From the head to the feet, from the hands to the chest, every part of our body expresses itself, giving off a multitude of non-verbal signs. Our body movements and our gait tell us about our psychological and emotional disposition. The pace, speed of movement, stride or even the movement of our feet reveal many things. Spontaneous or controlled, in agreement or in contradiction with each other, what do we understand from these signals?
A gesture alone does not make sense
Despite all the persistent stereotypes about non-verbal communication, a single gesture is not enough to understand the other person. Indeed, body language is similar to verbal language: a single gesture is like a word taken out of context, which can therefore have several meanings.
Thus, body language relies primarily on combinations of gestures which, at a given moment, become clues to what is to follow. Understanding what the other person is not able to say opens the way to ‘another’ exchange.
It is also important to stress that body language is personalised, depending on one’s culture, social background, education and personality. But beware of erroneous beliefs and easy generalisations about body language leading to fanciful conclusions.
Body language is expressed in relationships
To understand what is going on in an exchange, it is important to observe and listen. However, taking non-verbal information into consideration does not replace verbal information!
Sometimes trying too hard to decode the other person could result in forgetting to simply listen, which remains the first principle of an efficient exchange. In essence, the individual is built to understand the way the other person works thanks to empathy, which mobilises our sensitivity and encourages us to open up more.
As the relationship develops, we strengthen our ability to perceive the state of mind and emotions of the other person. Although complex, decoding non-verbal communication is already part of our daily lives.
Indeed, we all instinctively read the body’s messages: our life is full of these spontaneous decryptions that allow us to adapt immediately to each situation. However, for most of us, this process is completely natural, instantaneous and therefore unaware.
“Learning to observe” is therefore a real exercise that allows us to discover the richness and complexity of the human being. This is the purpose of disciplines such as Synergology, which allows us to unveil the “hidden dimension of the relationship”.
The secrets of body language
Mistakes in recruitment, management and negotiation are costly. On a daily basis, your colleagues, managers, peers and leaders are also trying to decipher your intentions and emotions through your verbal and non-verbal cues. Know how you are perceived by your professional environment, whether it is at the first meeting or every time you arrive in a colleague’s office.
Do you want to stop misjudging an individual? Do you need to better identify risks in others? You’ve come to the right place.
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