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The Role of Body Language in Building Rapport

Full transcript (unedited)

The following video is an excerpt from my course building rapport, going beyond small talk with advanced communication skills. If you want to check out the whole course, including the parts of taken out of this video, have a look at the link below.

>> Check out the full Building Rapport: Communication Skills to Surpass Small Talk course

This video, we’re going to go beyond words. And we’re going to look at the role of body language when it comes to building rapport. I want to keep it as simple as possible, because body language could be an entire course on its own. And maybe I will do that one day. But there are some key elements that really do all the work for you. And I do believe in a single video, I can give you a few simple things. And that’s all you need to know, to create the kind of body language that naturally assists rapport, the fact that it comes down to three things to remember, slow, loud, proud, if you can embody those three concepts, which I’ll explain in a minute, you really don’t need to remember anything else.

Slow, loud, proud. Your body language needs to show that you’re open and transparent, that you’re paying attention to them that you’re present with them here and now and that they are safe. That’s basically all you need to accomplish with your body language to enable rapport or build it also the things that if you get wrong, you’re going to kill rapport and break the connection.

Let’s start by looking at the classic mistakes that I see people making on a daily basis, looking away while they are talking. Now, when you’re talking, you can look away here in the United States about 50%. Sometimes you’re looking in your eyes, especially when you want to make an intense point. And other times you kind of let them breathe by looking away. If you’re looking away the entire time you’re talking that’s not so bad, as long as the rest of your body language and your words show that you’re, you know, trying to be involved in the conversation. But while they’re talking, if you look away, they’re instantly going to assume it’s because you’re not interested in them. So even if you find it difficult to concentrate while looking at someone, you’re just going to have to learn how to do it. Looking at their face, it doesn’t necessarily have to be direct eye contact, but looking in their direction, paying attention to their mouth of the eyes, while the talking will actually help you focus on what they’re saying. And it will tell them clearly I’m here with you. And I’m listening, closing your frame. So if you imagine this as your frame here, measure like a picture frame, from your chin down to your sternum. This must always be exposed as much as possible. And that’s okay if your hands to be doing this in front. But it’s not okay to be crossing your arms, bringing your chin down, holding something in front of you. Of course, these rules can all be broken when you know what you’re doing. But most of the time people close off this area. And what it does is give an impression of uncertainty and an impression of defensiveness. Not necessarily going to kill your connection. But it is unattractive. If nothing else, forgive my language, but resting bitchface. There are some of you and this is just bad luck with your genetics, that when your face is relaxed, You look upset. You look like you’re in a bad mood. You look like you don’t like people. Now, I’m not telling you to go get plastic surgery always put on a fake smile that you might need to compensate by telling people about this. I remember there was a girl I was on a dancing class with and I thought she hated me for a year until she told me no, that’s just my face. I actually like it. And after she told me that then I understood and I never took the face thing personally again. But some of you might wonder why don’t always get such negative defensive reactions from people that you don’t realize that your natural bone structure looks like go away from me twitching and fidgeting says one of my particular problems, I have ADHD a little bit and I tend to do what’s called stimming. So I shake my legs and things like that. And it’s not a huge problem, except that it’s distracting. And it can project a sense of boredom, any kind of agitated, quick movements, either agitate the other person or give them the impression that you don’t want to be here. So getting used to slowing your body down calming it keeping it still can do a lot to relax the other person avoiding physical contact. We’ll talk about touching a lot more in the next video. But if you never touch people, if you never contact them physically, it is going to hold you back and delay the connection if nothing else. For a start, the actual physical contact between humans creates a hormonal response. There’s a hormone called oxytocin that gets released that creates a warm, fuzzy, cuddly feeling we have for each other love feeling. But also when you don’t touch people, you’re keeping them in a certain platonic zone, a certain distance associate kind of category. And touching is what brings people into a deeper category, whether it’s friendship or relationship. Touching says you’re one of the inner circle now. And if you get good at Touching as we’ll talk about the next video, you almost don’t have to get anything else right and showing signs of disinterest or an urgency to interrupt you know If the other person is talking, and they can see their signs on your face, like you want to have a go or you’re thinking about other things, it’s really disruptive to the report and makes them feel boring and makes them panic about keeping your interest makes them frustrated that you won’t let them finish, you should be still as a pond while the other person is talking. In fact, they should be trying to guess what it is that you are feeling as they talk, they should have to wait until it’s your turn before they even know what went on in your head while they were talking. Right? I’m not talking about like dead poker face, you can allow emotions to show. But the only emotions you show should be reflective one’s not, I want to have a turn more. So just like oh, oh, okay, wow, you know, those kinds of reactions are fine. But when your body says, Okay, shut up, now I want to have a go. I’ve got other ideas, it kills the connection. And let’s talk specifically about tone issues. So tone has something to do with the volume of your voice and the pitch and frequency of your voice. But it’s also the kind of, let’s call it the vibe you’re putting out. Okay, the frame, the sense that they get from you in general. And that’s often what kills connections without the person knowing that they’re doing it. And they go home from a date. And they thought it was great. But she won’t call you anymore. Like what did I do wrong, you won’t realize it was a tone problem. classic one is too quiet. People don’t understand something about the way volume travels through space. So if I’m speaking to you, and my voice predicts to you, and I’m in my head, trying to get my voice to land where your ears are, I don’t realize that the volume actually drops off before it gets to you. So whatever it sounds like in my head, it’s probably about half that by the time it reaches your ears. If I want you to hear me at the same volume that I hear myself, I need to speak past you. Another problem that’s similar to this is what I call the gentle voice, people pleasers. I used to do this a lot. Take the base and the deeper tone out of their voice to come across as non confrontational. So the kind of voice you might use when speaking to a puppy, or a baby, or you hear this a lot from people in customer service. You know, you go to order a coffee, hi, what can I get you today? And then you hear them talking to their friends, like Yeah, man was a good time, blah, blah, blah, blah, oh, there’s two different people. Right, there needs to be their base tone doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, their base tone that you naturally have that you use when you’re speaking to people you feel comfortable with. You can’t take that out of your voice just to come across as friendly, because it actually comes across as fake, which kills the connection. And lastly, using text based communication for anything that’s serious. As we’ve already mentioned, you lose about 90% of the message, whether it’s text based, so the only time you should be messaging someone on a text way through messenger or whatever, is to arrange a deeper conversation to arrange a phone call to arrange a face to face meeting. At the very least, you should be sending audio or video messages. If you’re talking about anything more serious than the logistics of organizing your next meet, can never have emotional conversations via text, you should not be talking or having arguments about things that actually mean something to you, in text form. Right? Too many relationships have been absolutely destroyed, not by what was said, but by how it was said. And the people gone together to have that same conversation face to face, or would have been fine. So let’s get practical, slow, loud and proud. Let’s start with slow. When you’re talking allow your hands to wander slowly, almost like your body is underwater. And you can actually next time you’re in a pool, you can move your body around to see what moving underwater looks and feels like. And try to bring this into your daily interactions. So your body moves and so on while you’re talking to someone. But then that kind of delayed slow pace. That is like somebody who’s being underwater. This gives a really relaxed impression. And also work on doing this with your communication. Most people probably speak too fast, or at the very least, they don’t pause enough. You are allowed to have gaps in between what you’re saying. I actually edit out a lot of those gaps in these videos just to save time. But when I’m naturally talking, I allow big gaps to form big silences. And if you can also combine this with slowing the pace of your words like you’ve got nowhere else to be there’s no rush here. You want to take your time and say it right. That also relaxes the vibe and allows the connection to form. It’s actually really difficult to listen to someone who’s going too fast. Next one is loud. That’s kind of what it sounds like. take up space with the volume of your voice. Okay, take the risk of being overheard by other people. When you’re doing it right. It will feel like it’s a bit too much. It’s not quite Shelton, but you’ll feel like you kind of got the spotlight on you because of how loud you’re speaking. So if you’re someone who’s usually too quiet, that’s what It will feel like when you’re doing it, right. Okay? It should be that it’s impossible to not hear you. Right? So if I’m talking to you, your volume should be such that I can’t ignore you. I can’t miss what you said. I’ll never be like, what? So if you ever get people saying, so what did you say? Then you’re not loud enough. You’ll know you’re loud enough when people never say that. When it comes to your voice, try recording yourself from the other side of the room, you might take your phone or whatever recording device, you put it on one side of the room, you go to the other, and try to talk like you’re talking to someone, say at a cafe. Now go listen to the recording on that phone. If it sounds really quiet, you’re not talking loud enough. It should sound like you’ve actually got the phone about here. Right? That’s when you’ve got the volume, right? And the last one is proud. And proud is about taking up the space physically that you belong to, as well as how you speak you speak in a way where what you say is important. What you say matters, your voice tone and the way you project it should give the impression I believe in this and this is a good thing to say. That doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind on the content of what you’re saying. But if you’re gonna say it, say it proudly go all in or don’t say anything. I say things with hesitation and apology, that tone we allow. I’m sorry, I’m saying this or I’m not sure it’s true, say it, but they’re based on their end with a full stop rather than a question mark. Go, this is what I’m saying. Take it and then they can challenge you and you can change it later if you want. But also with your body when you sit down take up as much space as you need to be comfortable and relaxed. Position your body and drape your arms and your legs as needed for you to be like ah, this is a good way to sit or this is a nice place to lean. You should try to make yourself comfortable while you’re talking to people. If you’re doing something that hurts or feels very stiff, or you kind of can’t wait to move, then you’re doing it wrong. Choose something from this video go and practice it, Master it then come back and choose something else. Thank you for watching. If you want more tips and expert techniques on how to master your communication skills, get in touch dan@brojo.org And we’ll talk about coaching

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