This is a guest article by my close friend, Vanessa Van Edwards, who runs the Human Behavior Lab at Science of People.
She’s the smartest there is in the world of “people skills” and she’s conducted a lot of original research on how to cultivate charisma and become more influential. I meet with Vanessa every other month or so, and she always sends me home with a new insight that helps me improve my connection skills.
This piece covers a few of the big picture skills as well as some simple tips you can use right away to improve your leadership skills. Her new book, Captivate, covers these topics (and many more) in great detail.
I’ll let her explain the rest…
You have a secret superpower.
If you’re like me, you went through school, attended job interviews and suffered through dates agonizing over the ‘right’ thing to say. Maybe you thought about what you wanted to tell a hiring manager or what anecdotes to share with your blind date.
You focused on what to say.
But here’s my big idea: I want you to focus on how you say something.
As humans, a minimum of 60% of our communication is nonverbal. That means the majority of our connection with the people around us comes through our body language, facial expressions and voice tone. However, we tend to put all of our eggs in the verbal basket—focusing on what we are going to say not how we want to say it.
When I discovered the power of nonverbal, it was like discovering I had a secret superpower. I didn’t realize that a lot of my micro-messages—or small nonverbal gestures—were undermining my presence and credibility. I also learned that I could use my hands, my voice and my stance to add to my verbal message.
Now, I want to teach you.
When I saw Tyler’s amazing Ted Talk “How adventure makes you smarter, stronger, and more attractive,”
I thought it would be fun to add on to his kickass ideas with a little nonverbal magic. I run a Human Behavior Research lab and test all kinds of experiments on people, body language and personality. I want to share my favorite body language tips to make you smarter, stronger and more attractive. Continue…