Welcome to this
issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback
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?
- Glancing sideways
- Crossing arms on chest
- Looking at the ceiling
- Cleaning fingernails
- Cracking knuckles
- Jingling change or rattling keys
- Fidgeting in chair
You'd very quickly get the impression 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:
- Looking into your eyes
- Smiling frequently
- Raising eyebrows periodically
- Grinning at appropriate moments
- Using expressive hand gestures when speaking
- Keeping eyes wide open
- Licking lips
- Tilting head
- 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!