Industrial psychologists and others can give you statistics on verbal and non-verbal communication, but I have been led to believe that as much as 60 percent of communication is body language. That seems a little high but I can tell you from experience it’s pretty close to the mark.
In my experience body language can shift a conversation much more quickly than the spoken word. Here are some examples and how they might be used.
Symmetry is basically your position to the person you are communicating with. Let’s say you and the other person are sitting in chairs. They are facing toward you, but you are facing 45 degrees from them. Your symmetry is off. If your head is cocked to one side, or one side of your body does not match the other then the symmetry is off.
By shifting to face the other person and leaning forward with an open posture you can indicate acceptance and interest and encourage the other person to follow this line of conversation. By turning away and closing your posture you can get them to shift the focus and communicate your lack of interest in this line of communication.
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