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Conscious body language


Conscious body language

Conscious body language

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Page 1 Page 2  KURT LARSSON CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE YOUR MOST SENSATIONAL SOFT SKILL Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 2 Page 3  Conscious body language: Your most sensational soft skill 1st edition © 2014 Kurt Larsson & bookboon.com ISBN 978-87-403-0743-6 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 3 Page 4 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Contents CONTENTS Introduction 6 1 Peak hard skills 8 1.1 Lack of trust, the current situation 8 1.2 Knowledge is no longer enough 10 1.3 Human doings versus human beings 10 1.4 Life in a spreadsheet 12 1.5 Digital versus analogue 13 1.6 Has management become an anachronism? 14 1.7 Leadership, the rising star 14 2 Conscious body language, so what? 17 2.1 The advantage of becoming more human 17 2.2 Conscious health and well-being 17 2.3 The roots of behavior 19 A C A R EER W I T H I N F I N A N CE & I T Denmark’s largest provider of financial software solutions needs YOU! Offering you personal and professional growth We are a leading sup- The SimCorp culture is characterized by open Who are we looking for? plier of highly specialized dialogue, empowerment and fast decision-making. Our core competencies lie within economics, software and expertise Reporting lines are clear, thus action is not bogged finance and IT, and as a result the majority of our for financial institutions down in bureaucracy. We believe in solving work- employees have a master degree within business and corporations – related challenges together, and you will find that and finance, IT, mathematics or engineering. activities, which have established our repu- both management and colleagues are very receptive tation as “the house to suggestions and new ideas. Are you completing of financial know- your master degree this year? how”. We are listed As newly hired employee in SimCorp you will go Then apply now – why wait – a fast tracked inter- on the OMX Nordic through an extensive introduction period, in addition national orientated career is just around the corner! Exchange Copenhagen to being provided with a mentor. This gives you the and have 800+ emplo- opportunity to secure the know-how necessary to yees. perform efficiently. Care to join us? – Visit us at www.simcorp.com SIMCORP A/S · Oslo Plads 12 · DK-2100 Copenhagen O · Denmark · +45 35 44 88 00 · www.simcorp.com Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Click on the ad to read more 4 Page 5 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Contents 2.4 Motility versus mobility 20 2.5 Business consciousness 22 2.6 Becoming sensational 23 2.7 Understanding, a multidimensional word 25 3 Sensational soft skills 27 3.1 Presence 27 3.2 Inspiration 28 3.3 Gravity 29 3.4 Conscious touch 30 3.5 Consent 31 3.6 Congruency 31 3.7 Enjoyment 31 4 Incorporating Conscious body language in the workplace 32 4.1 Sensational leadership 32 4.2 Courageous selling 38 4.3 Inspiring and engaging presentations 42 4.4 Service you can feel 49 4.5 Teamwork: diversity through dialogue 50 5 Conscious mastery 57 5.1 Expertise and mastery 57 6 A conscious and sensational future 60 6.1 Beyond survival 61 6.2 Conclusion 61 About the author 64 Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 5 Page 6 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Introduction INTRODUCTION A very dear person to me was recently complaining about a nagging backache. This is a very intelligent person who is now retired from a successful career as business leader. In most cases he behaves as one of the wisest people I know. To fix the pain he went to his doctor. Yet the result of meeting his doctor was not to locate and resolve the cause of the backache, (which interestingly is situated directly opposite a rather large waistline). Instead it was to complain to the doctor that the painkillers he previously prescribed were not strong enough! Three days later and with the new prescription the problem was considered solved. This little anecdote is offered as a symbol of how technology and the advice of an expert have replaced our need to listen closely and be responsible for our feelings and our bodies. Was the problem in this case solved or merely avoided? What happens if the technology (in this case, stronger painkillers) stops working? Most importantly, where is the drive to find the source of the pain and resolve it once and for all? To function as it is designed, most of modern day life requires technology. In less than a generation technology has gone from an erratic and undependable but helpful accessory to the organizer, controller and analyzer of most things we do. More and more Technology seems to be shaping our behavior whether or not we are conscious of it. Often we just adjust to its increasing power and function without even questioning the consequences. In the process many of us act more and more as if we have forgotten the essence of what makes us human. That is to consciously feel. Becoming more conscious of and working with your body language can add new and exciting dimensions to your professional as well as personal life. You can practice improving your sales, service, leadership and teamwork skills. You can use it to relax and better enjoy some quality time with friends and family. Your health will increase and stress levels decrease while learning more about how you and others function. By daring to go off-line to observe, sense and trust your intuition, all this information about you and everyone around you is available and waiting. Does this mean that someone else can also see and sense all this in you too? Absolutely! Since cracking this code myself, I am just amazed how few people get the power and utility that is available using simple soft skills to gather information, make better decisions, plus create more profitable and enjoyable relationships. Your willingness and ability to learn about and understand the “language of the body” provides you this distinct edge. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 6 Page 7 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Introduction Whether you lead, sell, serve or just communicate with others, learning the “language of the body” will give you much more power and control over your own situation and the relationships you create. More importantly, it will also give you both tools and insight into discovering and handling what other people are doing to manipulate your thoughts, beliefs and behavior. Yet, this will do very little good unless you understand the grounding principle of personal sovereignty. That it comes from within. Begin using the skills offered herein to open up your inner core to experience and trust your own self-worth and knowledge. When you really start to have faith in and use those universal truths only found in the silence and peace of reflection, then you will really be calling the shots in your life. Enjoy! Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 7 Page 8 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills 1 PEAK HARD SKILLS The harder “business as usual” world we have become used to is no longer satisfying our need for closeness, attention and personal contact. More and more we are looking for ways to express the feelings we have been trained to bottle up for so many years. Disciplines such as mindfulness, yoga, alternative and complimentary medicines, are teaching us skills that will help bring us back to a more relationship-oriented world, while soft skills and the use of conscious body language are again becoming integral to our health, success and peace of mind. The challenge is that many of us alive today never learned these skills, or we have forgotten them because they have been suppressed for so long. We have been trained or conditioned to ignore our feelings in order to perform better. Some have even had their ability to feel medicated away to allow them to “cope” with their current situation. Society in general has become more concerned with the latest work project, fashion, gadget or gossip to leave little time to care about consciously taking inventory of our feelings. The result is that we have become used to living “unconsciously”. This is producing dire consequences to how we relate to each other and to the world. On the business side, some leading decision makers are beginning to notice a diminishing rate of return on technological investment. More and more are starting to look seriously at using soft skills to lower worker stress, communicate better, increase performance, and create more loyal relationships. Could this be a trend that is worth investigating further? How can we profit from increasing our soft skills set as well as our ability to use them? With any luck, when you finish reading this book you will feel uncomfortably inspired: inspired by the world we could create together by being more conscious of and sensitive to each other. Uncomfortable when you realize the extent of the personal evolution you may need to go through to get there. But here’s hoping that the rest of this text will provide you with a sense that the journey will be worth the sensational, relational “pot of gold” waiting at the end. 1.1 LACK OF TRUST, THE CURRENT SITUATION We have recently completed the most destructive century in history. Some estimates put last century’s loss of human life, due to war alone, at over 100 million souls. This does not count all the men, women and children who died due to starvation, drought or any number of diseases we now know how to prevent. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 8 Page 9 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills It was also the century where the most-ever material wealth was created and – many would say – coveted. “He who dies with the most toys wins” is more than just a bumper sticker, it became a way of life. But we are now starting to see the financial, environmental and human devastation necessary to keep this way of life going. We are now a little more than a decade into this new century/millennium; how does it feel? With the advent of personal computing, the metrics we can now employ to accumulate and keep track of our piles of stuff seem almost as complex as the stuff itself. Indeed, our Cartesian ability to measure and calculate has pretty much engulfed mainstream thought, word and indeed behavior. Most Gen-X and Y-ers would be very hard pressed to work or even live without the use of their “Smart-stuff”. Which leads to the question who or what is smarter? For those of us who are not on painkillers or antidepressants there seems to be a growing sense of uneasiness. Terms like “road rage” and “going postal” are vain attempts to put a smiley face on what has become an unforgiving world. Many of us are now straining under the stress. A growing number who study the causes of this global restlessness, especially those with no axe to grind or wallet to fill, point to a breakdown in trust. The knowledge of ancient and formally trusted institutions is finally being questioned. Many of them have traditions so old that the origins are no longer known (or perhaps they have been conveniently forgotten?). We don’t continue to use outdated software on our computers when updates become available, so why do we maintain old traditions, superstitions and tragic prejudices that have been proven to have no rational or moral anchor? This increased caution is also calling those in authority into question. Have some of them taken and used their high positions for personal gain rather than Public Service? Could faceless bureaucrats and charismatic technocrats, who were never elected but get to decide how we live, how much we are taxed and how to spend our money, have anything to do with our increasing levels of frustration and distrust? Do you like being told what to do? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 9 Page 10 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills Institutions, traditions and prejudices thrive in an environment of thinking without feeling. As a dearly departed friend once put it, “Policy replaces life” and we are now reaping the results. Stress is epidemic, dialogue is often replaced with “may the loudest voice win” debate and invitation has given way to ultimatum. Dis-ease is more common than ease and money seems to have become the measure of happiness, regardless of how happy it actually makes its owner. For example, what does “guilt money” have to do with spending quality time with your children? In fact, research has proven that coveting more money actually stimulates the brain in the same way that the rush from cocaine does. Yet how conscious of all this are you? Much of what you will encounter in this book will not be supported by unassailable research or facts and that is precisely the point. The point is that this book is your open invitation to actually “sense” what is being presented and to feel and reflect for yourself. See how much of it resonates with your own inner voice of “common sense”. Sense here means to consciously feel, not just measure. Should you come to insights in line with those written herein, maybe you too are ready use part two to begin complimenting the drawers of your “hard skills” toolbox with some “soft” ones. 1.2 KNOWLEDGE IS NO LONGER ENOUGH The current system has led many of us to believe that our identity is defined by the quantity of what we know and can recite. Starting with Renée Descartes famous phrase, “I think, therefore I am”, it became fashionable to arm ourselves with relevant facts, figures and convincing arguments. Reciting them back with determination was often enough to win your point convincingly. Knowledge became power and “Don’t believe it unless you can measure it” the rallying cry. If that didn’t work, then that same information accompanied with louder, more expressive “force of character” would usually prevail. If you still met resistance, then some good old-fashion brute force in the form of classic rhetoric, some well-crafted legislation, plus a gun and a badge, could eventually carry the day. At the same time, most of us were trained in public schools to accept this “go along to get along” strategy. With this institutionalization of thought as a background, it took exceptional character, fortitude and at times generations, to change public opinion or societal values. But what if this process too is both speeding up and becoming old and brittle? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 10 Page 11 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills With the advent of the Internet and the amazing access it offers to grass-roots knowledge, this ancient system of unquestioned top-down control is starting to crumble. Many are sensing a disconnect between their personal values and the information and explanations being offered. This constant stream of information is becoming so deafening and detached from common sense that more of us are beginning to question and distrust it. Indeed, look no further than what passes for modern finance where phrases such as “Quantitative Easing” and “Fractional Reserve Banking” are celebrated. Were you to try these at home you would quickly be arrested and charged with counterfeiting. What does an “armed peace” have to do with peace? 1.3 HUMAN DOINGS VERSUS HUMAN BEINGS How often do you hear yourself or someone you know complaining about all the things they need to do? Are you one of a growing number of people who has to stay busy because if you become idle you would quickly be overcome with a feeling of guilt? “What is it that I forgot to do?” It often doesn’t matter that you have earned a few brief minutes of respite, not to mention desperately needing some time “off-line”. The fear that something has been missed turns what could have been a few luscious, relaxing minutes into tense ones, frantically trying to remember what you may or may not have forgotten. These are a few tell-tale signs of being a “human doing”, that is someone who has been conditioned to measure their value by their performance and accomplishments. 1.3.1 “DOING” IS GOOD There is nothing wrong with doing. Who wouldn’t agree that if nothing is attempted, then nothing would be gained? Yet, how much is “doing” worth if you can no longer enjoy “being” calm for long enough to savor what you have achieved? It gets worse. A good and very successful friend who is at least seventy years of age once admitted that the reason he still keeps pushing himself, long after he could have retired, is the fear of what he would think about with extra time on his hands. Do you have a friend or relative who, faced with idle time from retirement or becoming unemployed went into a severe depression? Here we have examples of good-hearted humans trapped so deeply in their “doing” that they are too uncomfortable and even too scared to just “be”. If this isn’t slavery, then what is? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 11 Page 12 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills 1.3.2 USE THEM OR LOSE THEM It gets worse still. There are also those who have chosen to brush off, avoid or consciously shut down their feelings in order to do a job. Often it is a job that someone with normal feelings would find too stressful. Think of many in the banking and finance sector or many of the so-called “IT geeks”. Deep down, nearly all of these good-hearted people are probably just trying to get along in an environment that celebrates intelligent solutions over heart-felt experiences. These and many other intelligence-based professions seem to attract a greater proportion of introverted, anti-social personality types. The resulting system that has been created naturally leans to a more digital way of thinking and doing. In other words, the more you can boil down an issue into ones and zeros the easier it becomes to eliminate all the zeros. Now what if one of these disappearing zeros is your ability to feel? Our society has elevated this type of (clinical) behavior to heroic proportions. For example, how many business titans or career politicians can you name who are still married to their first spouse? You may also laugh along with the characters on “The Big Bang Theory”, but what does the success of this comedy TV series say about the behaviors we accept, celebrate or just plain overlook? Finally, there are those who simply lack feelings and morals and whose apathy can border on tragic or go directly to – pathological. Sociopaths and psychopaths look just like us but cannot or will not feel anything for others. Often they prey on those with feelings after having studied precisely what needs to be said in order to provoke the desired effect. What is most intriguing is that recent psychological research has indicated what you may also have already felt; the way a corporation is structured encourages sociopathic and psychopathic behavior. Do a Google search on “sociopathic” or “psychopathic” behavior and compare the behavioral signs to the environment in your organization. You may be surprised at just how similar they are. So just what do human doings all have in common? Consciously or unconsciously they have chosen to focus their senses on activities that are more easily measured than felt. Some have actively chosen this left-brained path of achievement, while others have been trained or conditioned by their surroundings to follow sheepishly along. Want to look at a prime cause for all the stress-related dis-ease currently plaguing our society? Look no further than all those people you know who work in jobs where having empathy and compassion are seen as a disadvantage. Then you are invited to notice how many more jobs are now being “rationalized” in the same way. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 12 Page 13 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills With our collective focus on efficiency, even those who want to keep their dignity as human beings are often forced to compromise in order to compete. Has the expression, “It’s just business” become an accepted excuse for sociopathic behavior? Has doing good for others become an unaffordable luxury to many who still need to work for a living? Granted, there are many wonderful examples of people bucking this trend. This book, as you will soon see, really is written to support being healthier, more prosperous and cooperative. Yet to really appreciate the opportunity for change before us, it may be worth spending a few conscious minutes reflecting on “life as we know it” from outside our current societal “fish bowl”. 1.4 LIFE IN A SPREADSHEET So how did we begin cultivating this type of digital behavior? The Personal Computer revolution did not develop out of the hardware inside the box. Neither did it explode due to Bill Gates and his DOS Operating System. What sparked the PC revolution was Mitch Kapor’s spreadsheet program Lotus 123. This ingenious program unleashed an incredible personal calculating power and put it at the fingertips of any manager with a passion for numbers and performance. True to form, Bill Gates then “borrowed” the idea and went on to dominate the market with Excel. Unfortunately, it did not take long for the power of this revolution to become overused in the name of efficiency. Those focused on rational intelligence and statistics became more in demand than those with heartfelt empathy. Terms like re-engineering the company and “trimming organizational fat” became mantras and it wasn’t too long before all the fat was trimmed and cut marks on the bone began to show. Ask anyone getting close to retirement who still has a job and nearly all will tell you they are responsible for a workload which two or three people managed a generation ago. Is it any wonder that stress and burnout are soaring? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 13 Page 14 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills A generation ago, the average worker depended on his own skills to accomplish his job. If the system went down, out came a piece of paper and work went on. Now the workplace is engulfed by automated business systems and we have slowly and often unwittingly become parts of the machine. Most workers under 40 have no experience of working in an office where “the System” is not in charge. Just about every process has been documented and streamlined and moments are constantly measured, checked and improved. How much work gets done now when “The System” goes down? That “The System” rules the workplace is scary from a “crash” perspective, but also from the perspective of how it is affecting how we behave. What should be most frightening to this whole process is the blank stare you get if you ask someone if they are worried about technology’s encroachment onto our personal freedom and expression. Most are just fine with current “business as usual”. Also, please consider the amount of painkillers, anti-depressants and stomach remedies that are being consumed have reached all time highs. On the other hand, compare yourself to a two-year-old. How much room do you feel you have to express your thoughts and feelings in contrast to the child? Also ask yourself who usually gets a better night’s sleep? Lighting, beyond illumination In 10 years 2/3 of people will be living in big cities. At Philips we focus on providing lighting beyond illumination to make these cities more livable, enjoyable and safe. #makeitmeaningful What will be your impact? www.philips.com/careers Download free eBooks at bookboon.com Click on the ad to read more 14 Page 15 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills What if our society has indeed become one giant spreadsheet where someone is constantly controlling, measuring and analyzing everything in order to maximize its performance? What if that someone is not you? Is it any wonder you may be feeling just a bit boxed in? Interesting how each of those confining little boxes in a spreadsheet is called a “cell”. 1.4.1 DECISIONS CAUSE STRESS Go into a grocery store and count the number of choices you now have when buying a bottle of detergent, a loaf of bread or some cereal. How easy is it to responsibly check all the offers and choices with which you are confronted? How long would it take to read each bottle, compare its offer and make a rational decision based upon your needs and wants? With all the fine print, fancy chemical names and price comparisons, it would probably take you all day to decide on just one item on your list. In this situation it is much easier to use those habitual neural pathways and grab the same bottle or loaf you always do and be done with it. Yet, how do you really know you made the right choice? For many this just increases the stress, regardless of what arrives home. Is it any wonder that many of us collapse in front of the Television after work, totally exhausted from our day? What would it feel like instead to come home satisfied, consciously relax by taking some time for yourself to reflect over, integrate and complete the day’s events before getting a good night’s sleep? Stress research conducted by Dr Alexander Parsky at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute has shown that this conscious choice to take some contemplative moments between work and sleep, where you can reflect over and integrate your day’s events allows for a much more restful night’s sleep. Yet, how often do you work to the point of exhaustion, only to wake up and do it again? This type of stressful behavior creates neural superhighways too! Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 15 Page 16 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills 1.5 DIGITAL VERSUS ANALOGUE Much of our office behavior has become digitized. The way we work must be in byte-sized chunks: Bulleted lists, executive summaries, sales funnels, bar codes, apps and just about everything we do must be as efficient and effective as possible. Not only that, the line between work and free time has grown very fuzzy with the advent of the smart device. Now you can receive all your communication 24/7,allowing your boss and customers access to you whenever it is necessary, or not… With all of the advances allowing us to track, quantify and analyze our every procedure, we are now part of a process. This is only the first step as now many traditional jobs are rapidly being replaced by machines and computers that contain increasingly sophisticated hardware and software. Even the cashier and burger flipper are now being threatened by automation! Most everyone in a big company now has an identification card that tracks your behavior. RFID (Radio Frequency ID) chips are becoming increasingly common too. Which truck or taxi driver is not being tracked wherever they go? The analogue way of doing things is considered old fashioned. Taking the time to reflect or to “sleep on the issue” may not be as accepted by your colleagues as working late to solve it. Peer pressure often sides with increased performance over common sense. Take too long finishing your sentence and someone will often jump in and finish it for you. Without even asking, they will often consider this a service to you. In many organizations people take vacation instead of sick leave to give the impression that they are tough, can take “it” or out of fear of being seen as weak. Just about every want ad is not complete without the line “must be able to handle stress”. The more you can break your tasks down so each moment of the process can be measured and exceeded, the better your chances of staying after the next inevitable reorganization. We are becoming items, things, i.e. “Human Resources” rather than individuals and most of us are not even aware of the change. 1.6 HAS MANAGEMENT BECOME AN ANACHRONISM? Our current definition of a manager makes no distinction between heading up a group of products or people. What if it is time to consciously make that distinction clear? The word “management” comes from “manos”, which means “hands” and the idea of managing comes from a time of scarcity when you needed a certain number of hands or backs to get something done. Yet even today, anyone who can manage to squeeze just a bit more performance out of a group or process by the end of the quarter is usually singled out for the promotional fast track. There is often only little or “polite” attention given to the wellbeing of the individuals involved in that process. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 16 Page 17 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills Could the idea of a manager of people be an anachronism, a dinosaur left over from the Industrial Age? This is when distinguishing between machines and the people who ran them was of no economical importance. Even now most managers are paid in relation to what they can produce. 1.7 LEADERSHIP, THE RISING STAR What if it is time to cleanly distinguish and even separate the term management from leadership? Unlike a good manager who efficiently uses scarce resources to reach goals, regardless of obstacles (human or otherwise), an effective leader inspires and empowers people to be more and do more than they thought they could. What if the sensational leader goes one step further and encourages everyone to appreciate a job well done and applauds goals that are met? Analytical skills are still important, but software can handle that much better. Isn’t a boss who can inspire and motivate you to want to perform more important than one who is your baby sitter and monitors your every move? We now have a choice. The future we create together can either be a dark one where we all manage each other till the effects of stress, distrust and dis-ease become too much to bear. Or, we can create a world where we listen with all our senses, encourage and empower those around us to be the best that we can be. Being conscious of the power of your body language and being in touch with your feelings will certainly help you choose the most effective path. 1.7.1 BUT LIFE WORKS WHY CHANGE IT? How many times have we heard that we are creatures of habit? Could it be that we are programmed that way? A basic understanding of biology will confirm that our nervous system is in fact designed to create behavior patterns. The more we do or think the same type of thoughts, the larger and quicker that neurological path becomes through our nervous system. The larger the path, the easier and more effective it becomes to do/think the same thing again and again. Please note that this process has nothing to do with the quality, effectiveness or morality of the behavior pattern in question. So when a change or adjustment is introduced, our natural wiring predisposes us to discount, resist, ignore or avoid it. Should it persist we will often actively defend against it. Why? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 17 Page 18 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Peak hard skills 1.7.2 MORE EFFORT REQUIRED Just like it takes less time and effort to use a superhighway than a back road, using the neural pathways already widened for quick and economical access will provide you the path of least resistance. Here is an invitation for reflection: do you use your car’s cruise control more on the highway or on a back road? But, is the net energy effect really less using these habitual and comfortable behavior patterns? Take a step back and consider the additional amount of energy we use to: • Maintain old behaviors and habits long after they have outlived their original purpose. • Discount, avoid or defend our habit from someone close that recognizes it and tries to warn us of its consequences. • Clean up the mess we make in sticking to our habits even after the point of obvious and cataclysmic failure. Take smoking, overeating, domestic violence as obvious examples. Almost everyone who is guilty of these behaviors knows they have tragic consequences for themselves and for those around them, yet have you ever landed in an argument with someone after suggesting to them a change? You may even sense that they too know their arguments are weak, yet they persist. It might just feel easier to them – and somehow more pleasurable – to continue reacting unconsciously to the same thing over and over again rather than changing it. Shall we look at politics, finance and war? Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 18 Page 19 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Conscious body language, so what? 2 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE, SO WHAT? The Industrial Age has been replaced by the knowledge or computer age where most, if not all, of the traditional tasks of management can be accomplished with so-called “management software”. In fact, Peter Siljerud, the Director of Futurewise AB puts it this way. “Soon anything requiring the use of muscle will be done with robotics and anything requiring intelligence will be done with computers”. “If this is true, what skills will be needed in the future to maintain your value in the marketplace?” The answer will probably have to do with all the skills that focus on emotion, feeling and cultivating relationships. Professions requiring leadership, service, dialogue and teamwork will be high on the list. Yet, how effective will you be in such a post if you are missing the skills to consciously, responsibly and understandably emote your feelings through your body and its language? 2.1 THE ADVANTAGE OF BECOMING MORE HUMAN A good metaphorical start to this answer may be the differences between seeing a black and white picture compared to a color one of the same scene. It can also feel like the difference between admiring the clinical perfection of digitally mastered music compared to the warm feelings evoked from hearing an old analogue stereo LP record. A friend, standing in front of his mint condition 1968 Juke Box playing an Elvis 45 once remarked, “You could put your feet in front of the speaker and feel the song’s warmth”. Compare that to the clinically, sterile perfection of a CD or MP3. Consciously choosing to access your feelings may be uncomfortable. For instance during a Tsunami, it may permit you to feel the gut feeling, to follow all the animals and their instincts to higher ground when all the water on an Asian beach disappears out to sea. But will you honor and act upon that signal, especially when many of your fellow species have decided to walk further out on the beach to see where the water went? It may also provide you with more pertinent feedback from your senses, which you could use to better sell, present, lead, service and create contagious team spirit. The difference boils down to either opening up those parts of yourself that define us as being human or shutting them down to become a better-looking, more intelligent machine. Download free eBooks at bookboon.com 19 Page 20 CONSCIOUS BODY LANGUAGE Conscious body language, so what? 2.2 CONSCIOUS HEALTH AND WELL-BEING Being conscious of your body and its language will re-open a portal to the senses that should have never been closed. If you have paid even a small amount of attention to how it works, your body has an incredible ability to heal itself. Just watch what happens when you get a cut. Yet this ability to heal only really shows itself when we consciously get out of its way. A great illustration of this is during the Civil War in the USA. Doctors, using the latest medical information, intentionally ripped scabs off wounded soldiers as they thought the wound would heal faster when left open. This was the cutting edge of medical science! How much of what is considered cutting edge in medicine today will also eventually go the way of “leeching”? Your body behaves surprisingly similar to how you behave personally. Just like you, if it is listened to in a way that it feels heard then the problem often decreases or disappears. If the problem or pain is ignored, your body (just like you) will increase the energy and resources used (pain and discomfort) until its message is heard, understood and acted upon. Some simplified examples: • Smoke too much and you develop a cough. Ignore the cough and continue to smoke and increase your risk for lung cancer and emphysema. • Eat too much, exercise too little and you gain weight. Ignore these consequences and continue with this behavior then you increase your chances to get even larger. • Read a lot and you will eventually need a pair of glasses. Continue reading more and the power of the corrective lenses will increase. • Exercise a lot unconsciously while ignoring what your body is feeling and you will run the risk of wearing out some important body parts. Continue ignoring your body’s signals and plan on some prosthetics. • Worry a lot and you will probably create excess acid in your digestive tract. Continue worrying and the risk of developing an ulcer increases as a result. • Persuade your friends to do stuff they would rather not and they will begin avoiding you. Continue persuading them and watch your friends vanish. 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