Communication is as much non-verbal as it is verbal. Numerous books have been written about this subject and it is amazing what research has revealed.
For example - did you know that therapists often mirror their clients’ way of sitting as a way to make them feel more comfortable? According to research body language mimicry will typically leave people with positive feelings (Andersen, 1998) and can make a person more persuasive (Balinson & Yee, 2005).
Of course, as with most things, body language mimicry should be done within reason. It is important to know where and when this strategy should be employed. According to Professor of Pschology, Winkielman of the University of California, “Mimicry is a crucial part of social intelligence...but it is not enough to simply know how to mimic. It’s also important to know when and when not to. The success of mirroring depends on mirroring the right people at the right time for the right reasons. Sometimes the socially intelligent thing to do is not to imitate.” (http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/07/29/be-careful-when-copying-body-language/28186.html)
One successful body language mimicry tip:
- If you are speaking with someone and they lean in, wait a few seconds and you do the same. This establishes rapport and can be advantageous in instances such as job interviews or negotiations.