We all do it, we fidget, cross our arms, cross our eyebrows and it is all a silent sign of how we are feeling. Let’s dive in today to being more aware of the signs that seem silent, but can actually speak volumes to yourself and your team.
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Welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. That is by Peter Drucker.
Welcome to the show folks. Today we are speaking about silent signals, giving off signals, uh, from your body as opposed to things that you’re saying to somebody. So there’s something we have to understand that we actually speak in multiple languages. Two of those languages, or at least for those of us in the English speaking world, uh, one is English and the other is body. Our body language, our body language is something that tells people a whole lot of stuff about us. So question, do you know what your silent signals are today we’re talking about silent signals, your team, silent signals, and what it can tell you about your leadership and your culture. But before we get into that, let’s tell you about our phenomenal two day, one-on-one personal discovery experience called Next Level Life.
Next Level Life
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Busy Hands and a Lying Mouth.
All right. Speaking of next level life, uh, everybody who has been through and a Strat plan and you know, again, all of the events that we do here, our next level mastermind retreats and whatever it is, one of the things we help people to understand as they’re coming in and that is that we watch every bit of your body language every single bit. We watch everything all the time. I’ll never forget, we had a Stratplan in here that we had this team around the table just battling. It was, it was really difficult. They had some new folks on their leadership team and I’m sitting at the end of the table. So I have got a decent view of the people that are towards me. I could see from the table down as well. And one gal was sitting there and just getting bombarded by another leader and she was just as smooth as could possibly be from the table up. But in her lap, her hands were going ballistic. I mean just, she was fidgeting, going crazy and I asked her the question during the process. I said, “Hey, what are you afraid of?” And she goes, “I’m not afraid of anything.” And I’ve been watching her hands the whole time in her lap. And I said to her, “Let me ask you a question, what are you doing with your hands right now?” And you could just see her just, Oh crap, he’s been watching me the whole time. He knows, he knows that I, that I just told a lie, I am afraid of some stuff. And it was a really good, you know, it was, it was a struggle for her to receive that in that moment. But very quickly she was like, okay, you’re right. Now before that she was the only woman around the table. She was trying to be strong for all these other dudes thinking that that’s what they were looking for was for her to be strong and you know, not fear anything. And instead when we could get past that moment, she was actually able to share some information that we could use. That was really important for decision making. So that’s just an example of what we see and what we watch. And the reason why we watch non-verbals-those cues is because it tells us stuff about you. It’s something that we use to understand what somebody is experiencing in the moment. If somebody is struggling with something personally, if the topic that we’re talking about is really painful, no matter what it is, it helps us to understand what they’re experiencing. And sometimes they might be saying something to us and actually meaning something completely different.
So that is one of the tools that we use, not against people, but instead to understand people. So what are silent signals? Nonverbal cues that we’re constantly giving to those around us. Again, it could be something like the ringing of the hands. It could be how you feel towards something. It could be the way your eyes are responding, your mouth is responding. It can be the hairs that are standing up on your arm. It could be any of those types of things. The key is that they’re a reflection of how we actually feel towards something. Many team members may be telling leaders what they think they want the leader to hear, but the silent signals will actually tell you how they actually feel about something. So it’s important for you as a leader to understand what you’re looking at. I have had, and I mean amazingly so, I have had some folks that could look me in the eyes and tell me something that absolutely was not true. I mean, not even bad. And I, I had somebody not too long ago that, uh, when I asked a series of questions that I knew the truth too, I knew what was actually going on. That person looked at me in the eye and literally responded without batting an eye. However, I could watch the responses in between and the moment that they believed that I was no longer concerned about the question, I could watch their response that showed that how they actually felt about the situation. And knowing that I actually knew the truth with information besides the person’s response helped me to see how that person was going to respond to me. Somebody who was so good at being able to lie about something and not bat an eye, which 99% of the time people are going to go, well they’re, being honest.
Because of the information that I had, it allowed me to watch the responses that came on both sides of the nonverbal cues that came on both sides of the actual verbal response. Why am I telling you that? Because there may be times that if you don’t have good quality information, somebody can be telling you something and you have no clue what’s going on. Some people can actually hide a lot of responses in the response. Now, I’m not telling you this to say that we’re only looking at people that are lying. That’s actually only one part of the situation. A lot of times people respond verbally with something to protect themselves when they feel another way. So even in their mind, something they might be saying is not untrue. It could be very true, but the way that they feel about it can be totally different.
Responses You May Be Missing.
I’ll never forget when we had, um, Vanessa Van Edwards on who, if you’ve ever seen the TV show Lie To Me”, She was a big part. She worked with the guy who that show was all about and uh, how much she talked through some of the amazing responses that you see with people when they are responding with fear, when they’re responding with excitement, when they’re lying, when they’re, um, hiding, you know, all of those different cues. It was awesome to be able to talk to her about all those different cues. So here’s what it kind of looks like. We had to kind of talk about, um, different postures. Uh, it can be in, these can be good, that can be bad. They could be a person processing, they could be a person struggling. The key is you have to think about the content of what’s being communicated at the time and that will give you a lot of information to, is the signal aligning with the content. So some signals you might notice, uh, no eye contact, looking down at the ground, ringing their hands, furring their eyes, their forehead, uh, mouth trembles, um, shoulder shrugs when it doesn’t make sense. Eyebrows being raised when it doesn’t make sense. Verbal cues that go along with this could be increase in pitch, increase in volume, but really we’re, you know, while those are two vocal cues,I think they’re important to know. But really what we’re looking for is how was the body responding to the thing that’s being communicated, either communicated to them or communicated from them. So, it’s important for us to always watch when we hit something in a very intense event or a complicated discussion between leaders or whatever, that when we throw something out or, or maybe, you know, like, in Next Level Life and Stratplan, we do what we call gut punches. Hey, here’s something that’s going to hurt a little bit, but this was going to be incredibly beneficial for you when you get this right. So sometimes one will throw out a gut punch. We’re looking for how the person responds. Now the verbal cues are, are super easy, right? If somebody responds very defensively or somebody who responds with victim mentality, you can hear that the words give them away. But when somebody responds physically in a way, it could be that you say something of, I don’t know. Hey, all of these things that you’re listing out, what I’m seeing is, is this is victim mentality. You can watch somebody response of eyebrows raised immediately or you know, furring the eyes or a curl up of one side of the mouth or, um, their hands come together and real strong. All of these indicators are just some examples of somebody really not liking what they just heard, right?
Another thing you can watch is, is a lot of times we’ll watch somebody’s foot while you’re having a conversation. Like I mentioned about the table, if I can see somebody’s hands under the table, I’m looking, I want to see how they’re responding. Are they fidgeting or are they struggling? Like there’s times for me, I’m, I’m a fidgeter. I like having a pen in my hand. I like twirling a pen, you know, I like, you know, if I don’t have something like a pan or something, then sometimes I’ll, you know, I’ll grab onto the side of the chair or, or I’ll tap on something or you know, I’m doing something with my hands because my brain is running at a hundred miles an hour and I need to do something with my hands. It just helps me, to either focus or just, you know, it helps my brain to pay attention to certain things sometimes. Well, it could also be the very thing that if the content is not good content, then if I’m going to wringing my hands or struggling with my hands that I might be receiving the information badly. If my foot is going a thousand miles an hour. There’s a reason. And the funny thing is, is a lot of times you can watch it. Sometimes it’s just somebody fidgeting and that’s one thing you can see the fidget because nothing being discussed or nothing being experienced at the time is actually, should be causing some level of discomfort. But the moment you drop the discomfort in, you can watch the foot. You can watch the leg, you can watch the, the way that they sit forward, sit back, shift away from you, um, position themselves towards somebody else who’s more comfortable in the room to them. All of those pieces help you to see something just happened with this information.
Seek the Benefits in Knowing This.
Now, because I’m sharing this, I want to say, recognize that you’re a little dangerous right now. By understanding this, it doesn’t mean that you know this inside and out. It doesn’t mean that you know exactly what the person was thinking. And I can tell you this, the personality style that will throw you off the most with their body language, high C, because a high C’s body language, a good amount of time does not align with their body language. It’s one of those things you just need time and time and time and time and time, studying people and understanding them to see what personality style is going to respond with that body language. So there are times that a, you know, again, uh, like a high C whose face is shriveled up while you’re speaking could absolutely be processing the information. So if the thing you’re saying is not something that should set them off or isn’t something that’s stupid or downward ridiculous, then there’s a really good chance they’re actually really listening to you and taking that in.So you have to align. What is it that you’re experiencing with them, with the content or the situation? A super easy one to understand is when you bring a team member in to discuss something and they’re nervous, they’re uncomfortable, they can’t sit still. They’re constantly moving in their chair. They’re having to shift side to side. That’s a pretty easy one. You can understand that something’s going wrong. When I do notice that instead of saying, I see that you’re nervous, which a lot of folks probably do. Instead, I’ll ask them questions. Hey, how do you feel right now? Oh, totally fine. I feel good. Okay. Is there anything that you’re nervous about? No. No, no, no, no, no, no. Not nervous at all. Okay. Hey, help me to understand something. I see that you’re shifting a lot in your chair. Why is that? Oh, I’m just a fidgety person. Okay. All right. Is there any concerns about the thing that we’re talking about? Oh yeah, I’m really worried about this, this, this and this. Okay, so you’re not experiencing any discomfort right now. You’re not feeling nervous or anything, you know, and all of a sudden it’ll make sense to them. Oh my gosh, he’s asking me those questions. I’m actually giving that information to them by the way that I’m responding in my chair. So when we come back, we’re going to talk about signals that you give off as a leader and how you can make sure that you’re very cognizant of not giving the wrong thing.
I’ve never seen a leader that’s had everything that they wanted. Out of thousands of leaders that I’ve coached most are probably a lot like you. You wish you saw greater productivity and less drama from your team, that you didn’t spend your energy putting out fires, that you had more time to invest in your family and the things that you enjoy. And you felt more equipped to lead your team to success. The only thing that’s holding leaders back from the results they desire is having the right tools and you can get those tools at the Next Level Leadership Live Event. So if you’re young, old, new, experienced, struggling, or really successful, this event is for anyone who is ready to learn from 25 years of best practices that get proven results. It’s not about short term fixes. In three days, I’m going to teach you how to have sustained revenue growth to generate greater productivity from your team and get immediate momentum toward the results that you want. It’s going to be detailed, practical and loaded with how-to’s from the lessons we’re teaching, our clients have seen an average of 46% increase in gross profit in one year’s time. That’s one year’s time. These clients run normal everyday businesses and your business can have the same level of success. So if you’re ready to see those results, go to chrislocurto.com/events and get your tail to this event and invest in your leadership and your business. That’s chrislocurto.com/events I can’t wait to see you there.
All right, so just to summarize what we’re discussing so far, everybody gives off silent signals. Everybody gives off cues from their, their body, the nonverbal cues. That’s what we’re talking about today. Everybody gives those off. And to be an effective leader, a very positive tool for you to use if you use it correctly, it’s positive, is to pay attention to signals, is to pay attention to how people are responding. The more that you understand a responses and you tie them to the content, to the specific circumstance, that will help you to understand how somebody’s feeling, what you know, not necessarily specifically what they’re thinking, but how they’re receiving information, all that kind of fun stuff. So the way you would do this in a negative way is to assume that you’re absolutely right and tell somebody what they’re thinking and what they’re experiencing in the moment. Even if you’re right doing it that way, I promise you they’re going to come back and tell you that you’re wrong. So be very cautious with that. Instead, use it in a very positive sense to ask questions and to gain further perspective. Don’t tell them how they are. Don’t set their reality. Ask more questions and discover whether or not you’re right. You may discover that you’re wrong. So that’s important key. Next thing I want to talk about is the signals that you give off. Now it is very important for you to understand that your team very often takes your temperature. Very often they’re looking at things that you’re saying, ways that you’re responding, ways that you’re acting, taking your temperature; and it is setting their tone, especially in meetings and meetings, your physical stature, your responses, the tones of your voice. All of those are setting a tone for the meeting.
Using This as A Leader.
So you might be coming into a meeting and struggling with something that you know came from a meeting you just came out of and now you’re carrying that into this meeting, which is supposed to be a great brainstorming session on how we serve our clients. And if that last meeting was a bad meeting, now it looks like you don’t care about our clients. Even though you may have mentally shifted and you’re trying to get to good quality information. If you’re still carrying over emotionally some of the responses, then you might be physically responding in a way that sets a tone that says, I’m just not happy. This isn’t a good day and this meeting isn’t a good meeting for me, even though we just started this thing. Right. So in your conversations in your one-on-ones, make sure that you’re paying attention to the nonverbal cues that you give off. How do you respond when somebody says something that’s not a very productive, or when somebody says something that is just silly or ridiculous, how do you respond? Now, I can tell you from back in my days of youth ministry way back when, the one of the things that we had to focus on is that we were dealing with youth and we don’t know their home lives. We don’t know what they’re experiencing. We don’t know if they’ve experienced really horrible stuff. We just know that at any moment they may say something incredibly shocking to you and as a youth leader you had to be somebody who wasn’t shocked, wasn’t surprised. You had to understand that the thing that they’re saying, they may be trying to get a response from you. They may be trying to see if you reject them. They may be trying to see if you accept them. Guess what folks? Same thing happens with adults. So as a leader you may experience with a team member that they are looking to see how you respond to their situation. So maybe they’ve screwed up at work or maybe something surprising has happened in their life and they are looking to you sharing information or informing you on this stuff to see how you respond. Are you going to respond upset? Are you going to respond with disgust? Are you going to respond with shock? Any of those nonverbal cues. I mean obviously they’re going to understand if verbally you respond any of those ways, but if you don’t respond verbally with shock, but your body tells them that you’re just disgusted. This is crazy or whatever thing. Guess what they’re receiving that what they’re receiving from you because of your non-verbals, your silent signals is that you think there is something incredibly wrong with them. I’m not saying that you don’t think that it could be something that is very difficult for you to swallow. It could be something that is disgusting. It could be something that is horrible, but as a leader, what is your job? Your job is to make them successful, which means that in difficult times or you know, troubled times instead of responding with disgust or how you truly feel inside, you might have to be very cautious and help them to see this doesn’t surprise you, this doesn’t shock you. You’re here to help. You’re here to walk them through the problem, the situation you’re here to help them to get to success. So pay attention to how you respond when things are uncomfortable. What normally happens to you? Do you feel the need to get into a power posture? Do you feel the need to self-protect or be defensive with your face in the shock on your face that somebody would question you on something like that.
Be very cautious of yourself.
Whatever it is, be very cautious and very mindful of what you’re doing. What’s your posture? What’s your body language? Are your arms crossed and tied across your chest? Are your eyes furrowed? You know, how, what are you giving off? And are you smiling and nodding when you’re supposed to? Or are you possibly smiling and nodding when you’re not? Uh, what are the funny things that I have seen so many times with a high I leader who’s not paying attention is somebody who’s telling them, telling them something in there. Yeah. That’s good. No, that’s good. No, that’s a, that’s good. And then the person changes subjects or topics and they’re like, yeah, my dog just got hit by a car. Oh, that’s good. That’s good. When you watch somebody, I know I’ve done that once. I can remember a time I did that and caught myself in what I am. So sorry. I’m so sorry I wasn’t paying attention to what you were saying. I had to be honest because really I wasn’t, I have watched people do that consistently, that they are actually responding, nodding, shaking their heads, smiling, and then somebody drops something that’s not happy and they just keep going. They just keep responding with that bad signal. So be very cognizant. How are you leading people with your cues? How are you, uh, how are you responding to their individual situation? Another thing to watch out for. Are you saying that you’re impatient with your responses? There are so many times that leaders are communicating to a team member that they do not have the patience for the conversation they’re in or, or the thing they’re trying to explain, whatever. Watch that. So here’s what I challenge you to do this week. I don’t care if it’s with a team member, if it’s with a spouse, if it’s with your kids, if it’s in the line at the grocery store, I want you to start paying attention to both your nonverbal cues, the way that you’re responding physically, the way that you’re responding with your face, the way that you’re responding, uh, with your arms, all that stuff and start really paying attention to other folks. When you see the nonverbals, do not just know for a fact that you’re right about what they’re experiencing. Use that nonverbal to ask questions to gain perspective. Here’s the great thing. If you’re right, then asking questions is just going to show that, right? So now you can start honing this craft. The great thing is when you’re wrong, when you see a nonverbal, when you see a silent signal and you ask perspective gathering questions and you actually learn that that response was tied to this thought process. And again, like I say, the place you’ll see this the most where it doesn’t align is, is high C personality styles. If you have not done your disc, why have you not? If you’ve not had your team do the disc personality styles, why not go to chrislocurto.com go to the store, get it done, get it for your team.
So when you see that in that high C, that’s going to be something that helps you to fine tune their physical responses compared to S, I’s and D’s where it’s going to align more with what’s actually processing in their brain. So there you have it. Start paying attention. Ask a ton of questions. Do not think you’re going to know this week everybody silent signals. You’re not really focus on asking yourself the question, why did I just respond that way? Why did, why were my eyebrows raised right? Then? Why are, why are my arms crossed in this moment? Take a look at those things and use those to grow your leadership. Well folks, there you have it. Thank you for joining me today. I hope that it has served you well. I encourage you to subscribe, right, and share the podcast to help more people join our community. And as always, take this information, change your leadership, change your business, change your life, and is on the next steps.