Organisation, leadership, innovation – they’re all skills that might be considered crucial to run a business well.
But Nicky McMillan says being attentive to non-verbal cues is equally important for people working in any profession.
“Harnessing the hidden superpower” was the topic of a North East Small Business Festival workshop held in conjunction with Business Wodonga yesterday.
Ms McMillan finished her training with behavioural investigator Vanessa Van Edwards to become a body language specialist in June.
“Using the power of non-verbals can help business owners, in how they communicate and in being able to read what your staff or client’s non verbals are,” she said.
“There’s fascinating research in terms of the three different gazes; we have the power gaze, a triangle from the eyebrows to the forehead; the social gaze, which is the eyebrows to the mouth; and the intimate gaze, the eyebrows to suprasternal notch.
“I had participants engage in conversation doing a power and social gaze and they had a shift in how they felt.”
Among those attending was creative director of BRIE Corporate Rebecca O’Brien, a corporate wardrobe designer who has done uniforms for St Vincent’s Hospital.
“I learned a lot more about communication, and where to look when I’m talking to someone,” she said.
Ms McMillan talked through the messages people conveyed through their stance, hands and eyes during a conversation.
“We have what you call a charisma spectrum and this was an eye opener for a few people I’ve presented this to,” she said.
“By being aware of non-verbals we can use them to boost our charisma.
“The Richard Bransons have that perfect blend of warmth and competence, and by knowing where you sit on the charisma scale, and working out how to dial up or down your natural orientation, that can help boost your charisma.”
Ms McMillan officially launches her business later this month.
For details on the North East Small Business Festival visit festival.business.vic.gov.au/north-east-victoria/.