“Encoding” body language is your ability to send non verbal cues to those around you. This is the art of controlling your personal brand, giving a great first impression and how you make people feel when they are around you. Sending off the right non verbal cues is extremely important in all aspects of life. Wether you are at the bar, shopping with friends at the mall or in the waiting room of a job interview you want to be sure you are sending off positive non verbal cues through your body. The majority of today’s influencers have mastered the art of sending non verbal cues and it can be seen from politicians and presidents to stars in Hollywood. You only have one first impression to make, let’s make sure it’s a good one. Here are some basic body language laws to abide by in order to make yourself more approachable, charismatic and likable.
Don’t Cross your Arms or Legs.
Crossing your arms or legs is usually seen as a barrier between you and the people around you. While there are circumstances where crossing your arms is appropriate, like when it’s freezing outside and you need to warm up, for the most part try to avoid creating a barrier between you and the world. By taking down the barrier you will come off as less guarded and much less defensive. Allan and Barbara Pease have also found that by uncrossing our legs and arms, it can improve our memory. They had a group of volunteers attend a lecture and divided them into two groups: one that sat with their arms and legs crossed and a group that did not. The group that sat with their arms and legs uncrossed remembered 38% more information than the group that sat in a guarded or defensive position. This tip is probably the easiest to implement on a daily basis. Whenever you notice yourself cross your arms or legs ask yourself if you feel defensive or like you are guarding yourself and make the conscious choice to uncross them.
Nod When Others are Talking.
The basic gesture of nodding your head when you agree with someone can go a long way. It shows that you are listening to what they have to say and that you agree with them. This instantly makes your more likable since not only are you listening to the other party but also agreeing with what they have to say. Making someone feel heard can be one of the best gifts you can give them and by doing so they will love communicating with you. You can also nod your head in disapproval if the context is right. Science shows when we nod our heads in approval or disapproval it strengthens our validation with our own thoughts or ideas on a subject. A simple yet effective tip is to nod in whichever direction you want someone to agree with you. If you are a salesman and going for the close a simple nod of your head up and down will likely influence the other person to agree with you and same goes for nodding your head in disapproval.
Smile and Laugh.
This may seem simple enough and I’m sure you’ve heard it a million fucking times but every once in a while it really pays to lighten up. Positivity is contagious and it is impossible to seem approachable or friendly if you look like someone just farted in your face. An authentic smile is proven to stimulate your own sense of well-being and will directly influence how other people respond to you. Here’s a little excerpt on smiling from Dale Carnegies How to Win Friends and Influence People:
“It costs nothing, but creates much.
It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give.
It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None are so rich that they can get along without it, and none so poor but are richer for its benefits.
It creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in a business, and is the countersign of friends.
It is the rest to the weary, the daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is no earthly good to anybody till it is given away.
And if in the last-minute rush of Christmas buying some of our salespeople should be too tired to give you a smile, may we ask you to leave one of yours?
For nobody needs a smile so much as those who have none left to give!”
Smiling is free. Smiling is contagious and smiling is fun. Loosen up a bit, have a laugh and stop taking shit so seriously. It will instantly make you more fun to be around and a magnet of influence. Do yourself a favor and smile more.
These are 3 basic things you can do today to give off a better vibe. If your goal is to increase you influence, seem more approachable and instantly increase your charisma practicing these 3 tips will help you get there. Be conscious of the non verbal signs you are giving off to the world. Like, share and subscribe for more on InfluenceIQ!