What does your body language say about you? How does your body language transmit to your co-worker and patients? In these times of texting, messaging, Facebooking, Snapchatting, we may forget how important communication is face to face. That does not just include words and tone of voice, it includes your whole body.
This is what we know:
- It only takes 4 seconds for a person to make a decision about you!
- 7% from what the person actually says
- 38% from the tone and speed of voice
- 55% is from their body language.
It is increasingly more important to further your one to one personal customer and work relations via body language. Why else would the consumer want to come to visit your office? You can either attract or repel anyone by your body language. The best part, fixing your body language is FREE and doesn’t take long to make new habits to enhance the patient experience.
Helpful Hints on Better Patient Relation by Body Language
1.) Smile– even if you have to fake it. A false smile engages only the lips. A true smile is in the eyes.
2.) Watch your legs – should stand with legs about a should width apart. This shows dominance and determination. Hence ‘Stand Your Ground’ When in battle, put your hands on your hips.
- Legs too close shows lack of confidence
- Legs too far apart shows lack of inner confidence
3.) Keep People at arms length. Watch personal space. People will lean toward someone they like and lean away from those they do not.
4.) Stop fiddling with objects or be distracted while someone is talking to you. This usually means you want out of the situation. Tapping the foot, bopping your feet are all signs of tension.
5.) Hold your Shoulders Back -Stand up straight and hold head high. Slouching is bad for health and makes you look weak. Shoulders back show courage and confidence.
6.) Stop talking and start listening. Let them share their story and don’t interrupt. Cock your head and even turn it to the side to say you are listening.
7.) Make eye contact and keep good contact without staring. Looking someone in the eyes is a sign of self confidence.
- The lowering of the eyes can convey fear, guilt or submission
- Closing the eyes usually has a negative connotation.
- Wide eyes show interest in the subject matter or the person
8.) Watch the touching. If they touch you, it can be OK to touch them back.
9.) Watch the facial expressions.
- Pursing lips is a sign of anger
- Raised- Furrowed eyebrows is a sign of curiosity
- Lowered eyebrows can mean confusion or fear.
- Nibbling lips means you are trying to comfort yourself.
10.) Folded Arms– can means the person is cold, defensive and standoffish. (Think police and body guards.) It is a defensive position. Open Arms means someone is comfortable and approachable.
11.) Feet– Look at the direction the person’s feet are pointing at. If pointed at the group, they are interested. If pointed at an exit, they want to be someplace else.
12.) Hands– Opening hands means open to new ideas. Hiding hands by putting them in pockets or even in the lap can mean you are hiding something.
13.) Arms – Flailing arms; ‘You’re not out of control. Research shows that those who gesture when they speak seem energetic, agreeable, and warm, while those who gesticulate less are seen as logical and analytic. Keep in mind that moderation is key; overly animated gestures that border on frantic make you appear unbelievable and less powerful. If you fear you may be too animated, perhaps in a job interview, hold on to something when you talk.’ ( CNN)
Learning and reading the correct body language is good customer service and can be fun. Why not practice throughout the day with your co-workers and patients. It is a wonderful way to enhance your customer service so that your patients love to come to your office because you listen and care about them!