A recent study at UCLA indicated that 93% of communication comes from our nonverbal cues such as body posture, vocal intonation, and eye contact. Only 7% of communication comes from the actual words we use. Yet most current human development programs, leadership training programs and motivational courses only focus on the verbal 7%.
Somatics is the study of the remaining 93% of communication and how the body:
- Transmits information
- Receives and filters information
- Processes information
- Controls the brain
Think about the following sentence: “I will have the report to you on Monday”.
Imagine saying this with your arms folded, tension in your shoulders, and a grim look on your face. What do you think the impact will be on whoever is listening?
Now imagine saying the same exact sentence with your arms up in the air, jumping up and down as you smile. Now what do you think will be their response?
Once again imagine saying the same thing slumped down in your chair, looking down at your navel and not lifting your head as you speak. What do you think their response will be this time?
The same exact words were used in each example and yet there were at least three entirely different possible interpretations. Think about this the next time you are misunderstood. Don’t worry about your intention and intead focus on the impact you had. What was it that they picked up from you that you were not intending? What body shape could you take that would increase the impact or alignment of your message?