To learn more, see Unlock Your Confidence: Find The Keys To Lasting Change Through The Confidence Karma Method by Dr Gary Wood.
In coaching (and counselling) training, the main emphasis is on matching the facial expression with the words and feelings. We don’t expect people to say ‘that’s interesting’ and then roll their eyes in contempt. It’s about being genuine. If you relax and listen (rather than drift off with your own thoughts), it becomes automatic. There will be more on listening skills later in the chapter.
Again, if you are calm, honest and yourself the gestures should take care of themselves. We all have idiosyncratic gestures. We don’t all have to become clones. It’s just about becoming aware of any nervous fidgeting or distracting behaviour. Appropriate hand gestures tend to emphasize keywords whereas inappropriate ones tend to confuse the message. The best way to see your own trademark gestures is to watch a film of yourself or get feedback from a friend.
Space invaders are those people who stand closer than relationship dictates. Generally, the closer we are to someone emotionally the closer we can stand physically. With strangers we usually approach them at arm’s length and keep a distance of about one metre. As we get to know a person we allow them closer. Judge how well you know a person and observe how they position themselves in relation to you. If they back off, you’re too close.
Voice and Speech
When nervous we speak more quickly and lose fluency. Just slowing things down a little can help a lot. People with esteem or confidence issues may also speak more quickly, assuming that others will only listen to them for a limited time. People with confidence are not afraid to leave spaces. You don’t have to become a great orator and you don’t have to abandon your regional dialect and acquire a fake telephone voice. Speaking more slowly and avoiding jargon and region-specific phrases is usually enough.
Dr. Gary Wood
Unlock Your Confidence
£10.99, Available from Watkins Publishing
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