Your body language could be your worst enemy when it comes to getting your way in life. Get ahead by becoming fluent in the ancient language we all unconsciously speak.
Body language and communication have been studied for years by psychologists, sociologists and linguists alike, and it’s not an uncommon statistic to hear that 80% of all communication is nonverbal. To add to this, a recent and extensive study by the MIT Media Lab confirmed that they could predict the outcome of a negotiation at an impressive 87% accuracy by simply analyzing the participants’ body language without listening to a single spoken word*.
*Alex (Sandy) Pentland, Honest Signals – How They Shape Our World (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008).
Sounds a little like magic, right? But it’s quite the contrary. Much of our communication is contextual, and body language carries tremendous weight in what we’re conveying to the people around us. Consider this example: Have you ever received a text message from a friend, coworker, or acquaintance and weren’t quite sure what they meant? Are they annoyed? Candid? Pleased? A few words successfully strung together can convey basic meaning, but what’s missing from that interaction is tonal cues, facial expression, and body language.