According to Nick Morgan, one of America's top communications theorists and author of "Trust Me, Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma", every communication is really two conversations. There are the words we use, and the body language. When those two conversations are aligned, we can be effective communicators.
And when they're not aligned? Well, says Morgan, people believe the body language every time. Let's say your're giving a speech and you're just a little nervous. Your body sends out unconscious signals of danger, and the audience responds by sending unconscious danger signals back. The result is they can't take in what you're actually saying, and no communication happens.
Morgan talks about four steps to mastering this unconscious communication process. The first step is to be open, because nothing can happen between two people unless they're open to one another. The second step is to connect, because once they're open they can begin to connect. And the third step is to allow the passion for the content to come through. The fourth and last step is to listen, because every communication is two-way.
Morgan says that if you put these four steps together, you can be an authentic and charismatic communicator. I'd say Morgan is spot-on. We've all personally seen "unconscious" communication undermine a leader's impact.
What are you doing to be more authentic?