A person’s body language is a direct reflection of how they’re feeling on the inside. For example, if a person is feeling uncomfortable in a situation, he or she might hunch their shoulders or avoid making eye contact with the person that they’re speaking with. As a specialist in life coaching, you need to pick up on these body language cues as the person who’s come to you for life coaching may not necessarily tell you what really is the problem. Alternatively, they could also not know that they need help with something and it will be up to you to try and figure it out. Here are three body language cues that will help you decode your clients’ outer signals.
Does your client make eye contact?
If your client doesn’t make eye contact, this could mean that they’re not interested in what’s being said. Alternatively, this could mean that they don’t respect you.
There are many ways to help your life coaching clients develop their eye contact skills, says Steven Aitchison – personal development coach. For example, in one-on-one conversations he advises one to
“… break eye contact every 5 seconds or so. When breaking the eye contact don’t look down as this might indicate the ending of your part of the conversation. Instead, look up or to the side as if you are remembering something. Try it just now: don’t move your head, and think about the first time you started school. You will notice your eyes might move up or to the side as you try to remember this. So when your listener sees this they will think you are trying to remember something and keep on listening to you.”
Do they look at you when they’re speaking to you?
When your client is speaking to you, but he’s looking anywhere else but in your direction, this indicates SERIOUS disinterest – on his part – in what you’re saying. Alternatively, they could just not realise that they’re doing it because they feel uncomfortable with looking at people when they talk to them. Whatever the reason, don’t jump to conclusions the first time you speak to them. Get to know them first as there might be a reason – other than what you suspect – behind their body language.
Learn to decode facial expressions
So much emotion can be shown in the expression on a person’s face: disbelief, disgust, amusement, sadness, anger, worry … A face can speak a thousand words! Says Vanessa Van Edwards – a published author and behavioural investigator:
“Knowing how to read and interpret micro expressions is an essential part of understanding nonverbal behaviour and reading people. A micro expression is a brief, involuntary facial expression that is shown on the face of humans according to the emotions that are being experienced. Unlike regular pro-longed facial expressions, it is difficult to fake a micro expression.”
In the fitness industry, knowing how to read peoples’ body language is even more vital as exercise clients may tell you, the exercise professional, that they are feeling ‘fine’ but in reality they are feeling quite tired and drained, and the physical activity could do more harm than good.
As a life coach/exercise professional trained in picking up on body language you’ll be able to pick this up in your clients. Become the personal trainer with an edge. Sign up for Trifocus Fitness Academy’s accredited Life Coaching course today!