Body language: your body says more than your words

Correctly interpreting what their body wanted to transmit to us. But, to what extent can it be useful to know how to interpret the other person's gestures? In this post we are going to explore some basic aspects of the body language and, above all, how we can apply it in meetings with our clients. We are sure that with these tips your meetings will be much more profitable 😉.

What is body language?

Body language is a form of non-verbal communication. verbalbased on gestures, postures, movements of the body and face in order to transmit information. That is, everything that does not involve the use of words to communicate. There are seven body language channels:

  1. AppearanceThe way we dress, the way we take care of our beard or the make-up we wear already gives us a lot of basic information about our character y personality.
  2. Facial expressionsThe face is the mirror of the soul" is a very common saying with a very solid scientific basis. Both the facial expressions like those "microgestures"We are sure that we have heard about them on more than one occasion and that they give away our reactions to certain stimuli.
  3. Positionsstanding, arms folded, legs apart or together... in conversation your body position (or your partner's) conveys a lot. We'll get into this in more depth soon.
  4. GesturesAre you one of those who gesticulates Do you prefer to talk a lot, or do you prefer to remain as still as possible? This indicates that you may be a very nervous person... or that you have nerves of steel.
  5. Paralanguage: the intonationthe speedthe different accents depending on your background or pronunciation can reveal a lot about you.
  6. Proxemics: es, the use that we make of our personal space. As we will see, this is something that varies greatly across cultures and even within the same culture not everyone has the same perception of interpersonal distance.
  7. HapticsAll based on the tact: way of playing, duration, places, etc.

Did you know that...? Curious facts about body language that may surprise you.

The human body is vast and extensive in all its forms, as is the functioning of our brain. There is still much to be discovered and thanks to the psychology Many advances have been made in behavioral science. Do you want to look like a real body language guru? Surprise your visitors with data like this:

  • Less than 5% of the population recognize their own palm of the hand in a photographIt is surprising, because we are all sure we know our anatomy perfectly, but nothing could be further from the truth. The palm of the hand is so complex that very few people would recognize their own palm if they were presented with several photos of different models.
  • The 93% of our message contains non-verbal elements: That is to say, only 7% of what we say are words.. It is very little, isn't it? Perhaps that is why experts say that it is very important to work on other areas and not just the content of our message if we really want to convey something to our audience.
  • You have four minutes to make a good first impression. And no matter how hard you try, you will only get one chance. Unconsciously, we evaluate people we have just met on many levels: cognitive (whether they are intelligent or not), emotional (mood), whether they are a potential threat or not, attractiveness, etc.
  • Women are better at reading body languageIt is due to a evolutionary issue. Women are more familiar with body gestures because biologically speaking they are in charge of gestation and giving birth to babies. In addition, since prehistoric times they have been in charge of taking care of the youngest children, which is why they know how to to interpret at the first time if they want to eat, sleep, if they feel pain, etc.

Tips to apply in our business meetings.

Surely more than once you have been told to take care of your dress, your gestures and your way of speaking when you are going to speak in public or when you are going to make an important presentation. Have you noticed what are the most heard comments? "Smile openly", "don't cross your arms" are some of the most frequently heard expressions. The truth is that to make a good impression you really only need a few words to make a good impression. tips very simple:

  • Smilewith a sincere smile (i.e., wide, wrinkling the eyes and openly showing the teeth). It has been proven that the more smiling someone is, the more attractive he or she is to the receiver.
  • Shake hands as hard as you shake hands with the same strength you receiveHandshakes are the most common form of greeting in a business meeting. Always shake hands in the handshake position. vertical (never tilt the palm up or down) and never tighten more than what your partner tightens.. You will convey respect and confidence.
  • Respect their personal space: we will see later how to apply it on a table. Some cultures require more personal space than others. Always be respectful of this issue, never be the first to approach. Let the other person take the first step.
  • Imitatesrespectful, respectful gesturesWe are not talking about that child's play when they make fun, it is something more backed up by science. When two people have a close bond, their body gestures (always unconsciously) are often very similar. When it comes to meeting someone, if he or she sees the reflected their movements on another person, will feel more appreciated and his or her sense of trust in you will increase.. Give it a try, you'll be surprised how well it works.

Body language at the table: where to sit to make the best impression.

It seems like a trivial matter, but if you look at business meetings, every person sits down according to the role to be played in the meeting and of the degree of confidence among those present. The authors who best deal with this subject are Australian married couple Allan and Barbara Peaseauthors of severalbest-sellersThe following illustration is taken from the book "The World's Best Practices in the field". In the following illustration, taken from the book El body language: how to interpret others through their gesturesby Allan Pease and Barbara Pease (2014), we can see the different positions that can be held depending on where A sits and what they mean:

Source: "The language of the body", Allan & Barbara Pease (2020).

Have you ever heard of what it means to be in one seat or the other? From now on, try consciously positioning your clients and colleagues in your meetings. As you can see, many of the mental processes we go through when we make decisions are completely unawareeven if we have the feeling that we have been perfectly rational.
As you have seen, body language is a very broad and interesting field with a multitude of applications in business, politics, interpersonal relationships, etc.

Have you ever tried these tips? Tell us about them in the comments!

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