. But if their feet open to include you then you know that you are truly invited to participate.In another example from her book Goman explains when to know that “conversations are over”:
Whenever you are speaking with a co-worker who seems to be paying attention, and whose upper body is angled toward you, but whose legs and feet have turned toward the door – realize that the conversation is over. Her feet are telling you she wants to leave. Foot positions are revealing even if someone’s legs are crossed.
Tip 9. When you meet someone new, work their name into the conversation in order to remember it
The goal here is to repeat their name three times in the first five minutes. It works extremely well, but the trick is to do it naturally. When you rattle off their name unnecessarily, it sounds foolish and awkward. Try to use phrases like “Hello ____,” “Nice to meet you _____,” and “Where you are from _____.” It’s an excellent way to build rapport, especially if you are in Sales but even otherwise in your daily personal lives.
Tip 10. Showing excitement makes other people like you
We had a small workshop conducted for the senior managers and leadership roles wherein we had invited a professional Leadership Coach Mr. David Collins from the David Collins Coaching Consultancy Ltd. This was a two day workshop and an exciting one. David visited us probably around one year post workshop and every employee he met quite literally jumped from his seat to just see him around. This one goes back to the idea that we mirror the behavior of those around us. If you show excitement when you see someone, they naturally mirror that excitement back at you. It’s an easy way to make a strong first impression and to get people to like you. Do it genuinely and irrespective of the time gap, it leaves a permanent impression of you in the minds of the people you meet.
Tip 11. Smile – it’ll make you happier
We smile because we are happy. But does it work the other way around too? Researchers at Cardiff University think so. People who smile, without actually feeling happy, can make themselves feel a lot happier, says Michael Lewis, a co-author of the study:
“It would appear that the way we feel emotions isn’t just restricted to our brain—there are parts of our bodies that help and reinforce the feelings we’re having,”
Of course, being able to smile well is a whole other story. For now, give it a try to smile in the restroom or in another quiet place before a difficult conversation, job interview or meeting. It might just make you more successful
Wrapping it up
In a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers tested the effects that giving mints,to the customer after meals by waiters, had against a control group where no mints were given, in order to measure their effectiveness in increasing tips.
The results were surprising to say the least.
- The first group studied had waiters giving mints along with the check, making no mention of the mints themselves. This increased tips by around 3% against the control group.
- The second group had waiters bring out two mints by hand, and they mentioned them to the table (“Would anyone like some mints before they leave?”). Tips increased by 14% against the control group.
- The last group had waiters bring out the check first along with a few mints. A short time afterward, the waiter came back with another set of mints, and let customers know that they had brought out more mints, in case they wanted another.
This last test was where waiters saw a 21% increase in tips versus the control group.
Well this explains the reason for the extra Tip.11 mentioned in this article whereas the title suggests 10.
What other body language insights have you come across? I’d love your insights on this fascinating topic!