Guiding people to understand reading: body language vs. rhetoric


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Text comes from: Menschen verstehen und lenken: Ein FBI-Agent erklärt, wie man Körpersprache für den persönlichen Erfolg nutzt (2011) from Joe Navarro, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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How we speak can also change the way we are perceived and how effectively we communicate. We should pay attention to that!

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Joe Navarro Best of HR – Berufebilder.de®Joe Navarro was an FBI agent and is now a body language specialist.

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Listen to what I say? Spoken language

You may not have thought about the relationship between spoken language and non-verbal communication, but there is a connection. It has less to do with what we say than with how we say it. Spoken language consists not only of the words themselves or their meaning, but also of (paralinguistic) characteristics such as our inner attitude, tone of voice, volume, speed, stress, possible speech disturbances or pauses - even the fact whether we speak or it to prefer to be silent allows for certain conclusions.

A boastful, hasty speaker is not so much distracted by the content of his utterances as by the way he presents them. Conversely, we appreciate the reassuring nature of a considerate and conscious orator, but soon become impatient when someone speaks too slowly. These are just a few examples of the nonverbal properties of spoken language. However, you will soon discover that there are aspects of communication beyond spoken language that can enhance or enhance our ability to communicate.

Less is sometimes more

Quick, who was Edward Everett? No, it's no shame if this name does not mean anything to you. Edward Everett was president of Harvard University, foreign minister and United States envoy to Britain and one of the country's best speakers. Three years before his death, he was asked to deliver the most significant speech of his life on a very important and solemn occasion. The event's purpose was to commemorate an episode in the history of the American nation, which was marked by deep suffering and great sacrifice, and to make tangible the terrible epic struggle in which the citizens were at that time. In front of an audience that had been waiting for days, Edward Everett gave a good two-hour speech (two hours and eight minutes, to be exact), which in every way met the expectations put to him as a gifted orator. Regrettably, his speech is the same as his name: no one remembers a single word.

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After Everett had finished, the next speaker was introduced, and his speech is surprisingly remembered. He did not even speak a full three minutes and summed up the highly complex subject, as well as the countless victims, in 272 words - just ten short sentences. His speech was so brief that the photographers present did not even have the opportunity to get their machines ready; therefore there is no footage of this memorable speech. But his words live and reverberate in us today. The speech began with the most unlikely of all introductions that immediately captivated his listeners: "Before 87 years, our fathers founded ..." These 272 words, not the previous two-hour speech, turned the nail on its head. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, held on the occasion of the inauguration of the Military Cemetery, is known worldwide for its simplicity and ability to illustrate the high price thousands of people have had to pay to keep the idea of ​​a united democracy alive. This extraordinary speech had been written by a keen mind, legally trained and trained to influence juries, or, as in this case, its attentive listeners and a deeply torn nation. Lincoln understood too well that more is not always better; most people appreciate it when complex issues are kept simple. The brevity of a message can even amplify its message, which in this way lingers in the memory longer.

The nonverbal art of listening

In order to truly understand one's counterpart, two things are absolutely essential: empathy and active listening. The Chinese character for »listening« is comparatively complex; it consists of the characters for "ear," "eyes," "heart," and "undivided attention." There is a world of difference between listening and listening with empathy.

Think of someone you like to trust. He or she is probably an empathic listener. There are studies that show physicians are less likely to be sued if they listen attentively to their patients, express compassion and show calming gestures (for example, by making physical contact). Stockbrokers who can listen attentively to their clients are less likely to be criticized when an investment turns out to be unprofitable or stock prices fall. The Executive, who has an open ear for the personal or professional problems of her employees, can reinforce her loyalty by simply listening, even if she can not actively contribute to the improvement of the situation.

Talk to me

Verbal is closely related to active listening Spiegeln, which goes back to the work of the well-known psychologist and author Carl Rogers (1902–1987). Verbal Spiegeln is a simple, yet amazingly effective therapeutic method of quickly connecting with another person. I found them very helpful in my FBI work to open up channels of communication that might have remained closed with a less empathic approach.

Rogers believed that a more effective therapeutic relationship could be built by building every question about the person's psyche. He did this by listening to what his patients had to say and then literally using that information to respond to them. When his patient said "my home" spiegelte Rogers the linguistic behavior of the patient by also using the term "home" instead of, for example, "house". When the patient said "my child," Rogers also used the word "child" rather than "little one" or "daughter." Verbal Spiegeln is a helpful tool in areas of activity where it is important to build rapport, i.e. a positive connection; This is especially true for doctors, psychologists, salespeople, financial service providers and politicians.

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Linguistic egoists

Unfortunately, most people are very selfish when it comes to language and prefer to use their own terms to build and shape a conversation. In order to communicate as effectively as possible, however, it is advisable to use the language of the other person; thereby spiegelYou don't know what's going on in the head of the other and thus create a calming effect on the linguistic - and even on the psychological level. Suddenly you find yourself on the same wavelength as the person you are speaking to.

I'm over 50 years old, and in my youth we had "problems," not "differences." If somebody asks me, "Are there any differences on your side?", I feel less addressed than in the phrase, "Do you have a problem with it?" For me, "differences" are less important, and I assume that many people my generation, as well as the even older semesters, the same view.

The inability to use language preferences spiegeln

The inability to use language preferences spiegeln, I often come across in my business seminars. The business people present there assume that their clients understand the same technical terms as they do. But that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. You need to listen carefully. So if your client asks, "How much will the fun cost me?", Avoid talking about the "price level." Otherwise you will talk, but you will not communicate effectively and certainly not compassionately and at eye level.

If a client says "he is worried about the economic situation," you should tell him that you can understand his "fear"; Do not answer sentences like, "I can understand you're worried." He has no "concerns" but "fear"! By picking up on the words of your interlocutor (that is, focusing on your counterparts, not on yourself), you make him understand that you can fully empathize with him. The other person unconsciously feels at a deeper level and tends to react more receptively to you.

The common linguistic denominator is important

I learned early on in my career how important it is to find a common linguistic denominator. That was when I once dealt with a fugitive offender. After I arrested him near Kingman, Arizona, he started talking about his life. While we were driving to the judge, I picked up all the terms he had previously used: "uncomfortable", "embarrassing", "worried" and "a good Christian". I assured him that I understood that he was embarrassed about the whole thing, that it must be uncomfortable to be arrested, and that he was certainly worried about what his mother thought of him, especially since he was a good Christian. As a result, he trusted me on the short drive to Phoenix. He disclosed things that other investigators had missed, including other victims. I got this confession not because I was particularly clever, but because I recognized the power of verbal power Spiegelable to develop.

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So listen to your clients, patients, employees, and business associates, pay attention to the terms they use, and use them to your advantage. The same goes for your friends and family. You will find that you are perceived as a much more empathetic and attentive listener.


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