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I found an interesting article from Entrepreneur online this week. Written by Travis Bradberry, the article discusses how we learn more through body language than we can through what people tell us verbally. There is lots of useful information for all of us who have any dealings with people. For instance, according to research conducted through UCLA “… only 7% of communication is based on the words we say. 38% comes from tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from body language.”

Here are some of the things that you should be looking for when you are interacting with guests, co-workers, friends, and family.

Crossed Arms & Legs: Suggest the person is resistant to your ideas. Psychologically, crossed legs or arms signal that the person is emotionally or physically blocked from what is in front of them. According the researchers this is not intentional, which is why it is so revealing.

Look for Genuine Smiles: A genuine smile reaches the eyes and causes the skin around the eyes to crinkle. If those crinkles aren’t there, the person may just be being polite, but not really engaged or agreeing.

Eye Contact: Too little eye contact can mean that you have lost people’s interest. If they are busy looking around when you are talking, you may be giving them too much information and they are getting bored. If so ask them a question.

On the other hand, because many of us were told to look our parents in the eye when we were young (they told us they could tell when we were lying), people may hold eye contact longer than it is comfortable in an attempt to cover up the fact that they are not being completely honest with you.

When you are interacting with people (especially customers), hone your observation skills and look for signals that might mean that they are uncomfortable, bored or otherwise disengaged. It may be time to ask questions and let them talk for a while to get a better idea of how the interaction is going.

A tip of the glass from me to you

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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