How to avoid incongruence
I Try not to copy other people. Although we all learn via imitation it is possible to be too obvious about "borrowing" a signature gesture from somebody else These are called absorbed actions They might look good on them but appear phony on you
I Video yourself speaking, both socially and professionally, if you give talks in your job. Spot the differences in delivery. Are you Jekyll and Hyde? Do you seem to be putting on an act? If so, spend time studying the more natural-looking signals and delete the rest from your repertoire.
I Avoid using the poker-face technique. By sitting very still you'll never fool people into thinking you're more sincere, as they'll just wonder what it is you're trying to hide. Small genuine movements are better than sitting like a statue. I Watch out for what's called nonverbal leakage. This is the essence of incongruence, when your words say one thing but your smaller gestures signal something else entirely. Find out what your pet fiddles, or "adaptors," are. Adaptors are those small self-comfort touches we do when we feel anxious or unsure. Do you fiddle with jewelry or your hair? Do you straighten your glasses more times than is necessary? Find other things to do with your hands as they could be giving the game away as you speak.
When you first begin to work on your own body language you'll find yourself doing what are called "self-policing" movements. This is where you go to place your hand in your pocket but then quickly pull it out again because you don't feel the gesture is appropriate This is a natural stage of learning, but you need to move out of it as quickly as possible as it will imply incongruence Try telling yourself what you do want your hands to do, instead of what you don't .
Shortfall signals are those that appear to be an under-reaction to stimulus . For instance, you lose out on a job you wanted but sit poker-faced, wearing the slightest hint of a frown Everyone knows you're seething inside and if this form of masking doesn't work it will look incon-gruent Take yourself to the next level of honesty if you can, or leave the room to let rip out of earshot
Continue reading here: A brief guide to overcongruence
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