One fact which really surprised me during my coaching studies was that communication is made up of 55% of body language, 38% of word tonality and actually only an itsy witsy 7% of actual words! That is amazing! What our bodies are then saying is closer to what we really mean than the words we choose or just let gushing out. By body language I am refering to aspects such as our posture: leaning forward or back, upright or slouched, how do you sit, leg position, what you do with your hands, how and where you look, even the colour and texture of your skin. When in communication with someone, if you are unsure of what they are saying or meaning, always trust the signs you instinctively pick up from the body.
Once I became aware of that fact, I started paying closer attention and indeed have found that it helps me get a better understanding of those talking to me, whether professionally or privately and I can perceive more of what they are not saying and help them come into alignement.
Of course then one also becomes aware of one’s own body signals in all forms of communication. I caught myself just yesterday assuring my 11 year old that I WAS listening but in effect was turned away from him and was doing something else at the same time, hence the clear signals he was receiving that he didnt have my full attention and I was only partially listening, hence his frustration.
I tried it out on my 13 year old too who didnt understand why I was always reproaching him of being disrespectful. The words might have been OK (well OKish at least ) but his body language with slouched posture, staring at the table, sighing and rolling his eyes…were telling me he wasnt taking our talk seriously.
Give it a try! Pay attention to the body language you are emitting and what the other is REALLY saying to you! If we understand fully what the other person really feels and means and if we take care to be in alignement with ourselves the quality of our communication will improve tremendously and so will our feeling of fulfillment! So lets make it happen!!!