Saturday, November 5, 2011

Is Your Vibe More King Kong or Koala?

                                          King Kong                         Cuddly Koala

I am 5 11 1/2 and so not only am I taller than the vast majority of women but taller then most men too. The funny thing is when I am by myself I completely forget this fact. When you only have yourself to compare to you are the standard, you are the norm, you are what you say you are. So if you asked me how I picture myself, I would say I'm cute and cuddly like a koala bear. And even when I am with other people and realize my height I mostly still feel this is the vibe I give off.

Yet sometimes I forget how to others, and depending on situations, I can be more like King Kong. And if you don't know me not just my height but my personality, wit, and enthusiasm are often BIG. And I will admit if I am mad or feeling annoyed my anger and sarcasm can be just as big. Most of the time I love living in a world were I can be "looked up to" and heard... but in certain situations I know I intimidate some people. You'd think that our comments would be the same as if said by anyone else. Not so. Recently one of my good friends, who is a tiny power house, shared that even though she is a petite 5 2ish she can tell when her energy is giving off a bullying vibe. So it isn't just our height that gives off a dominating energy, there are several factors that mix including force of personality, our tone, how our body moves, etc.

When I was a kid I hated when my Mom bugged me about standing up straight. But as an adult I am so grateful she did because I think our posture and how we carry ourselves really makes a difference in how we feel and how others perceive us. Recently I was producing an interview conducted by author Tahl Raz with non-verbal behavior expert Joe Navarro and one of the things that really stuck out was him talking about how the energy we give off really speaks volumes more then anything we say. He used an example in customer service and the difference between when you can tell if someone greets you with real enthusiasm or is just blahly doing their job. Even without saying a word if someone faces you, gets up, walks briskly over, and then warmly greets you with a smile it makes a huge difference.

The eye contact, posture, tone of voice, pace we move... everything that our body signals to others is part of our communication. Just the other night on Oprah's Lifeclass she was talking about the same thing in a different context. She was recalling when Toni Morrison was sharing the important question: do your eyes light up when your child walks in the room? Our loves, our customers, our fellow human beings all react to the energy we bring to a space. People, especially children, notice if we notice them. What energy do you emit? Notice what you bring to the room first, and then what energy you leave people you encounter with. Are you engaged with them, bored, hyper, intimidating, flirty, hostile, relaxed, charming? If it's not what you thought it was, or intended- you have the power to change your energy.
Get going and give off some good vibes today :)

1 comment:

southbay said...

Excellent point Keith. I share your "presence" with others as having a potential to be "too much" at times as far as getting "me" in the way of good communications. Have found that dressing down some, sitting in a non-threatening manner, refrain from leaning forward for emphasis a lot, and, again, asking lots of questions helps me. For example, not a suit but a sports coat, and mostly no tie.
I realized this a long time ago, and have adjusted to it.