Next time you want to listen properly, use your eyes!

In our progressively more online age, it’s easy to overlook that face-to-face communication is still critical in running a successful business. Whether you are handling internal issues or selling your products and offerings, good clear communication is essential. Outstanding communicators are mindful of not only their own, but others’ non-verbal communication.

Improving non-verbal communication was the main focus at a recent workshop. It was designed to give local businesses and organisations a taste of an effective corporate training method which uses horses to help people understand and refine their own communication skills. This technique, known as Equine Assisted Development, is just as successful in business as it is with assisting those with personal communication issues.

These experiential training programmes are based on an established approach in which one interacts with horses in a controlled environment to improve their interpersonal skills. Their interaction with horses, 'experts in their field' in instinctive and non-verbal communication, will guide them to challenge themselves in potent and memorable ways.

A lot of research has been carried out into facial gestures and it is largely accepted that there is a basic set of seven facial gestures that are common amongst all cultures. They can be seen in all of mankind, from tribes located in the deepest Amazon jungle to city folk in the UK.

The micro expressions shown by people in normal conversations can provide subtle clues to what the person is truly experiencing at an emotional level. If you are wishing to improve your communication skills, learning to decrypt these clues is crucial.

 “What makes them really fascinating is that micro expressions are usually very difficult to control at a conscious level,” said Steve at one of the workshops. “It's like when someone tells you they will give you all the help you need, whilst unconsciously shaking their head from side-to-side. Their genuine message comes from the non-verbal signals, not the actual words used.”

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