Thursday, April 21, 2016

ITCZ 101 - Body Language

Our body language is always speaking. People are listening... with their eyes. In the same way our emotions can get out in front of our thinking process, the body will try to speak before you think, and this can move others to the defensive. We want to avoid doing this.

If someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.

So when is it important to know when my body language is working against me? It's usually when we are in tough conversations with others. An example would be discussing things such as life, philosophy, politics, a misunderstanding or sharing the wisdom of God or the Gospel.

The idea is to keep ourselves thinking and helping the other person to continue to be thoughtful and thinking as well. When they are faced with new ideas, especially ones that challenge their preconceived ideas, it's a good idea to help them maintain a thoughtful demeanor. Our body language can hurt or help that process.

A Calm, Cool Demeanor

We have discussed Conversations With Non-Christians and Conversations With Fellow Christians. Regardless of who you are engaged with, your body will be speaking volumes. A great way to help others stay engaged, especially when the content can be stressful, is to maintain a poised, calm, cool demeanor. 

First, we do this in our thought process. Then we want that demeanor to be reflected in our body as well.

Getting In The Cool Zone has many aspects to it. The mind, emotions, the body and our strategy for thinking are all helpful when they are complementary and cooperating.

The Priority Of Thinking

When we are delivering the Gospel or sharing our thoughts on life it doesn't take too long to get push back about God's wisdom. Especially, when we are stressed or in a difficult situation. When we make our attempt to share or give a defense of our faith we need a plan for our body.

I know that sounds funny but just like you are reading the body language of others and responding to it, we are also speaking through our own body language. It's a communication skill that generally doesn't get a lot of attention and does require a little practice, but can be mastered.

By developing our expertise in this area we are putting ourselves and others in the best position to think and use our mind. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.

The focus here is to raise awareness of our bodies "voice" and make every effort for it to be in support of our presentation and not distracting from it.

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Take Action!

Does your body language help your delivery of the Gospel? 
It can. Just as importantly it will help you think in stressful situations. Train your body to follow what you know it true about yourself. You are peaceful. You have joy. You are patient.
It's not a platitude. It's real. We train ourselves to have it by knowing who we are in Christ and then by taking action.
I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. - 1 Corinthians 9:23-27 NLT

What are a couple good ways to train my body to follow my thinking?
Think like Jesus thinks! Your body will follow your thoughts. Know who you are in Christ and understand the superpowers you have at your disposal. If you are peaceful in your mind, you're body will show it. If you are a practiced listener, your body will show it.
When you are engaged in conversation, here are a few tips. Practice them!:
  • Sit up and stand up straight with a relaxed and open demeanor.
  • Keep your hands apart and on your legs or on the table in plain view. If you're standing keep them casually at your side.
  • Hold your fingers together and keep them relaxed (helps with shaky hands when you are nervous).
  • If you gesture with your hands keep your fingers together.
  • Take a deep breath periodically even when things are going well.
  • Practice these things with mental reps. 

Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept >>> “Develop Your Body Language”
Next >>> "The Place of Power"


In The Cool Zone concept.

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