莎拉．葛林：大家好，我是莎拉．葛林（Sarah Green）。今天邀請的來賓是《權力線索》（Power Cues）一書的作者尼克．摩根（Nick Morgan）。尼克，謝謝你今天撥冗過來。
Sarah Green: Hello I'm Sarah Green I'm talking with Nick Morgan, author of Power Cues. Nick, thanks for coming in today.
Nick Morgan: It’s a pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Sarah Green: When we're talking about nonverbal communication, I think we know that it's really important, and probably just as important or even more important than verbal communication, but yet it feels so hard to control. Why is that ?
Nick Morgan: It's because we've evolved so that our unconscious minds handle nonverbal behavior, for the most part. The reason for that is really quite simple. Our unconscious minds are vast compared to our conscious ones. And of course, we're only aware of the conscious one, so that seems to be the important one to us.
But our unconscious minds can handle something like 11 million bits of information a second, so they're busy taking care of your heart rate and your skin temperature and standing and walking and all those things as well as your nonverbal behavior in a conversation or in any other situation like that. Our conscious minds can only handle something like 40 bits of information a second, and so they're easily overwhelmed. Just the task of standing up and trying to form a sentence keeps them pretty busy. So handling that nonverbal behavior is very difficult.
Sarah Green: So if you wanted to improve on some of these nonverbal communication skills, how would you get started?
Nick Morgan: Well the first step is really becoming aware of your own nonverbal behavior. So just starting to notice yourself. Catch yourself in the mirror, perhaps when you're sitting in a meeting, notice how you're sitting. Are you sitting straight and confident, are you hunched over, and how are you in relation to the other people in the room? Because people unconsciously sort themselves out in terms of power relationships, so are you sitting with your head deliberately lower than your boss, for example. That sends out a message to everybody in the room as to who's in charge and who isn't. So start to take charge of your own behavior and realize how it is that you're signaling your intent, your unconscious emotional attitudes toward others.
Sarah Green: Now I know we won't have time to go through them all, the book has seven steps. But what would be the second step in the process after you've noticed what's going on.
Nick Morgan: So the second thing that you start to notice is your own emotional intent. So once you've got some awareness of how you're showing up in front of others, then the next thing to become aware of is that we all have these things called mirror neurons in our head so that if I go into a meeting, say, and I've got a strong attitude, I'm feeling an emotion, I'm excited about something, I'm angry about something, then I'm going to leak that emotion to other people because they have mirror neurons that are going to fire the same emotion in their heads as the one that I'm firing in mine.
And so if you're the leader, for example, and you want to charge up the troops because there's some important job to get done, if you walk in with just your sort of average to do list in your head, that kind of mental confusion that most of us carry around most of the time, then that's what you're going to share with your team. And so the second step is really starting to focus on that intent, that emotional feeling that you carry into a meeting, and starting to control that.
Sarah Green: So when you're practicing these behaviors, how do you make sure that you're really repeating them in a way that, day to day, is going to result in you getting better over time. How do you practice these things?
Nick Morgan: Once you've established that initial inventory and you know how it is that you show up and you decide how you'd like to show up, so you figure out what the gap is between how you're behaving now and how you'd like to behave, say you've been promoted recently into a new job and you think you need to show up differently for that job.
Then you want to start monitoring your behavior, first of all, in important settings. So before you go into that crucial meeting with the executive team or with the board, then you want to focus on having the right emotion for that meeting, and then monitor yourself during the meeting to make sure that you're showing up in the way that you want to show up.
So start with the important ones and then gradually, once you get in the habit, it gets easier and easier as time goes on just to notice how you're doing at any given time and to keep practicing. But understand, it does take a certain amount of brain power. You need to set aside about 10% of your brain to monitor these things. And it's an unusual and strange practice at first. But once you do it, you get the hang of it, it gets easier and easier.
Sarah Green: Now I know in the book you've got a number of stories that are really powerful examples of how people can succeed here despite the difficulties. I know you had one in there, that really impressed me where you were talking about a woman you were working with who managed to change her boss's impression of her without even saying anything, just the nonverbals. I mean, that's a lot of impact. How do you do something like that?
Nick Morgan: She was in the health care profession and of course, traditionally, the way health care has worked is most of the doctors have been male and most of the women, who are now becoming executives in health care world, had been nurses. That's how they got started in health care world. One of the things nurses learn very early on is to provide the comforting role that doctors don't do very well. And in fact, one of her behaviors was, as soon as she met somebody, she would tip her head to one side and she would say, in effect, how you feeling? And it was a way of being nurse-like and sort of comforting that other person.
But, in terms of your peers in an executive setting, it's also a way of giving up authority. And so without being aware of it, she was showing up as completely unauthoritative and her peers were taking charge of the situation. So one of the first things we did which was incredibly simple was, we said, all right, now start to hold your head straight up in these meetings. And then there was more to it. There was issues with her posture and just a whole set of little behaviors that enabled her to show up more confidently and more powerfully. And that was without saying anything differently at all, that was a way for her to become more authoritative in that in her role.
Sarah Green: Well, it seems we all have a lot to learn here, Nick. Thank you again so much for coming in today.
Nick Morgan: It was a pleasure. Thanks for having me.