One of the most effective communication skills is understanding and using body language. Body language plays a significant role in how we communicate with others. Think about it... When you meet someone new (at least in the United States), the first thing you do is shake their hand. How you shake someone's hand says a lot about you. A firm handshake conveys confidence, while a weak handshake may signal insecurity or lack of trustworthiness. Your posture and the way you carry yourself also send nonverbal messages. For example, slouching can convey boredom, disinterest, or lack of confidence, whereas standing up straight communicates interest and engagement. Eye contact is another important aspect of nonverbal communication. Making eye contact shows that you are interested in what the other person is saying and that you are listening attentively. Conversely, avoiding eye contact can make you seem uninterested, uncomfortable, or even untrustworthy. Good communication skills are essential for success in both personal and professional relationships. After all, effective communication is key! Building solid relationships, resolving conflicts, and achieving your goals will be challenging if you can’t communicate effectively. There are many different ways to communicate effectively, but one thing all effective communicators have in common is understanding the 12 ways to communicate theorized by Roy H. Williams. The following article is part three of the 12 languages of the mind: Motion, Taste, and Smell.
How Do Movements Convey Meaning?
The first language of the mind is motion. Every movement we make conveys meaning. For example, if you see someone with arms frantically waving, you can probably guess they’re trying to signal for help. If you want to communicate effectively, you must be aware of the nonverbal cues you’re sending with your body language.Are you making eye contact? Are you standing up straight? Are you fidgeting? Your body language can say much about what you’re thinking and feeling, so it’s essential to be aware of the messages you’re sending. Let’s place you in an imaginary setting with one of your customers. Say you’re about to fix their furnace, and they’re eagerly awaiting your arrival. You show up at the door, and they answer with a smile, looking you in the eye as they invite you in. They lead you to the furnace and point out the problem. As they explain what’s wrong, they gesture with their hands to show you what’s happening. Let’s say you’re in the same situation, but this time the customer greets you with a scowl on their face and arms crossed in front of their chest. They mumble something about the furnace as they turn and walk away, leaving you to find it yourself. In both situations, the customer conveys nonverbal cues that tell you how they feel. In the first scenario, they’re open and friendly, while in the second, they’re closed off and angry. Nonverbal communication is helpful because it’s often more vocal than verbal communication. That’s because we can easily say one thing but mean another when speaking. However, our nonverbal cues, like our body language and tone of voice, are harder to fake. They give us a better sense of how someone is really feeling. There are four main types of nonverbal communication:
- Body language
- Facial expressions
Let’s take a closer look at each one:
Body language is the way we use our bodies to communicate. It includes our posture, gestures, and eye contact. For example, good eye contact can signify interest or agreement. On the other hand, avoiding eye contact may show that someone is nervous or lying. If you cross your arms when a customer speaks to you, they may interpret you as defensive or uninterested. Alternatively, an open posture with uncrossed arms may be more welcoming.
Facial expressions are another form of nonverbal communication. They can convey various emotions, from happiness and sadness to anger and fear. For example, if someone smiles at you, they are likely conveying that they are happy or amused. If the person has a furrowed brow and a stern look, they may be angry or frustrated. It’s essential to be aware of your facial expressions and what emotions they may be conveying. You don’t want to give off the wrong message accidentally.
The way we speak also conveys meaning nonverbally. For instance, the volume of our voice can indicate how confident or sure we feel about something. The speed of our speech can also be revealing. A higher pitch might show excitement, while a lower rise could signal anger or sadness. Jabbering might mean we’re nervous while talking slowly, indicating that we’re thinking carefully about our words.
Touch is another important form of nonverbal communication. It can convey a wide range of emotions, from love and affection to anger and hostility. A gentle touch might convey compassion, while a firmer touch might communicate anger or frustration. We also use touch to express power and dominance, such as when we pat someone on the back or shake their hand. Are you using these 12 languages of the mind?Are you reaching your ideal audience?Are you using the right mix of verbal and nonverbal communication?If not, book a call with Ryan Chute from Wizard of Ads™ today.
Smell and Taste Influences Effective Communication
Have you ever noticed how a particular smell can take you back to a specific time and place?
- The buttery oil only specially kept in popcorn at the movies.
- The fresh smell of rain on hot pavement.
- The smell of sugary decaying autumn leaves.
All these smells instantly transport us to a different time and place. Smells have a powerful influence on our emotions and memories. They trigger positive and negative associations affecting our mood and how we interact with others. Taste is another sense that you can use to communicate with others effectively. Just like smells, specific tastes also evoke powerful memories and emotions. Think about chocolate. Chances are you remember not only sweet kiss of milk chocolate, or the bitter bite of dark chocolate. Do you recall the smell? Was it paired with raspberries? Caramel? Sea salt? Mint? What images are conjoured up with these deep, delicious flavors? Taste and smell go hand in hand. [Research](https://www.scienceworld.ca/resource/taste-smell-connection/#:~:text=Researchers have found that when,block all ability to taste.) has determined that when working together, smell will impact taste, and further long term associations in the mind. Smell can affect taste between 75% and 95%. You can see this in action with a fascinating water bottle called Air Up® out of the UK. It uses scent pods to activate flavor in your mind while drinking tap water. Thanks to neuroplasticity your brain will continue to intensify the flavor of the scent pod, allowing you to enjoy water without the sugar. Taste and smell are critical senses that can influence effective communication. Real Estate agents are known to bake some cookies or a loaf of bread before an open house. At the Hershey Amusement Park in Harrisburg, PA, you can smell a delightful waft of chocolate as you step inside. And we have branded one of our plumbing clients the, “Smell Good Plumbers” for obvious reasons. Smell and taste can hold a powerful place in our memories. Used strategically, you can create strong, sostalgic associations with your brand that create a familiar bond that your customers will crave.
12 Languages of the Mind – Motion, Taste, and Smell
Part three of the 12 languages of the mind is about how we can communicate with motion, taste, and smell. Just like with spoken language, there are different words and phrases that we use to communicate with our senses. And just like spoken language, the way we use our senses can vary depending on the situation. For example, when talking to someone, we might use different words than we would if we were writing a letter to them. And when we’re trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak our language, we might have to rely on body language or gestures instead. Here are some examples of how we use our sense of motion, taste, and smell to communicate:
Our brains are hardwired to respond to movement. That is because, in our evolutionary history, being able to see and interpret movement was crucial for our survival. Motion is a language of the mind. We convey it in our body language as discussed above, but we also interpret motion in abstract ways. Marketers often use motion in advertising to create an emotional response in the audience. For example, relationships have their ups and downs. We can be getting close to a deal, or moving further away. When we see someone moving, it can trigger all sorts of emotions. Tempo is the horizontal movement of music. The rain is coming down sideways can rip off your roof. My money don’t jiggle jiggle, it folds. Do you see how the language of motion is so much more than the term?
Taste and Smell
Taste and smell are two sides to the same coin. Our sense of taste and smell can evoke powerful memories. From home cooked meals to that hard to distinguish metallic scent activate some vivid memories. For me, it’s the distinct smell of diesel and wet asphalt that brings me back to my days in the military. Many advertisers use taste and smell to draw an emotional response in their viewers imagination. For example, when something smells fishy, it usually stinks like a suspicious actor. What color tastes like happy? People buy the sizzle, not the steak. Irish Spring is all the freshness of Ireland bottled. Or Old Spice, smell like a man, man. The language of smell and taste can anchor to memories in particularly effective ways, helping people recall your brand involuntarily for decades.
Are you beginning to understand how these languages entangle with each other to create meaning in our lives? Maybe most importantly to you, your business?When interacting with your customers, you have the potential to be using some or all of the 12 of the languages of the mind. First, you might use the language of motion to get their attention. Then you could use the language of sound to greet them and start a conversation. The words you choose and the tone of your voice will either make them feel welcome or turn them away. If you’re selling a product, you’ll use the language of shape and phonemes to show them what it looks like and how it works. The colors, shapes, and images you use will create an emotional response that can influence their buying decision. You might also use the languages of taste and smell to give them a strong sniff of nostagia. And if you’re really good at sales, you’ll use the language of feel to create a personal connection. In every interaction, we have with others, one or more of these 12 languages rules. And the more we understand them, the better we can communicate with others. If you’re ready to target your market and deepen your communication, then it’s time to book a call with Ryan Chute from Wizard of Ads™.