Communication Skills – 1

Body Language

BODY LANGUAGE

Now that I have a day job (well, actually early morning to middle/late afternoon job, thank you overtime) I’ve been I’ve been spending many evenings and weekends out on the town. I’ve noticed (and how could I not) the plethora of attractive women in this here capital burg. More specifically, the number of them at my place of employment.

Do I approach any for a date? Are you kidding me? Why not, you ask? Because I’m petrified when it comes to women. Think I’m joking? Think again. Even striking up an innocent conversation requires me to psych myself up.

I can talk to a crowd about my books and writing. I can instruction children and adults in self defense techniques. Talking to a pretty lady – I’m stricken silent.

So, I’m thinking about one particular woman and trying to figure out how to talk to her on any of the rare occasions I see her. Early in July, I received a company wide email listing ten points for better communication. I thought I’d write a series of blogs from the point of view of writing and authors. Speaking at conferences, authors fairs, and the like, but decided to make it more personal, open up and expose myself (uh, figuratively of course) and see if writing might help me (and maybe others with a similar problem) to find a way through that wall. I had hoped to have a ten week block where I could run these sequentially, but they may be interrupted by one of those pesky authors. But I’ll do the best I can.

Before I discuss the first point, let me say that I have broken through a few times. The number of rejections vastly outnumber the successes. I definitely need to start balancing out the scale.

First up is a good one for beginning the discussion: Body Language.

How often do I tell the women in the self defense classes not to ‘look like a victim’? Stand up straight, shoulders back, head up, eyes looking at the surroundings. Walk confident, with a purpose. Don’t withdraw, cur up, head and eyes down or shrink away.

But that’s what I do when she enters the room. I look down, physically feel myself withdraw inside.

I think the first impression is expression. So, I’ve been working on entering new places where there are people with whom I might converse with a smile on my face. Arms uncrossed, open, ready for a handshake. When she walks by, I’m ready with a smile.

Crossed arms or a frown are turnoffs. They tell people to leave you alone. They give off a defensive attitude and when I’m looking for a night at the jazz concert followed by dinner, defense is not how to play.

Think about how you stand, where you put your hands (in pants pockets or on hips, near your face), your posture when standing or sitting. What is your expression? Are you looking down or do you look ’em in the eye?

Confidence is key in body language. The correct projected attitude goes a long way.

So, your homework assignment-and mine-is to practice proper and beneficial body language. Let me know how it works.

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