There are two things that are vitally important to any youth ministry: relationships and communication. Even though we can’t have one without the other, we still tend to focus a lot on those areas individually (i.e. relationships is hanging out with kids, communication is email and teaching).
What often goes unmentioned is that our body language can greatly influence both the depth of our relationships and aid or deter from communication. Research by Albert Mehrabian, currently Professor Emeritus in psychology at UCLA, shows that words account for only 7 percent of communication. Voice tonality accounts for 38 percent and body language at 55 percent. So, even though we focus a lot on words and teaching, body language determines how those words are received.
The Positivity Blog posted an article on 18 ways to improve your body language that gives a lot of good suggestions for improving personal relationships through posture. Here are the ones I need to work on most:
1. Don’t cross your arms or legs – You have probably already heard you shouldn’t cross your arms as it might make you seem defensive or guarded. This goes for your legs too. Keep your arms and legs open.
6. Don’t slouch, sit up straight – but in a relaxed way, not in a too tense manner.
9. Don’t touch your face – it might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation.
Read some of the other suggestions for improving body language.
Posted on May 2, 2007