Learning About The New Body Language With Janine Driver

Published by Sara Olbrantz | Topics: Associations

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improving relationships with members and attendeesAs Janine Driver opened up her session, “You Say More Than You Think: How to Use the New Body Language to Get What You Want,” at HSMAI’s MEET Mid-America she made her way from the back of the Grand Ballroom to the front where she shared with us just how much we say before we even open our mouths to speak…

“This guy’s legs are so far apart under the table it’s like Britney Spears getting out of a limo.”

Before we even speak, we tell our friends, our co-workers, our clients and our potential clients exactly how we’re feeling, and it sets the tone for conversation to come.

Sworn to Secrecy: The CIA Oath

Before even sharing the secrets of the new body language, Janine Driver, Body Language Expert, made all the session attendees stand up, hold up their hand and take the CIA Oath:

“I swear to use the new body language for good, not for evil. I swear to keep the new body language within the walls of this room. And for those MEET participants who choose not to come to this session, but could’ve, screw them.”

Well, since I took the oath I can’t share all the secrets I learned, but I’m willing to share a few…

What’s Wrong With The Old Body Language?

Before we even get into how Janine Driver defines “new body language,” it’s important to take a look at how we generally view body language, and why that’s wrong.

Problem with old body language, Janine explained, can be exhibited in two examples:

  1. “Bill Clinton’s Yes Nod”: As Bill Clinton stood before millions of Americans he told us he was not having inappropriate relationships, and he did this as he shook his head “yes.” He said no as he was shaking his head yes.
  2. “Dr. Martin Luther King’s No Nod”: As Martin Luther King stood on top of the Lincoln Memorial shaking his head “no” as he was changing the way we would forever look at the world.

The problem with the old body language is that it tells us that A=B when this is not always true.

Janine Driver’s Formula for the New Body Language

Janine Driver tells us to:

  1. Identify the Base-Line: The normal behaviors an individual displays.
  2. Identify Hot Spots: When an individual deviates from their base line behaviors, and exhibits a change in their normal mannerisms.
  3. Ask Powerful Questions: Asking the right questions when someone exudes a hot spot so to turn around something that is going badly. A great way to turn a situation around is by simply stating, “Maybe I’m wrong here, but it seems to me…”

Janine’s formula tells us to stop being mind-readers, and start paying attention to people’s normal behaviors, notice when they exhibit a change and ask a powerful question to turn a bad situation around quickly.

Implementing the New Body Language

Whether you’re trying to establish stronger relationships with your association members, or increase attendance to your annual meeting, we often focus on saying the right things, but how often we do focus on what we are already saying with our bodies?

Here is a video of Janine Driver on the Today Show outlining more on the New Body Language:

How can you implement the new body language to drive sales or establish stronger relationships with your attendees or members?

For more Big Ideas for improving the relationships with your members or attendees, check out our new Big Ideas Page.


About Sara Olbrantz

Sara has worked for Omnipress in the past as our Marketing Communications Coordinator. She has contributed a great amount to make our blog what it is today and has been published in association publications numerous times.

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