Body language is used for instruction or to communicate information, to emphasize a point or emotion, or to indicate the purpose of spoken language.
Phipps developed the YODA system for body language. YODA stands for You, Observe, Decode, and Adapt. It is a simple way to understand that by observing and understanding body language, an individual can change their own body language and verbal interactions to better suit any situation. Phipps’ focus is on body language in the business setting, he applies the YODA system to the many interactions that take place in the professional environment.
The Science of Body Language
There is a connection between the internal world of thought and the external world of bodily expression. If an individual focuses on a particular thought long enough (it may just be a few seconds), his physical body will reflect that thought. The brain has the capacity to process external stimuli in a variety of ways. There is a neurolinguistic abbreviation for the senses: VAKOG or visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory. By listening to the way others speak and determining which of the senses dominates their speech, people can find ways to bond with others. Visual people use phrases like: “see what I mean,” whereas the auditory inclined use terms such as: “how does that sound?” This is a key piece of information for someone looking to dominate a conversation or persuade another to their way of thinking. This falls under the “observe”part of the YODA system.
It is important to practice using nonverbal signals before attempting to use them in public. At first, they will seem disjointed and uncomfortable; however, as the gestures are practiced, they will become more natural both for the speaker and the audience. It is also important to be flexible and willing to meet listeners on a common ground.
A speaker should identify his or her intentions before beginning to speak. It is important to clarify what the speaker hopes to gain from the communication, and tailor nonverbal signals to that intention. Observe the audience’s nonverbal signals to be sure that the message is being received as intended.
Though learning about and understanding how nonverbal signals work is important, the true value of nonverbal signals comes in implementation. Practice and usage of nonverbal signals are what really allow people to become great communicators. When a person finally implements nonverbal signals successfully, he or she will truly be empowered as a leader and will achieve a high level of communication success.