Did you know that only 7% of our communication comes from its content?
38% is in the way we say that.
And in the remaining 55% are all the things we never say at all.
A sentence “It’s not what you said, but HOW you said it” makes a bit more sense now, does it?
Imagine this situation for a moment:
A man is walking down the street.
He doesn’t say a word.
His step is light and every third step he would make a little skip.
He has a big smile on his face, he is looking at the sky.
His chest is open and shoulders broad.
He waves his arms as he’s walking.
He even nods his head as if he’s listening to his favorite song.
Would you say this man is sad? Excited? Scared? Suprised? Happy?
We would all probably say the same thing.
And here’s why.
We all came with the built-in human behavior detector.
We sense peoples’ emotions easily because we all share the same ones.
Sure, a different thing would make us feel different feelings, but no one is going to jump around feeling sad or stay in the corner of the room feeling proud and self-confident.
We all express emotions in similar ways so that we can quickly recognize them.
We are social beings, after all, we learn from each other.
How many times did you witness a baby smiling just because his or her mother does?
The baby probably didn’t get the joke, but sensed the emotion and tried to replicate it.
So how can you use this information?
Did it ever happen to you that you meet someone and instantly ‘click’?
And even if you knew the person for only a few minutes, you felt like you knew each other way longer than that and that somehow you can trust them?
This happens for a very simple reason: you two are alike.
And people like to see themselves in others.
We like and trust what we know.
So knowing this can give you the ultimate advantage the next time you meet someone new, or you want to gain someones’ trust.
A neat trick to try is to mimic their behavior.
So if they are sitting with their hands crossed over their lap, you do the same.
If they talk fast and loud, you speak in the same manner.
This way they will recognize themselves in your behavior and instantly trust is built.
Be careful though, not to overdo it, it might seem like mocking.
Instead, wait for them to move, and then after a few seconds, you can move as well.
This is a pretty easy trick to use, but it does require some practice.
So go out there, meet someone and see what happens when you try this out.
Whether it’s someone in a supermarket, at a party or at your place of work it is definitely going to make you a better communicator.
And without communication, there is no progress.