Video and transcribe available below

Body language – Are you reading it?

Hey, Dr Ro here. I want to address the subject . I think something that a lot of people are looking for at the moment, certainly searching on and that is understanding body language. 

I think as we grow up we’re often told, oh yeah, you need to understand people’s body language. Did you see their body language? Did you see how they react? 

People go, I think so. 

We’re very good at reading overt body language stuff that grabs our attention quickly and we go oh did you see what happened there but what we’re not so good at is the subtle body language and I thought I’d share a few key important elements. 

I’ve been in this field for 30, 35 years and over those years not only have I been able to present to audiences and work on a one-to-one basis in small groups, even down to an intimate coaching in this field, I’ve been able to show people in an instant how to read somebody quickly. I did this at an event just recently where I showed people just within a matter of minutes. I was able to tell, for example, if someone had proposed to their girlfriend in terms of their marriage.

More importantly, the fact that maybe that could be a challenge in the relationship and as crazy as that might appear, you have the ability to do it. Body language is massive. Studies have shown this goes back to a really famous study whereby they looked at three things. They looked at the tonality of the voice, the words people were using and the physiology that somebody was using, i.e. the body language and body language from the feet, the torso and shoulders to the head and you don’t realise this, but we basically give clues away in how we react to somebody. 

First of all, with what happens below the hips, the feet are a massive tell-tale but when you’re watching somebody on zoom for example, you can’t see that. The next part is the middle area of the body, the torso after shoulders, that is going into the cameras going away from the camera, are they a little tense? 

Contractions and expansions in the conversation and of course there’s the head and there are massive tales that go down to micro-expressions of the eyes all that physiology. 

I think for a lot of people because we’re so in our heads and we are engrossed in getting things right and making sure all the technology around us is correct checking our phones, we don’t always watch the other person so I’m telling you now 55 to 60% of the impact of your communication comes down to the physiology of how you carry yourself, but of course watching somebody else’s body language, you should pick up a huge amount of information about how they’re responding to you. 

If you have the skill set to do it, when I teach these people through the CWI process we go through the different components and I get people to watch and in the process of watching I show them what to watch. For example if you ask a certain question which way does the body move, their face, the mouth, eyes the breath? Was it held, was it breathing out? 

All of this is part of that process of physiology in the body language that we communicate without saying a single word that’s really important. Second thing is what’s the application of this? In reality you can apply this anywhere. You can do this on an online presentation because if I’m giving a presentation on camera to a group of people that I’m not in front of, I can still use my body language to get the impact across to you. 

I can use it to communicate with an impactful message, but equally I can use it to watch somebody remotely on a zoom call, live to live, face-to-face, one-to-one, in front of the group. How is my audience reaction? 

Over there she didn’t like what I said, he loved it. She’s learning more and more trusting that the person over there is not at all with me and I can literally monitor 100 people and get a completely different vibe from everybody or maybe part of the group is in rapport and synchronicity with me, and part of the group isn’t. For example, if you’re a speaker this is an amazing tool to be able to create the ability to implement and when I teach this from the communications system this is in the then part of the CWI process. 

Application can be anywhere personal, private, professional, big stage, small stage, one-to-one any situation on an intimate level as well. The consequences of not knowing how to apply this on a personal level, relationships, kids if you are able to understand their body language and express yourself in a different way, different energy and enthusiasm imagine how you connect with them. 

Imagine your partner for years and years and years. The couple start to drift apart, they’ve gone numb to the body language with the other person they switch off, they become disengaged, disassociated, not healthy in relationships. From a job perspective, imagine being in a job where you have the ability to read people’s body language, even your boss for example. You go in for maybe a pay rise or you want to get a promotion. You can learn to watch, study and read body language almost to the point if you get it right reading their mind. 

The beauty of that is you can position a conversation in such a way to get somebody to tell you the truth, and test them and if it’s going the direction you don’t want it to go you steer the conversation back or it might be you choose to step away from that whole conversation because you don’t feel this person is aligned because they’re not being honest with you. 

This is the power of it. In business talking to your customers, learning to articulate your message powerfully using your body language to get impact, I’m not a huge guy, but I can use that body language in a really powerful way, but I can also use it to read people to make sure I’ve got the conversation going in the right direction to get the best outcome from the interaction. 

The consequences are dire: if you get this wrong, marriage breakups, customers not buying from you, hundreds of thousand pounds in lost business because you haven’t learned to read your audience, your customers will present themselves in the right way.

This is an amazing skill to learn and the last thing is really the whole point of body language or being able to understand it is the observation of the other person and if you can learn to observe somebody in a really subtle way, knowing how to read them in a very specific way, to get a baseline and you get baseline through the process of asking the right questions. 

Questions, their body language gives off massive clues. I demonstrated this last weekend on CWI talking through the process and they were fascinated. We dropped them into breakout rooms, so they had the opportunity to test it. We had one chap at like 50 years of not looking into people’s eyes and really engaging with them he was literally able to see what was going on by watching their body language and facial gestures and their breathing patterns to tell they’re not telling the truth or they didn’t like what I said there. 

Imagine every conversation you have you can develop a greater and greater rapport because you’re totally in synchronicity with their communication, body language, the tonality and the words that they’re saying but also what they are using from the point of view of their mindset as well. 

This is an incredibly powerful skill to learn. It starts with you understanding where your strengths and your weaknesses are. 

Get this right and you’ll climb the corporate ladder, your business will explode, your customers will come to you whether it’s through social media, written word, video online, social media, speaking in front of audiences. In your relationship it will bring you closer together with your partner. 

Master this amazing skill, reading body language and expressing yourself with a greater, more impactful body language. 

Dr Ro signing out.

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