Leadership is about communication. You already know that. So, in preparing for an important meeting, you concentrate on what to say, you memorize crucial points, and you rehearse your presentation so that you will come across as credible and convincing.
But did you also know that the people you're speaking to will have subliminally evaluated your credibility, confidence, likeability, and trustworthiness in the first seven seconds—before you had a chance to deliver your well-rehearsed speaking points? Did you know that your use of personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact could already have sabotaged your message? And, most critically, did you know that any time your words and body language were out of alignment, people believed what they saw and not what you said?
So, if you went into that important meeting with all the right words and all the wrong moves, you probably left sensing that things didn't go as well as you'd hoped. But you might not know why.
Leadership is also about building and sustaining positive relationships. You know that too. You travel to meet personally with key customers, go out with coworkers to get to know them better, arrange “town hall” meetings in order to interact more closely with frontline workers.
But did you know that your ability to accurately read and respond to the body language of others is fundamental to building empathy and rapport? If you misinterpreted ...