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Body language accounts for 60 – 80 percent of how people communicate, positive or negative, making it critical in all social situations. However, in the age of technology, there’s been a shift in how we communicate. With so much happening online, face-to-face interactions are starting to lack in not only quantity, but also in quality.

This loss in healthy interactions has caused a lack of understanding of body language, and concerns are rising our youngest generations are struggling to socialise and understand interactions beyond their devices. This is becoming evident in the oldest of the group who are now entering the workforce, but struggle to engage with employers, peers, and even family. So, how do we help our children to be more present and aware of both themselves and people around them?

To help us we have one half of the dynamic husband and wife duo – Barbara and Allan Pease. Barbara is an expert when it comes to body language and has established a successful media and brand presence globally, ensuring the Pease name is synonymous with Body Language and Communication around the world.

“Our kids right now are under great pressure to be active participants on every social app there is, but this takes away from real life interactions and has even led to a 10 percent reduction in brain connections. We need to get back to basics, and it starts at home. Many families now spend their ‘quality’ time in front of their individual devices in separate spaces. This is where setting boundaries comes into play. Family time without devices is critical in establishing and understanding normal body language such as eye contact, posture, cue recognition, authenticity, and personal space”, Barbara said.

Understanding your own, and others’ body language is greatly beneficial; knowingly or not, we do judge others on theirs daily. Most people are not aware of how they come across to others in social and business contact, yet if you don’t understand the impact your body language has, you can lose that job, miss that promotion, or fail to make new friends” says Barbara. “It may come easy to some, but these are skills we unknowingly learn throughout our childhood, and reinforce in our teenage years as we become more independent”.

Barbara suggests a variety of activities that promote body language perception and awareness:

“Head out and go people watching, stay in and watch the tv muted – try to analyse the interactions and then see how accurate you are in your understanding of situations once you turn the volume up again. When it comes to texting, because we know it’s unavoidable, use emojis, add personality and emotion to the words, it’ll help attribute a deeper meaning to those mono-tonal virtual conversations.

And of course, ‘The Definitive Book of Body Language’ (by Barbara and Allan Pease) is a great resource for everyone. It delves into and examines just what it all means, and what you can do to put your best foot forward. So, take the time to actively communicate with your kids and put it all into practice, it really will help prepare them for the real world”.

Barbara and Allan Pease are the most successful relationship authors in the business. They have written 18 bestsellers – including 10 number ones – and travelled the world extensively giving seminars in 70 countries. See www.peaseinternational.com

For more with Barbara Pease on this topic, tune into Episode 104 of the PakMag Parents Podcast