I often return to the businessballs.com encyclopedia of content to refresh skills or find something new to implement in to my business world. Being that the great majority of my experience comes from the world of call centers the site used to be almost a daily hang out for me for resources on how to encourage teamwork and improve in my own skill set and personal grown. I’d like to share one of my favorites which is more related to personal growth in my case.
The bad habit I have, due to my tendency to be OCD, is to sometimes back away when people lean in close me. I need my space and, honestly, can’t stand the idea of sniffle mist or some other human material, other than my own, to potentially pollute the straw on my Circle K Polar Pop covered cup or, even worse, my all too exposed coffee cup. Yep, that’s me.
I’ve been rather cognizant of my return to this territorial imperative which can become extreme at times so therefore am forced to brainwash myself in to being “normal” for the purpose of connecting to others. I am after all the Sales & Marketing Manager. So, I have to read and study how these internal hangups can potentially negatively impact my success in business.
“When body language and speech characteristics are mirrored or synchronized between people this tends to assist the process of creating and keeping rapport (a mutual feeling of empathy, understanding, trust).
The term synchronized is arguably a more accurate technical term because mirroring implies visual signals only, when the principles of matching body language extend to audible signals also – notably speech pace, pitch, tone, etc.
‘Mirrored’ or synchronized body language between two people encourages feelings of trust and rapport because it generates unconscious feelings of affirmation.
When another person displays similar body language to our own, this makes us react unconsciously to feel, “This person is like me and agrees with the way I am. I like this person because we are similar, and he/she likes me too.”
The converse effect applies. When two people’s body language signals are different – i.e., not synchronized – they feel less like each other, and the engagement is less comfortable. Each person senses a conflict arising from the mismatching of signals – the two people are not affirming each other; instead the mismatched signals translate into unconscious feelings of discord, discomfort or even rejection. The unconscious mind thinks, “This person is not like me; he/she is different to me, I am not being affirmed, therefore I feel defensive.”
Advocates and users of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) use mirroring consciously, as a method of ‘getting in tune’ with another person, and with a little practice are able to first match and then actually and gently to alter the signals – and supposedly thereby the feelings and attitudes – of other people, using mirroring techniques.
Speech pace or speed is an example. When you are speaking with someone, first match their pace of speaking, then gently change your pace – slower or faster – and see if the other person follows you. Often they will do.
People, mostly being peaceful cooperative souls, commonly quite naturally match each other’s body language. To do otherwise can sometimes feel uncomfortable, even though we rarely think consciously about it.
When another person leans forward towards us at a table, we often mirror and do likewise. When they lean back and relax, we do the same.
Sales people and other professional communicators are widely taught to mirror all sorts of more subtle signals, as a means of creating trust and rapport with the other person, and to influence attitudes.
Mirroring in this conscious sense is not simply copying or mimicking. Mirroring is effective when movements and gestures are reflected in a similar way so that the effect remains unconscious and subtle. Obvious copying would be regarded as strange or insulting.”
written by: Edie E., Tub King Sales & Marketing Manager