“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”
How often do you think about your body language?
Even though it’s not something we remember to think about, it can tell another person how we’re feeling. If you’ve ever played poker, you know that understanding body language can help you to spot someone trying to bluff their way to victory. The same skills can help improve your communication in your coaching or leadership practice.
Body language is non-verbal communication that includes our posture, gestures and the movements we make (including your facial expressions). It’s just as vital as verbal communication (maybe even more so, we communicated with gestures before we developed languages), but it’s usually something we don’t think about when we’re coaching or communicating.
No matter how engaging or interesting a speech is, if the speaker is giving off negative body language signals then the audience is less likely to listen to what they’re saying. Similarly, if you’re having a conversation with someone and your body language is disengaged, then it might appear as though you’re disinterested in what they have to say – even though you may be listening intently.
In the clip below you’ll see body language expert Mark Bowden explain how we naturally read body language signals and how that impacts on how we relate to each other and the impact that can have on the messages we send and takeaway from each other…
Going back to the video you made of yourself coaching in a earlier topic, rewatch it, but this time pay attention not to your words and interventions, but to your body language. How do you carry yourself, what gestures do you make and in what situations do you make them? What messages are you sending to the players you are working with through your body language – does your body language match the intention and tone of your words?
Reflecting on what you notice in your own actions, how can you use your body language going forwards to help deliver your message to players and/or team members?