My next guest has worked in 47 countries and travelled to many more to gain an understanding of the cultural differences. Her clients have included, BT, Travis Perkins and she is currently working with an Indian university and a global stockbroker. Carole Railton talks on Sexes in the Boardroom and is noted as the UK No 1 Global Business Body Language Guru.
Carole said in the global pandemic you must understand the media, and virtual behaviours and how they are different from face to face behaviours. We were looking at a screen, and we absolutely must focus on that screen. We cannot look away. Whereas in an office talking to somebody, we have other things that catch our attention. For instance, you might see a picture or something on the client’s desk that you can include in your proposal or conversation with them. But where were online and just this little box, it is just a face, and we must concentrate about 98% of the time on that. It is tiring so Carole advises practising this because you need to know how to do it. The second thing is not to beat yourself up if you feel tired after the call; it is because you are so focused you cannot do anything else.
We might think we are focused, but we get easily distracted, or people distract us. This is a great time because people need to learn these new skills. All the old body language skills are developing,
for instance, people folding their arms. It no longer necessarily means that you are repelling someone. It could mean but does not always, that you are thinking.
It is interesting how people have had to gravitate working online, but, interestingly, they do not see that they must adapt. They think they can throw their hands about and do all this business. Your hands are only two and a half times the size of your face.
If you are using your hands, then you need to keep them reasonably low, and you need to keep them to the side because this is your hands at this level. It is where you start to fight. It requires you to move your arm slightly further back and have them at a somewhat lower level so that you do not initiate this fighting pose. Energetic people, who walk up and down the stage, as it seems you and I do, Janice.
Since COVID19 we must adapt. We must be quicker in our thought processes. Well, because people want answers straight away, they are in a hurry to get onto the next call. In a sales scenario, the client is more informed and will require results and reactions much more quickly.
I asked Carole how did she go from selling encyclopaedias to the little on UK body language expert? “I sold encyclopaedia’s when I was a young hippie living and travelling in South Africa. Selling encyclopaedia is in Africans speaking area because I did not even speak the language and there were no TVs in South Africa as in the UK. Everyone is interested in their children, so I was asking questions when I knocked on doors. Have you got any Children? Would you like them to know more? It was quite simple when I hit on that. I got serious, got jobs, and did a marketing diploma.” Carole worked with Reed Employment, becoming the general manager of London managing seven branches then got head-hunted to go back to South Africa and set up an agency. She joined Xerox, and was there for 11 years, working in sales, then on running the Middle East sells and marketing. You can imagine what that is like not securing the Ultra in a contract. Carole wanted to understand why they did not get that business. Her interpreter was telling her something different from what she was reading the body language. Carole set herself a task to learn body language. She asked her boss when she told him they did not get a business; if she could go on a body language course, he thought she had gone crazy. She needed to know the body language, not speaking the language. Carole knew that she could get more information from the body language, so she studied away. Carole said she put her neck on the block because she started 20 years ago talking about the breath as an indicator of body language. And the breath is an indicator of life, and it changes at different occasions in your life-breath changes when you meet someone. When you are excited, says Carole, when you are nervous, it is got sexual changes, everything revolves around the breath, you can only live for three minutes without breathing. Carole started writing about breath that, and this got her name known.
The difference between men and women in the Boardroom is of interest to Carole, and there is a difference said Carole, that we need to address. One thing is that women make more moves than
men. People in senior positions make fewer moves. Even when women are in senior positions, they are not seen as senior because of their agile movements. Carole said, she does not stop women making those moves. She changes them to regal movements, much like the queen, she moves very slowly. So, it is about moving regally rather than stopping the body movements.
Telling me about her book, the future of body language: How to perform effectively on multimedia. It is important to say it is written for baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y because all the generations behave differently.
Carole segregated into different types of multimedia podcast and conference calls, where you might be able to see more of a person than you can now. It gives you tips and exercises that you can practice before you go online. For instance, if you imagine a crown on your head, it means your back straightens and your lungs open as a result. So, you have more breath, more energy, and more control about what is going on. You could walk to your desk, walk to your chair, imagining the crowns on your head, which will get you very straight, or you can do it when you sit down.
There is a misconception about mimicking someone, said Carole. It is the breath that you need to mimic, not the movement. If you get in sync with someone breath you are really inside their body; you are really inside the head, said, Carole. If you can follow the breath and you do it by looking at this area of someone’s collar bone, and it takes practice, but it works every time. If you can follow the pauses of the person, you are communicating with on want to influence, then you are running at the same level, the same vibration, and they don’t necessarily know what’s going on. So, you have control.
The thing about sells, said Carole, it is still human interaction, you need to be trusted, believable and have a connection with your client. You want to gain the trust of your client early on so that the client becomes a buyer on-going and for as long as you have products or services that they would use. It is about being stable, having both feet on the ground. Try on the crown before you meet them or before you go online. This takes your anxiety down, and your breathing becomes rhythmic and regular. And when you understand yourself, then you could go forward to the client. And only when you can control yourself and understand what is going on in your body and your mind. Can you aid a potential client? It will not happen if your thoughts still screwed up about different things. Carole calls this, Humpty-dumpty. You must open yourself up and explore lots of different areas of yourselves, including your breath. And then you can put yourself back together, and you will be whole and confident for new clients and to existing clients.
To Sell is very much about your emotional status. It is tough to sell and get in the zone of things. If you are, for whatever reason, much going on in your head. So, you have got to be greatly confident, and comfortable with yourself and be able to deal with whatever comes at you.
Please go to https://www.paypal.me/FutureofBodyLanguage/9.99 for the Body Language book.
Carol, if you are on a desert island, what was the one thing would you take with you apart from Brad Pitt? “I would take a knife. You could also start a fire with a mirror. We learned how to do that, as well. I was a student in Indonesia. In Java, I studied Gaman, which is Indonesia music. I volunteered for the Indonesian rainforest, and I used to lead a tour and through the Indonesian rainforest and they are walking what to do with snake bites and things like that. 70% of people, for instance, that die from snake bites died from shock, not from the venom.” Carole completed a fascinating survival course, so, having an opportunity practice, is an exciting lesson in understanding your yourself she said. In a real-life situation, when something happens, you do not know how you are going to react.