Table of contents:
- Going to the next level
- Skill # 1. Use your hands
- Skill # 2. Be a Winner
- Habit # 3. Practice Eye-to-Eye Contact
Video: The Science Of Communication. Part 2 - Reviews, Self-development
- The science of communication. How to read emotions, understand intentions and find common language with people
- Vanessa van Edwards
- Mann, Ivanov and Ferber. Moscow, 2018
Publishing chapters from the book
Going to the next level
The first impression is a survival mechanism inherited from our ancestors. When meeting a new person, you must very quickly decide whether you want him to take a place in your life. Do you know about the "fight or flight" reflex? It is your body's instinctive reaction to external stimuli when it decides whether to stay in place or get away with it. This is why first impressions are so effective and informative.
See also: Science of Communication. Part 1
In the first seconds of communication, we are trying to find answers to three basic questions about the interlocutor.
First level: friend or foe? This is our subconscious desire to check whether it is possible to feel safe around a person. The train of thought is: "Hey buddy, give a sign: should I stay or disappear?"
Level two: Is there a winner or a loser in front of me? When meeting someone for the first time, we want to quickly assess how confident the person is. Does he look like a leader or rather like a follower?
Level three: ally or foe? It's one thing to figure out that the person isn't a threat, and quite another to determine if you want them to be on your team. Your brain is trying to figure out if you are cute enough to the other person to stand up for you.
If a counterpart passes our testing, we "raise" him to a new level, we trust him more. Strangers become familiar. Acquaintances turn into friends. Potential clients become real (it is clear that exactly the same questions your counterpart asks about you).
Try to make a strong first impression non-verbally by going through all three levels of intuitive trust.
Those involved in show business know that the "power of three" is acting talent, the ability to sing and dance. If we talk about the first impression, then your "power of three" is active gestures, correct posture and eye contact. Here are three non-verbal weapons you can use to pass all three levels of the Trust Test. They are used by Arild Remmeright when he goes on stage. They are used by the best TED Talk speakers when they step out onto their little red carpet. And it would be good to use them when you interact with other people.
Skill # 1. Use your hands
The best TED speakers use a specific mechanism to instantly establish trust with their audience: they gesture a lot.
- The least popular speakers used an average of 272 hand gestures - yes, our analyzers scrupulously counted each.
- The most popular speakers used an average of 465 hand gestures - almost double the number!
- Temple Grandin, Simon Sinek and Jane McGonigal surpassed them all, using 600 gestures in 18 minutes.
Many people think that when we meet a person, we pay attention to their eyes or a smile. But we do not realize how important the hands are here.
When a person sees your hands, he relaxes, it is easier for him to make friends with you. It's easy to use. When entering a room or waiting for a meeting, keep your hands in your pockets.
Yes, yes, when they are in your pockets, you feel so comfortable! It's so familiar! You are a real cowboy! I don't want to sound categorical, but, believe me, pockets kill any communication! Yes, you heard right - they kill. Therefore, the simplest thing you can do to make a good first impression is to keep your hands in sight. Every time you put them in your pockets, shout to yourself: "Murderers!" This will help you to think better.
Unfortunately, this is not the only problem. Don't let your desk, briefcase (purse), or laptop interfere with your communication. If possible, keep your hands on the table during a meeting or coffee break. First, they will be clearly visible to the interlocutor, which inspires confidence; second, it will be easier for you to shake his hand.
Skill # 2. Be a Winner
According to a major study by Carnegie Mellon University, a professional's confidence in his actions is much more important than his reputation, skills and abilities, not to mention history! Why is it so important? We tend to look for winners.
We love having winners on our team. We love when we are associated with them and when they lead us. Whether we like it or not, in the first few seconds of the interaction, we try to decide whether the person in front of us is the type of winner or a loser. And then the question arises: what should the winner look like?
Researchers Jessica Tracy and David Matsumoto wondered if there is a universal behavior common to winners and losers. More precisely, they decided to see how people react to success and failure. They compared how Olympic athletes behave after they win or lose. And then we asked the question: do the sighted, blind and blind from birth athletes show the same sense of pride and shame? The answer was yes: no matter where the athletes came from, they behaved exactly the same in case of victory and loss. Even athletes who are blind from birth, who have never seen a winning finish or a loss, repeat the gestures of other athletes.
Winners usually take up as much physical space as possible. Their posture is often referred to as the "power pose": they raise their arms above their heads, straighten their ribcage, and tilt their heads back.
Losers usually try to occupy less space. Their posture is known as the “powerless pose,” and it looks like this: the person tilts his head, rounds his shoulders and presses his hands to the body.
The fact that athletes instinctively use the same body language suggests that the non-verbal expression of the joy of victory or the bitterness of defeat is inherent in us from birth. But why? Tracey and Matsumoto suggest that feelings of pride and shame are very significant signals in communication, because they provide comprehensive information about us for making an assessment.
Like athletes, when we are proud, we want others to pay attention to us, so we try to take as much space as possible. And when we lose, we try to transfer the attention of others to another object and "shrink".
As much as I want you to look like a winner, this pose is still too powerful for everyday interaction. It would be weird if you came to a meeting or date looking like you've just crossed the finish line. Of course, you would look very powerful, but in a social context, it would look aggressive.
I would recommend what I call "a tough person ready for action." This is a softer version of the winner pose.
Use it whenever you talk to someone.
- The shoulders are slightly back and down.
- The chin, chest and forehead are slightly pushed forward or slightly upward.
- Hands at a short distance from the body.
- Moreover, they are clearly visible.
Body language is the fastest way to show others your confidence and make a good impression.
Sometimes we unknowingly strike a loser pose when we check our phone. Imagine tilting your head, crossing your arms over your chest, pressing them tightly against your body, and dropping your shoulders. What do most of us do while waiting for a client or before entering the office where the meeting will take place? Checks the phone! We must put an end to this vicious practice!
Habit # 3. Practice Eye-to-Eye Contact
Since you have decided that in front of you is a person worthy of trust, he is by nature a winner, you need to understand whether you want him to be on your team. This is the difference between a good first impression and an indelible one. More precisely, we are looking for something that will indicate the kinship of our souls. Does this person like me? Will he listen to my opinion? Will he accept me? Of course, we all like reliable, confident people. But if we are not convinced that they will respect us, we can never take our relationship to the next level.
Most TED speakers only go through the first two levels. They can prove their reliability by using gestures, and self-confidence by using a stable posture with their legs apart. But most of them don't know how to give the people in the audience the feeling that they are special. Speakers talk to the camera, interact with the slides they are showing, but not with you.
The best TED speakers make eye contact with specific people in the room, speak with them - thereby communicating to everyone who sees it, the feeling that these people are important to the speaker. The commonality that comes with the best TED talks comes from taking all the slides and the presentation together with the speaker. The speakers who hook you are talking to you, not to you.
Why is eye-to-eye contact so powerful? At such moments, the body produces oxytocin - the chemical basis of intimacy. We are programmed to perceive this as a non-verbal signal that the person is disposed towards us. If you like someone, you look at them more often.
Writer Allan Pease describes this phenomenon as follows:
“If person A sympathizes with person B, then he will often and a lot look at him. This makes person B decide that person A likes him. Naturally, a reciprocal feeling of sympathy will awaken in him. In other words, in most cultures, to establish a complete rapport with another person requires that your eyes meet 60 to 70% of the time you are speaking. This awakens sympathy for each other in the interlocutors. It is not surprising that very few people trust nervous, intimidated people who meet their interlocutor's eyes no more than 30% of the time of a conversation. "
British social psychologist Dr. Michael Argyll found that when Westerners and Europeans talk, they maintain eye contact, on average, 61% of the time. In his opinion, 41% of eye contact occurs while the person is talking, and 75% while listening. So the next time you talk to someone, try to objectively measure how long it took you to make eye contact. And here's another thing to keep in mind.
- Pay attention to the other person's eye color.
- Do not look over his head trying to see what is happening behind him.
- Maintain eye-to-eye contact 60–70% of the time.
Use eye contact to build trust. Look the other person in the eye intently to feel the connection with him.
The Power of Three is your reliable assistant in situations when your nerves are out of tune. It will help you make the right first impression: when you understand how it works, you will not worry and can relax.