A new family in 7 days: Let your body do the talking

by Donovan Grant on November 26, 2012

A new family in 7 days: Let your body do the talking

Donovan Grant

We are all leaders. We lead ourselves; our families and lead our teams.

One thing you notice about the best leaders is they are fabulous communicators. Whether it’s a young student, a mum, dad or a leader of a country, the way communicate has a lot to do with how much you like them.

Have you ever been amazed when you’ve heard someone speak really well? Yes, me too.

They have a manner about them that makes you want to lean in closer and listen. Or maybe they inspire you to get out a pen and notebook to make some notes. Or sometimes you get drawn in – and you don’t even know why!

An interesting thing is- it’s not just what they say that amazes you… it’s how they say it.

Just think for a moment about one of your favourite speakers, what is it that makes you like them so much? Having a powerful, soothing or entertaining voice is nice. But what you’ll most likely find engaging is what they do with their body. What type of body language they have.

Numerous studies have shown that communication with the body accounts for 55% of how you and I connect with a speaker. Surprisingly how we speak only accounts for 37%.

Wow! So this kind of implies that we do our best listening by watching!

Now that we know this, what does it really mean for the regular people like you and me?

In a nutshell, it means that your non-verbal communication with your family is very important. It may even be argued that it is more important than the tone of your voice that you use around the home.

That’s right.

Let’s take for example a parent who is helping their child with their maths homework. Suppose the parent has had a tough day at the office and all they want to do is chill out. Being a good dad, the parent proceeds to help the child with the maths, but they do it with all the enthusiasm and skill of an elephant.

What message will the child get? Will it be “oh I am glad dad helped me with this” or maybe, “next time I’ll ask mum if that’s how he’s going to help.”

Your body speaks.

Think about a soccer player who has just scored a goal – what do they do afterwards? They run across the pitch to their colleagues smiling and maybe screaming with their arms outstretched to celebrate together.

And what do the defending team do? They hold their heads down, shoulders hunched and probably mumble to each other “it was you’re fault” – they just look totally unhappy.

The difference in the body language says a lot to the people who are observing. Yes, your children are watching you.

How do you use your body to communicate with your family? Are you an arms wide open person or are you keeping yourself tightly wrapped?

You can make a huge difference by just changing what you do with you body… and the bigger the change, the bigger the difference.

Can how you communicate with your body really change someone’s mind? Yes.

But here’s the secret . . .You can use this tip in any social situation. With your children, spouse, friends, colleagues; in fact you can use your body in every interaction you have with another person.

Would you be willing to give it a try this week?

Here is a simple 3-step process to change the way you communicate just by moving your body differently:

1.    Ask yourself, “How do I need to look if I am to be true to the message I wish to portray?”

2.    Act and move in agreement to what you decided to question 1.

3.    Practice using your body authentically every day in every conversation you have.

From my own experience, I’m pretty sure that you may not get this idea until you experience the emotion of the change by doing it. Are you ready to give it a go?

Let’s raise the quality of our communication today!

From me to you.

Donovan

Do you ever wonder, what is my body saying? What is your body language like at home? Does it make a difference in what you do rather than what you say to your children? Leave a comment or query below, we’d love to hear from you.

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com

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