Listening With Body Language  

Santta 60M
4 posts
6/15/2006 2:45 pm
Listening With Body Language

What you do with your eyes, face, hands, arms, legs, and posture sends out signals as to whether you are, or aren't listening to and understanding what the other person is saying. For example, if you noticed someone you were talking to doing the following, what would you think?

o Glancing sideways
o Sighing
o Yawning
o Frowning
o Crossing arms on chest
o Looking at the ceiling
o Cleaning fingernails
o Cracking knuckles
o Jingling change or rattling keys
o Fidgeting in chair

You'd very quickly get the impression-wouldn't you?-that no matter what words come from this person's mouth, he or she actually has zero interest in what you're talking about and
wishes you'd just go away. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What you are is shouting so loud, I can't hear what you are saying."

Conversely, consider these mannerisms:
o Looking into your eyes
o Smiling frequently
o Raising eyebrows periodically
o Grinning at appropriate moments
o Using expressive hand gestures when speaking
o Keeping eyes wide open
o Licking lips
o Tilting head
o Leaning toward you

This person shows interest in you and what you're saying. In addition, the active listener usually acknowledges the speaker verbally as well with such comments as "I see," "Uh-huh," "Mmmm," or "Really?"

When you acknowledge the other person both verbally and nonverbally, you build trust and increase rapport. And you'll probably learn something, too!

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