Recently my husband and I saw the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas. The show was absolutely fascinating and totally entertaining from beginning to end! It was hard for me to watch the show while wondering what all that blue ‘stuff’ was on their heads, how they thought up the different activities they do, wondering if we were going to get splattered with paint, and trying to figure out how they come off stage and walk on the chairs of the audience. I was totally enamored with the entire performance.
What was most fascinating to me was how they communicated so clearly without ever saying a word. There were sounds from the different instruments and their drums but not a single word was spoken for two hours! They did, however, speak clearly with their expressions and movements. Not only did they communicate with each other but when they invited a woman from the audience to come up and participate she knew what to do without ANY verbal words being spoken.
”What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
This was tangible evidence of how our bodies, eyes, facial expressions and movements speak volumes about us. A study at UCLA revealed 93% of our communication is non-verbal. There is common agreement that words are not considered to be the most revealing of our real thoughts and feelings. It really is true you don’t get a second chance at a first impression. We see that played out in job interviews and initial meetings between people all the time. In job interviews we are judged by our appearance, our dress, how firm our handshake is, whether or not we have direct eye contact, how confident our gait is, and if we arrive early for the interview. All of these behaviors play a large role in how we are perceived and are used to determine our ‘suitability’.
With the above facts in mind, brilliant and effective leaders:
• Are aware of how they are communicating not just what they are verbalizing
• Listen more than they speak
• Read the behavior of others and use that information to make decisions and elicit the best performance
• Use their intuition as well as facts and research
”The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” –Peter F. Drucker
So how’s your body language? What are you communicating with your eyes, your posture and demeanor? While there is a lot of body expression today as far as tattoos, eye/brow/lip rings, in the workplace it is imperative to understand your actions and appearance really do speak volumes about you – right or wrong, accurate or not. Your body talks…do you know what it’s saying?