No matter the situation, the manner in which we “appear” determines the true message. For the past few submissions, I’ve concentrated on nonverbal cues and will continue to do so for about two more entrees. I am spending a great deal of time on this subject as many people do not understand the ripple effects our actions take in the mind of the other person.
Think about it for a second… just about every day we encounter individuals (and groups) who give off conflicting messages. Heck, the person behind the burger counter to a small gathering at a mall—no matter the size or situation, the onlooker perceives and creates his or her own reality based upon what is SEEN, not heard.
When was the last time you recorded a video of yourself? Is the person you see the same person you think? Just recently I was a featured career guest on a local radio show. Several days after the 30-minute appearance, I listened to the taped recording…. Need I say more?
Practice makes perfect
Because most forms of nonverbal communication are practiced subconsciously, the best way to get rid of bad habits is to become aware of them. Get a friend or a family member to practice interview situations with you. Using a video camera to tape mock sessions can be even more helpful. Play the video with a critical and detached eye. Ask yourself, “What would I like or dislike about this person nonverbally? What’s making me feel comfortable, making me feel like I can build rapport with this person?” Get your mock interviewer to ask you tough questions that would make you nervous and susceptible to bad body language. Notice what you do under pressure and become conscious of it. The awareness is half the battle.
No doubt I became aware of what I “sounded” like after the radio appearance. In a few weeks I will be conducting a training session for over 50 college career specialists and instructors—I’m wondering if I should record that on video? I think not….