What My Facial Expressions Say
I am passionate about communication. Specifically how powerful communication is to all we do both personally and professionally. Its the basis for my business and a topic I speak about often. The implications of communication, both good and bad, are huge.
Did you know that what we say is only 7% of communication. The remaining 93% is between tone (38%) and non-verbals (55%). That's pretty powerful! Have you ever noticed someone who say's one thing but their tone depicts something different? How about someone who says they are excited about something but have a look that says otherwise?
I often watch people's total communication. Does what they say match with their tone and non-verbals. I study and research non-verbal communication. I read books on the topic and try as best I can to ensure that I am delivering the correct message when I am working with others.
Imagine my surprise when I was continually asked by my kids what was wrong-why was I angry. I told them that I wasn't angry just thinking. This happened a few more times before it dawned on me- my non-verbals were giving off the wrong message.
Here my kids were thinking they did something wrong, when in fact, I was just contemplating. The first thought that came into my mind when I realized this was "how often do I have this face when I am with a client, part of a working team or speaking in front of a group". Being angry or upset is NOT the message I want to deliver. How fun would it be to sit in a coaching session with me and as I am thinking of something you wonder what the heck you did to make me angry....talk about an awkward moment.
I had to immediately correct this but that's easier said than done.
In order to correct this, I have to be deliberate in training my brain to relax my face when I am thinking. I have had to ask others around me to tell me if my face looks angry when I stop talking. I am constantly trying to pay attention of my eyes- are squinting or not? I am so aware of this now that I am almost a bit obsessed.
I am slowly noticing that I don't have to course correct in the moment as often. I find my face is more relaxed when I ponder what I want to say. It has been a lot of work to get to this place, and I think it will be one I have to practice constantly.
Changing some of your non-verbals can be easy. How you walk into a room. Sit at a table. Shake hands or greet someone. Others can take time. Like mine. When its ingrained in you or something you have done for a long time, it takes awareness, practice and patience.
I am thankful that my kids got me to recognize how I was showing up.
Has anyone given you feedback on your non-verbals? If they aren't in alignment with what you want to be communicating, what are you doing to correct?
To your growth, development and amazing potential,