You only get One Chance to Make a First Impresson

BBL COVER - VERSION 3A

Greetings and welcome to my Day 7 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks “Do you ever experience writer’s block?”

Empty desk with computerMy truthful answer is that I have not experienced writer’s block. Before you congratulate me on my creativity, listen to the second part of my answer. The reason I haven’t experienced writer’s block is because I AM NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER to get to that point.

My blog post from Day 6 described my plan to get the book completed. Take a look at My Writing Barriers – EXPOSED if you’d like to see my plan.

Enough said about that. Let’ talk about Business Body Language and first
impressions. I briefly mentioned the importance of first impressions in Day 1’s post.Tip of the Day

Research shows that between 70% and 90+% of your message is delivered through body language.

7 % verbal

Many decisions about you, your message, and your effectiveness are made even before you speak your first word. Most first impressions occur before the meeting starts, before introductions occur, and can be anywhere.

Field workFor your next presentation or meeting, keep track of your preparation time in these categories – researching and writing the content, putting the content in its final format, completing the pre-work required, and strategizing on your body language for the session.

Note the times and post them in the Comments section. We can look for trends.

Come back tomorrow for our discussion of how to integrate your body language into your daily work processes.

Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Simone Fortier’s blog at A Pain-Free Life Now.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro

My Barrier to Writing – EXPOSED

BBL COVER - VERSION 3A

 Barriers 2  Barriers 2Barriers 2Barriers 2

My Barrier to Writing — EXPOSED

Greetings and welcome to my Day 6 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks “What is your writing process? Do you keep a regular writing schedule? Do you write longhand or on a laptop, desktop, or tablet?  When are you most inspired?

The previous prompts were fun to write – I knew what I did and felt very comfortable in answering the questions.

Barriers 1But Day 6 stopped me in my tracks. In three lines it confronted me with most of my “perceived barriers” to writing. My answers are short and whispered since I don’t like my answers.  This is the kind of day when I wish I had a dog who could eat this homework assignment.

In the spirit of transparency, my answers are:

  1. I have no standard writing process.
  2. I do NOT keep a regular writing schedule.
  3. When I do write, it is on my iPad or my desktop.
  4. I am inspired about Business Body Language when I am talking to people about it and at random times when I make an interesting observation about a specific body language element.

The truth is that keeping a regular schedule and actually writing is and has been a huge challenge to me. It is what has kept me from completing the book.

This blog challenge is one way I am working to develop a standard writing process. It is said that if you do a new task for 21 consecutive days, you’ve created a new habit. Posting every day for five weeks will be one of the things that will help facilitate completing the book.

Any encouragement or tips you can offer are appreciated. Sometimes it’s very quiet when it’s just me and the iPad. I will keep you posted on my book writing progress.

Tip of the Day

Watching masters at body language in action is a great way to learn to understand body language and you may be able to adopt a gesture as your own. Where do find body language masters?

  • Watch an infant between three months and two years old encounter the world. A baby uses a “social smile” as young as two months. The action is the first social interaction initiated by a baby.

Smiling infant 1

  • Observe a politician involved in their craft – speeches, debates, handshaking, formal venues and informal ones. Because they are so closely watched, we also get to experience their body language “fails.”
  • Group settings such as a sporting event, a religious ceremony, or a work meeting
  • EVERYWHERE – during a day, stop for 10 minutes and watch those around you.

Enjoy the observing! If you have any questions about what you observed, post a comment and I’ll answer so we all can keep learning about body language.

Please support another Author Blog Challenge participant by checking out Simone Fortier’s blog at A Pain-Free Life Now.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro

I’ve never Met a Book I didn’t Like

Greetings and welcome to my Day 5 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks “What do you love – or hate – to read?”

That answer is brief and simple – ALMOST ANYTHING.

Looking at the various books piled up next to my bed and on my “to read” shelf in my office, you can’t say “she likes mysteries” or “she favors nonfiction works.” The commonality is the difference in genres and topics.  A partial listing of the in process or in the queue books are

  • Several Ella Clah Navajo mysteries by Aimee & David Thurlo
  • Journey by James Michener, about the Alaska Gold Rush
  • The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman, my first venture into dystopian fantasy
  • Stan Finds Himself on the other side of the World (advance reader copy) by Laura Orsini who is the sponsor of this challenge
  • Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Gray, another first venture into western novels
  • Start with Why by Simon Sinek, a leadership  discussion of how to inspire others in the work environment
  • Rubbish, The Archeology of Garbage by William Rathje & Cullen Murphy, an exploration of what our trash tells about us and our society and what the future holds.
  • 20+ journal articles to read on body language, evidence-based practices, offender rehabilitation, and cognitive skills

Stack of books 2

And this list is my pleasure reading!

Las Vegas 2

“People watching” has always been fascinating and pleasurable for me. Most people go to Atlantic City or Las Vegas to gamble or see a show, but my preference is to sit somewhere and watch people for an hour. It’s amazing, it’s entertaining, and I’ve learned many things in my people-gazing sessions that apply to leadership, teamwork, motivation and trust.

Tip of the Day

If you are speaking to a new group, going to a meeting with a group for the first time, or starting a new job or assignment, you can use people-gazing to your advantage.

Go to the venue/meeting location/office unannounced and as incognito as possible several days before your scheduled session. Be as unobtrusive as possible, sit and observe the comings and goings around you. Do this in two or three locations and observe different individuals.

You can obtain a great snapshot of the culture of the meeting/team/organization you will be engaging with shortly. What are they wearing, how formal are the interactions, do people seem to like each other, is everyone treated respectfully? Take this business intelligence back to your office and make sure you incorporate your learnings into your upcoming appearance.

Keep doing this and it will become second nature AND your interpretation of body language signals will become more sophisticated.  Additionally, it’s a lot better than television.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro

Just the Facts, Ma’am

BBL COVER - VERSION 3AGreetings and welcome to my Day 4 post in the Authors’ Blogging Challenge. Today’s prompt asks about writing role models, influencers and mentors.

Edited documentI learned to write nonfiction material during my 30 year tenure as a federal employee. Initially, my writing was in the “college essay” style which was not effective in providing information concisely. After getting many drafts back with lots of red edits, I realized that I needed to change my style. I moved into the “just the facts, ma’am” style of writing where I could logically and succinctly present facts.

Just the facts

Then it started to get interesting. I was asked to do analysis and present recommendations for action. While I wanted to incorporate descriptions and phrases to really tell the story, I learned that there was no place for that in governmental analysis. I call this phase my “White Paper” stage (a small concession to an artistic flair).

As a manager and subject matter expert, I spent considerable time in constructingpolicies and procedures 1 policy and then developing the Policies and Procedures to implement the policy. That was another a totally different skill and I am proud to say that my documents had no resemblance to the instruction manuals we sometimes receive translated into unintelligible English!

These skills were very transferable to my non-fiction writing quest. The most significant difference is that most of my other writing had a deadline and the broader topic was provided.

In writing for myself, both the deadline and the assigned topic are missing.

Challenge 2And that has been my biggest challenge – what do I write, who tells me to stop writing, and how do I keep the motivation to keep writing?  In future posts I’ll share what has helped and what did not.

Tip of the Day

Your body language can affect your mood, your clarity and effectiveness and the sound of your voice.

When I coach individuals who work remotely or conduct business via conference call (not video conference) I ask them to consider each call a face-to-face meeting and act accordingly. This means getting dressed for work – you should dress in at least business casual attire. This sets the stage for professional body language.

In setting up a work space for conference calls, have a mirror positioned so you can see yourself while on the call. Before the call starts, stand up tall, take four or five deep breaths, and smile, smile, smile. Use a headset while on the call, and if possible stand while you are speaking (no pacing).

Smile 1

This body language preparation will improve your message and your delivery in your remote communications.

Remember– great posture + deep breathing + smiling = a great message.

Regards, Barbara

The Body Language Pro