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How Much Physical Contact Is Appropriate?

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How to Create a Commanding Presence – Strategies for Building Charisma and Connection to Communicate Powerfully and Persuasively – (Part 10 of 16)


(…continued from last week)

How to Improve Your NonVerbal Communication, Part IV

The seventh is physical contact. If you are a toucher that’s ok, but watch out. There are people out there you are liable to walk up to and give one of those bear hugs, who is not ready for you. Watch out what you do.

Ever heard of sexual harassment? Pay attention when shaking hands with someone there are people out there who a hand shake is too much physical contact. So if they stick their hand out to shake hands with you, for you to grab their hand and hold it for two or three minutes is a little much. Watch what you are doing.

The physical contact, the touch on the shoulder or arm or handshake, watch how you do that. It’s sends a message and you can overdo it. This goes back to space and proximity. Am I too close, am I too far away? What’s appropriate? You need to think about the situation and what’s appropriate. Watch the physical contact.

Tone Of Voice

Another of the dimensions of nonverbal communication is tone of voice.

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Are you someone who speaks in a monotone, it never changes, it’s just the same level and that’s all there is? Or are you at the other end of the spectrum where you sound like you are the most excited child on the planet?

What do you do with your voice? Does it have a tempo or rhythm to it? Is there a variation in the pitch and modulation? Do you speak really fast or are you someone who speaks more slowly? How rich is your voice? Is it rounded and rich or is more small and tiny? What are you doing with your voice? Pay attention to the tone of your voice.

Blending The Aspects

The last of these dimensions of nonverbal communication and interaction have to do with this overall package. It’s the interaction of each piece of this brought together. It’s not any one singularly, it’s the entire package.

How close are you, how good do you make the eye contact, how do you use silence? What are your gestures and body postures? Your facial expressions, your physical contact, your tone of voice-all of those blend together to make this ninth dimension come together. These can be done individually but overall as a whole this ninth aspect is the sum total of them all together.

It’s like a fruit salad. You have apples and grapes and strawberries and bananas and raspberries. Each individually is fine, then you put them together and it creates this whole salad. All the aspects of nonverbal communication is the same kind of thing.

Each of these individually is important, but what do you do with them as a whole? Pay attention to how you use all these nonverbals because each make a giant impact on your presence and how people believe you, interact with you, are willing to work with you and collaborate effectively with you.

(to be continued…)


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