Have you heard that 55% of communication is non-verbal?
If you’re wondering about it, consider the below examples –
A frown vs a smile.
Making good eye contact vs looking away or at a device.
A stern brow vs a laugh.
Nodding the head “yes” vs nodding “no” when an idea is shared.
Clenched fists and folded arms vs open hands and arms.
Good posture and looking up vs slouching and looking at the floor.
Fast, frantic hand movements vs modest, calm body movement.
Truly, our body language says more than words. And, this week’s newsletter gives you 7 nonverbal communication skills that when mastered improve trust, leadership, connection, relationships, and engagement.
The Key 7 Nonverbal Communication Skills
When mastered as a whole, these below skills foster connection, improve trust, facilitate openness and honesty, and lead to high-performance relationships:
- Look people in the eyes (vs elsewhere, looking down, or at a phone)
- Smile (vs straight faced or frowning)
- Lean in (vs leaning away from a person)
- Nod your head “yes” vs “no” (one of the most impactful skills in sales studies)
- Have good posture (vs slouching)
- Purposeful, calm, modest body movement (vs frantic, distressed movements)
- Use open body language with visible hands (vs concealed, closed hands & arms)
The Proof Is In the Pudding
While training sales teams on nonverbal communication, we’ve seen sales reps in various industries (who make in-person sales calls) increase their close ratios by 2-5X within a few weeks. Keeping all else constant – the script, the clientele, the locations, the pricing – these sales reps focused on nonverbal communication skills and improved trust, openness, and connection in ways that 2-5X their output (and income).
They focused on eye contact, good posture, leaning in, nodding their head “yes,” modest and open hand movements, and a sincere smile, and within weeks they were consistently closing 2-5X more sales.
A Hypothetical Example
You have a new supervisor. Your excited to meet her. As you introduce yourself, how would you feel as you observe the following:
As you begin talking, she looks at the people behind you, then her computer. She responds to a question you ask her, looks at you briefly, but frowns and looks down. She asks about your performance for the past month. As you answer, she leans back, folds her arms with hands clenched. She begins nodding her head sideways in a “no” gesture as you continue to talk. As she looks out the window, she frowns, and says, “Thank you for stopping by.” She immediately looks at her computer as you walk out.
As you walk in to meet her, she stands, calmy extends her hand to you with a warm smile. She asks you to sit. As you talk, she leans in, with open arms, and smiles as she looks you in the eye. As she asks about your past month’s performance, you see her nodding her head up and down in a “yes” gesture. She thanks you for stopping by and introducing yourself, walks you to the door, and gives you a gentle wave and smile as you walk away.
Who would you want to talk with in the future? Who would you be comfortable going to for advice? Which would you rather take problems to? Most importantly, who made you feel valued as a person and team member?
Becoming Your Best
Learn to employ all seven of these nonverbal communication skills and you will find that people connect with you, trust you, feel valued by you, engage with you, and look to you as a leader. That’s becoming your best.
“Nonverbal communication forms a social language that is in many ways richer and more fundamental than our words.” – Leonard Mlodinow
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