The Power of Non-Verbal Communication
Did you ever wonder why you and your boss, colleagues or direct reports Horse seem to misunderstand each other so often? Everyone thinks they are being perfectly clear in their communication but still there are disconnects. We find ourselves saying “But I thought you meant . . .”
Often these disconnects arise from a misunderstanding between what we say verbally and what we are saying non-verbally. And research has always shown that our non-verbal body language is far more important to effective communication than our verbal words – about 93%!
Here’s where we can learn a lot from horses. Annette Miller helps us understand that horses are acutely aware of their surroundings because they are prey animals. Since humans are perceived as predators, horses react to our attitudes, behaviors and feelings immediately. By instinct they are very accurate in reading our body language and therefore able to give us immediate feedback to what we are actually communicating to one another.
Now most of us don’t have a horse easily available to us to practice on . . . so if you think that your non-verbal body language has gotten a bit sloppy over the years practice these three simple tried and true behaviors every day all day. They are magic!
- Maintain friendly eye contact – this connects you with the other person.
- Stop talking and really listen – this is the only way to really understand.
- Smile – it says more than any words.