In my consulting work with executives, I’ve observed there are three ingrained habits that can cause you to miss out on what’s really happening at the meeting:
- Being preoccupied with what you want to say
- Missing their nonverbal signals because you are paying attention to only their words
- Focusing on only their face
Overcoming these challenges is not easy because most people are trained to listen, not to read the nonverbals. Even when we are looking at the other person, it’s usually more about eye contact than observing other nonverbal signals. Keep in mind…
IT’S CALLED BODY LANGUAGE FOR A REASON
Broaden your gaze to take in more than just the face. Whether you are across a conference room table or in a virtual meeting, you can usually see the neck, shoulders and top part of the torso. You can also see the hands when they come up to touch the face, neck or back of the head. Why is this important? Usually, those “self-touches” are the brain’s way to soothe feelings of discomfort. That could range from struggling with a decision to stress about the topic. To find out what specific nonverbal signals mean, visit readthezoom.com.
It’s natural to be focused on what you want to say, but observing their reactions is just as important – if not more so. You want to uncover any objections while you’re still in the room. Otherwise, you might leave the meeting thinking you nailed it, only to hear later that they said, “No.”
EVER BEEN SURPRISED THAT A MEETING DIDN’T GO THE WAY YOU EXPECTED?