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Communicating as a Leader

ø Two Ways you Can Communicate More Powerfully ø

Kris Hughes asked:

People are more likely to trust your body language and actions than what you say. This isn’t a typical “have open body language, ask open ended questions” type of article. This article includes two major processes that most of us overlook or only notice in others.

We read and judge people on a day to day basis, even though a lot of you say you don’t. Are you going to take someone seriously when they are dressed up in a clown suit, that’s more extreme because I’m making a distinction. You could be the friendliest guy or girl on the planet but who’s going to listen if you’re wearing a balaclava?

More than one of my friends have said ‘I wasn’t nervous’ after doing public speaking when I asked them but when they were up you could blatantly see from the non-verbals that they were. It doesn’t make me think any less of them, it just distracts from their actual message. Actually do this now, smile at yourself in the mirror and say “I hate you”, feels unnatural right? You feel as if you are lying to yourself or joking.

People look more to your non-verbals to see whether you truly believe what you are communicating. Eye contact is a huge part of this and was my main focus of the article. Your eyes are the windows to your soul.

Now let me tell you about those precious eyes of yours.

Your eyes are an indication of your internal state. They project interest, fear, dominance, passion, joy, jealousy, curiosity and whatever else you can imagine. You see (ha-ha), if you learn to control your internal state, your externals (actions, body language) will naturally display this.

How freakin’ cool do you feel when you’re dressed up to the nines? Like for a super special occasion. I would guess that it’s much better than when you are in your pyjamas or usual clothes. If your eye contact is all over the place then improving it will make you feel as if you were “dressed up to the nines”, except this isn’t something you’re wearing. It’s something you are projecting from the essence of who you are.

Are you aware of your facial expression? What about 7 seconds ago? Because we usually only ever see other people, we forget ourselves, our own non-verbals just happen without our awareness.

It’s my idea that we are so routine-based that we would forget to be aware of our contact when walking down the street, at the shop or at a party. For most of us, the way we move our eyes is an unconscious behaviour. For whatever reasons, you could come across as shifty or nervous without knowing. So what would be a great, fun way to learn how to improve our eye contact? Wait for it…

EXER-EYE-SES!

The name is new, the game is old. You know – “The Staring Contest”. There are variations of it. One version would be no laughing, the other would be no blinking. I like to just do both. I find that they’re both just as difficult. Practice.

Get your friends to play this game with you. If you have no friends or are feeling ballsy then here’s a better idea… Go to a bar find someone and say “Staring contest, no blinking or laughing”, most people are cool and will play along and like the challenge, if they don’t then you win by default.

This isn’t just a fun mess about. Well actually it is but by doing this you are becoming conscious of your eye contact, no blinking and no laughing (self-control).

Nervous laughter

Ever been talking to someone and they just laugh at anything and everything you say? They aren’t laughing because you’re funny (sorry I had to break it to you this way) they are laughing because they feel social pressure, they want to keep the vibe going. The bad thing about it is that you consciously or unconsciously pick up on their “nervous laughter” and it lowers their perceived social value.

Do you do this? I have and used to do it a lot. Use the no laughing game to practice the self control. Don’t worry about focusing on whether you’re doing it right or not, the point of the game is to have fun. If you feel like telling your friends what your doing then tell them, if you don’t then that’s fine. Most people love these kind of games anyway. Just ‘em to practice.

If you keep winning at the game then focus on the fact you are now good and have great self control. You’re training your consciousness to remind you. You will soon find that your eye contact is powerful, you blink less and you aren’t staring because you know when it feels right to look away. If you think you look away too soon then hold it for longer.

Just by reading this article you have become aware of eye contact and nervous laughter, that’s great. How much more powerful do you see your communication being when these bad habits are eradicated?

How do you blink less? Practice keeping your eyes open for as long as you can fixed on one point.

The laughing game is probably my favourite because people will go to extraordinary lengths to make you laugh and it’s sometimes a real challenge. Anyone else who is around will want to play and even if they don’t they will enjoy watching.

Thanks for reading.

Please leave your thoughts, ideas and suggestions and questions.

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