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Communicate

Discover the Secrets of Body Language

It is a well-known fact that almost 93 percent of human communication is non-verbal. That’s why body language is so important, and it can tell you a lot about a person you are with or meeting for the first time. We’ll discover the secrets of body language to use that tool to avoid miscommunication at work, home, or at school.

When you meet someone for the first time, a person will likely have to look at you and shake your hand while being introduced. And those couple of seconds will right away tell you who did you just met.

Look me in the eyes

Body language is many things, but the first key point you need to watch is eye contact. If you get immediate eye contact, you know you are dealing with an outgoing type right away. So, you probably just met a D or an I person.
Secondly, keep your attention on the handshake. Steady eye contact with a firm handshake tells you that this is a D person. Granted, you might have met some D personalities in your life who were looking everywhere but in your direction. If they are not interested in the topic or current activity, Ds will do that. But, if they are engaged, they will be right there penetrating your eyes.
All of this will be accompanied by pointing. Ds do not shy away from delegating, and they will point in the direction of a person they want something out of very often. While doing so, they will move fast as if they are impatient, which is another clear clue of a High D.

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When you notice all these body language characteristics, remember that High Ds dislike being casually touched. They are not huggers, not even when a big day is in question. While they will sometimes get up in your face and cross personal space boundaries, they do not handle physical touch very well. Most you can expect from them is a pat on the back.

There is always room for comedy

D’s aren’t the only ones who use big gestures and eye contact. You can expect this from a High I as well, and however, you will notice a much friendlier posture from an I right off the bat.
Unlike Ds, who will point at people, Is will use their hands to communicate and keep open palms. They rarely cross their arms and like to keep their hands on the side of their body.
Their amusing mentality and posture will give them away because the need for people to like them is at their core. You are definitely dealing with a High I if you meet someone for the first time and get a joke or two, funny punchlines, or even a little stand-up comedy performance.

Cool Hand Luke

As mentioned at the beginning of this text, eye contact is the first point that will help you decide whether a person is outgoing or reserved. The second crucial part is gestures. If they are big gestures, motioning with their hands a lot and moving around, that tells you they are expressive. However, if they lack minimal gestures or have none at all, you are working with a reserved style: S or a C.

Ss will be very cool, to the point where they don’t try to stand out. The way they speak and move is general; they are welcoming and friendly, but a lot of that is set to mute. Their gestures are reassuring, gentle, and harmonious. Their face will be a poker face. If you can’t see anything in their expression and struggle to figure out what they are thinking, that’s an excellent clue that they are a High S.

Source: giphy.com

Another tell for an S is if they ask good questions, but they sit there, nod, and listen. They are, at their core, great listeners and will make you feel great after the conversation due to that. No drama, just listening and helping others.

Turn that frown upside down

Another member of we-don’t-gesture-a-lot-team is an S personality style. What will differentiate them from an S is they will stick to the facts and data in their conversation. They won’t make much eye contact, and you can recognize them by a scowl they have. You might think that the person you just met is unhappy with what they are hearing but most likely: they are an S personality. Due to being data-driven, they think a lot while listening and assessing everything all the time. Because of concentration on this, their face automatically frowns. Those frowns are normal. That unemotional side of things is kind of where they live. Don’t worry; you are doing okay (unless you tried any sort of physical contact. Just like Ds, they are not good with that).


Keep in mind that somebody can fake a lot of body language. We are taught that a firm handshake is essential in the corporate world, so that alone doesn’t have to tell you a lot about the person. A High C can learn to smile broadly and give a firm handshake when meeting someone as a sign of respect and authority. So, that’s why it’s essential to look at the whole picture.

Also, as body language says a lot about others, it says a lot about you. And you can learn how to manipulate it to get a message you wish to convey across. What can help you is lessons from Tudor Alexander. He is a professional ballroom dancer and coach who knows the importance of body language more than anyone. You can listen to his advice HERE.

Understand Colleagues by Their Photos in the Office

After two long years, it is slowly time for us to return to the office. That means it is time to take parts of your home that provided comfort to you during the pandemic and strategically put it around your office.
By doing so, you will show your coworkers or employees what kind of personality is yours. This works in another way as well. Maybe you have someone new in the team who joined the company during the pandemic, and you are unsure of their personality in real life. Look at their office or cubicle, and you will get your answers.

Note that office décor can tell you a lot about someone, even if your company doesn’t allow many decorations or changes to the workspace. Seeing a spotless desk or piles of papers will show you the difference between D and S. This will allow you to adapt your communication with that person and avoid conflicts at the workplace and missed deadlines due to miscommunication.

What to look for?

Even though we are talking about mysteries office décor can reveal about a team member, it is crucial not to snoop. These are hints about what you can notice while passing someone’s cubicle or while stopping by for a friendly chat.

What you can notice is:

  • is the workspace nice and tidy, or you are struggling to see the person behind stacks of paper
  • are there any pictures of family, friends, or pets
  • did the person bring any plants to their desk
  • can you notice any diplomas or certificates standing proudly on the wall
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Signs of success and sticking with the classic look

Imagine a traditional corporate lawyer office: big mahogany desk, leather chair, plaques, and awards all around. That is a typical High D office. These people tend to have an ego on the bigger side, and they love to win.
So it is no wonder they like to show their signs of success. Any award they won (especially connected to work) will be framed and will find its place on their office wall. While the walls will be neatly arranged with framed certificates and bookshelves, you will see a completely different image if you look down at the desk.
The desk of a High D is usually filled with different documents and papers, and it might even look a bit messy. However, rest assured that this person knows exactly where is which form. They might have to shuffle through their stacks, but they will find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds.
Once you see this classic, formal office look in front of you, find the tips on successfully communicating with a  D personality here.

Colorful sticky notes and search for…anything

Have you noticed some awards on the walls of someone’s office or cubicle? This person could also be a High I. They will put up some awards, but it will most likely be the Employee of the month kind of thing.
What will separate them from others is personality. They want to make their space their own, so you can easily spot monogrammed Tervis cups, for instance. But an essential part of the workspace of a High I is the one that signals they are not most detail-oriented. That’s why there will be sticky notes on top of sticky notes, with the whole desk being on the messy side. They will often go through everything on their table to find something and keep bumping into things they were looking for just yesterday and couldn’t find it. And it was under their nose all that time.
Putting things in a specific place not to lose it, then lose it anyway, find it by accident and then remember why it was set at that place in the first place is a classic I characteristic.
They are people that are all about fun, so here is how you can communicate with High I in the most effective way.

Source: giphy.com

Warm and cozy space

While we all enjoy having a piece of home with us in the office, High Ss are the ultimate champions of this sport. They are all about making their space warm and cozy, a space that will give them a homey feeling. This is not a surprise as High Ss dislike conflict and enjoy having peace surround them. So they try to achieve exactly that in their office. They might not be excited about coming to the office every day, but they want to create space to make them feel safe about coming in every day.
Look for family pictures from a trip to Disneyland they took, or even notes from their children. It might easily be World’s best mom or dad award if you see any awards around. The space will tell you a lot about their family, while it might not tell you a lot about the person behind the desk.
The desk will tell you about their process of work. One side will have a stack of inbound emails and documents that are yet to be handled, while another pile will have everything that’s outgoing from them. Daily routine: starting from A and finishing with Z is evident on a High S desk. Please make sure not to disturb the peace and routine they cherish so much by following tips on communicating with a High S here.

File folders in alphabetical order

A desk filled with file folders and trays that are color-coded and alphabetized will, without a mistake, be a desk of a High C person.
They are hyper-organized and functional. These people can always find what they are looking for since they have logic behind everything on their desks. They’ve got those 42 tasks they’ve got to get done today. Everything in their destiny needs to be created and set up to be the most efficient way to get those 42 things done.
They actually think about the most efficient way to set documents, pens, and papers around the table. This will go as far as thinking that if they are right-handed, anything incoming document should be placed on their left side. In contrast, right-hand side piles will be divided into done, for now, to be forwarded and done. Think: super organization, and you will see a High C desk.
Another tell they have is that instead of having awards and plaques on their walls, High Cs will most likely have a set of graphs all around.
An important thing to remember is not to mess up the system, while the other tactics for good communication with a High C can be found here.

Source: giphy.com

Check out what Liz Parker, a certified behavioral and strategic growth consultant has to say about office decor:

Five Secrets to Successful Hiring – Part 4

Hiring is very challenging in this day and age. Finding and keeping good people seems to be harder than ever. But if you follow a few easy steps and use emotional intelligence, your next hire might be the best one you ever had.

You can find previous steps in narrowing down the number of candidates for a position HERE, and then move to step No. 4:

Asking the right questions.

To manage to hire the right person for the role, your interview questions need to match the personality style you are talking to. I suggest using the DISC method for this purpose, as I have been using it in my own company for two decades and have had amazing results with it.

But to put things in perspective, it is good to know what percentage of the population what style is taking. The results are in, and they say:

D style = 10% of the population

I style = 25 – 30 % of the population

S style = 30 – 35% of the population

C style = 20 – 25% of the population

With simple math, we can see that Ss and Cs combined makeup up around 60 % of the population. That means:

60 % of the population of the planet Earth is the reserved kind.

That means most people on the planet don’t want to be the first to speak and they don’t like to talk about themselves a lot.
What do most HR people lead with as a first question in an interview? “Tell me about yourself”.
That is an EPIC fail. It’s a bad idea.

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“Tell me about yourself” is a question that works well only with about 40 percent of the population. So, we need to have tools in place that allow us to ask the appropriate questions.

Dividing the interview into two segments

Naturally, a lot of questions will be specific to your industry and the role you need to find. However, before you dive into role-specific questions, you should spend the first 10 to 15 minutes of an interview getting to know the person sitting across from you.

To help you with that, I have prepared example questions for you to use for different personality styles. It’s completely free and you are free to use these questions in your recruitment process and as a base for forming questions that will be more specific for your line of work and the core values of your company. The link for your “Best rapport-building questions for different styles” is HERE.

Source: giphy.com

Remember, you want to follow job benchmarking so that you can match the people to the role, and that has to be applied to questions as well.
If you follow my question guidelines and steps that I have laid out in previous posts, you can create around 45 minutes worth of conversation with solid questions that will show you what kind of person is sitting across from you and how well will they fit in the company and the role that you see them in.


The more specific question you can get, the better.

Think of this when you are thinking of the questions to ask.
The rule of thumb is to have the first 10 or 15 minutes of the interview orientated towards hitting their personality style that you got in one of the first steps, and then you will go to the question that will be directly connected to the role. This will be the time to check their past experiences and see can they show you where they showed their core values that are aligned to your companies core values.

How all this looks in practice can be seen in the video below. I’m sharing my tools and the step-by-step process I’m using in my own company. Glad to help!

What is DISC?

The talk about the importance of Emotional Intelligence is especially important these days, and with it the talk about the DISC Method. However, DISC has been around since 400 BC when Hippocrates laid the foundations for it.

More detailed information about DISC personality styles came to us in 1928. A book called “Emotions of normal people” by William Moulton Marston came to light and brough us the basis that we use to this day.

So, what is DISC anyway? In short: something that will change your life. DISC Assessment looks at a person’s behaviour in different life situations, what we do, how we speak, and everything that goes along with it. We can see our unique mix of personality styles divided into 4: D, I, S and C by looking at this observable behaviour.

Once you find out what personality style is yours, we will know how do we react in different situations and why. DISC model is not concentrated only on one aspect of life. It gives answers about how we communicate in the workplace, with our spouses, children, parents, friends…

Most important part of personality styles is finding out not just what style is yours, but also what are the traits of people around you. That will allow you to adapt your communication so that others can receive it in a better day, and they can be heard and better understand. Communication is after all a two way street.

In order to effectively improve your communication, these are the fundamentals that need to be followed:

  1. Understand yourself!
    If you don’t know who you are, you can’t go out trying to interpret anybody else.

2.  Understand others.
You need to be able to read people effectively and use DISC powers for good.

3.  Adapt your style to the style of others to better communicate and build relationships.
Maybe you have the knowledge, but the other person doesn’t. So, it is our responsibility to be able to adapt and share the knowledge.

The first step to acquiring knowledge is a short assessment. It takes around 10 minutes, and it is by far the easiest test you have ever done. It has no right or wrong answers, and it brings you clarifications of your behavior, as well as directions of what to be mindful of. This stuff will improve your life. Because the higher your E.I. is, the better relationships you will have, your communication will be better, and life, in general, will be so much better. Take the test HERE.
If you would like to find out more about DISC, I have answered some of the most common questions I get asked and summarized it all in the FAQ.

Questions, Questions, Questions, Ep. 55

In today’s episode we discuss the future of the podcast and how we can help you, our audience, improve the way you communicate.

 

For reference, our introductory episodes to the DISC Model of Human behavior can be found here:

High D “Dominant” Style

https://www.alexswire-clark.com/03-the-dominant-high-d-personality-style/

High I “Influencing” Style

https://www.alexswire-clark.com/episode-4-the-inspiring-high-i-personality-style/

High S “Supportive” Style

https://www.alexswire-clark.com/the-supportive-high-s-type-they-are-loving-and-loyal/

High C “Cautious” Style

https://www.alexswire-clark.com/the-cautious-high-c-personality-style/

 

ASSESSMENTS can be found at:

http://www.personalityservice.com/portal/GPPM/store

 

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Let us know what topics you’d be interested in when it comes to improving communication, building better teams, and reducing conflict at work or in your personal life.

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