At one time or another in their carreer, anyone may need support in order to achieve their goals more quickly and effectively. One type of professional who can help and whom we don’t think about at the outset is the synergologist.
I recently spoke with synergologist Linda Valade, whose clientele includes entrepreneurs.
A portrait of a specialty in three questions.
S.G. What is synergology?
L.V. It’s the study of non-verbal communication, which allows for a better understanding of people through their body language. It has a scientific approach that sets it apart from other forms of non-verbal analysis.
S.G. In what way can this discipline contribute to improving the business of an entrepreneur?
L.V. First, we need to understand that human communication uses three channels of communication simultaneously, namely: words, tone of voice, and gestures. According to studies conducted by Albert Mérhabian, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, the importance of each channel to establish relationships, appreciate or reject others is as follows:
7 % for words
38 % for tone of voice
55 % for facial expression
Contrary to what people often think, it’s not that easy to control our gestures. We can only do it for a short while and we quickly resume our natural body language, communicating without our knowledge our real position to those who can “read” these gestures.
Learning to read the non-verbal keeps us one step ahead!
[tweetthis]7% of communication is verbal. Learning to read the non-verbal keeps us one step ahead! [/tweetthis]
A trusting relationship is the cornerstone of your business practice, both in business development and at the level of client relations. The ability to perceive the non-verbal cues of your clients and prospects will allow you to better understand them, thereby optimizing your communications.
S.G. Can you give me a few concrete examples in everyday life?
L.V. When you meet a prospect for the first time, the initial impression is of the utmost importance, as you well know! So keep your eyes open. It’s possible to detect if the prospect feels comfortable, is wary, or says “yes” when he means “no”.
Some people will avoid confrontation at any cost and will appear to agree with anything you say. But nothing will come out of it, or worse, they will change their mind after the meeting. Such fear to displease on the part of a prospect is a huge handicap. You will then notice specific gestures: brushing the hair with a hand, making false smiles, tilting the head forward, rubbing hands together, or a body language that appears weary.
On the other hand, if a prospect is suspicious, they will look at you from the right eye, their body will be stiff, their head might tilt toward the right shoulder, they might have a tendency to touch their chin (doubting your statements), the blinking of the eyes may increase (further analyzing what you are saying), their answers will be short and they will close their mouth between each statement (avoiding speaking up).
In both cases, it would be beneficial to work on trust before making any propositions. Let them talk, ask open questions and observe their body as it transforms. It will become more fluid, will lean forward toward you; motions will be more horizontal, hands will open with palms up and directed at you. Those are signs that they are forming a bond with you, and now is a good time to talk business.
You meet your clients regularly. As we all know, time is precious. Your client may be physically present, but lost in their preoccupations even though they are in a meeting with you. While you already have a good relationship with them, they might not dare put an early end to the meeting. Being a keen observer will allow you to notice that they are barely blinking; this may mean that they are all in their head and pretending to listen. Unconsciously and discreetly, their feet are pointing at the exit which tells you that they are anxious to leave.
In addition, a micro-itching of the legs may appear. This time, signs are piling up! Micro-itching points to a contradiction between what is wanted and what is being done. In this case, you will be wise to perceive the contradiction and validate with them if the present time is still the right moment. You may suggest to end the meeting and reschedule it another time. You will have recognized the non-verbal and they will feel understood without having anything to say. Thus, your relationship will improve even more!
Taking an active interest in non-verbal communication opens a whole new world of information that pushes us forward, way beyond the competition.
Linda Valade is the founder of Verum; her tools are all focused on communication and recognized around the world. Those tools provide her with a high degree of understanding in the field of communication; her expertise is remarkable.