Why is mirroring someone else’s body language so important?
You’ve probably grown up being told, “to be individual” and adopt a unique persona or stepping style. I’m an identical twin, so breaking away from my ‘clone’ was/ is tough. However, whilst that’s still important, when you enter the ‘disability realm’ having someone mirror your actions does seem to help your relationship grow and enhance the overall impression including the level of empathy that you’re conveying. Mirroring the person with whom one is speaking generally makes them feel more relaxed and encourages them to open up.
Stepping ‘with’ someone and not ‘for’ them is so powerful. If they are unable to step forward, whatever the reason, simply mirroring their position may enable them to feel heard. If someone is crossing their legs, it isn’t until we do too that we can work with them to perform their future steps. We may not identify with their disabilities, but we can empower them and the enhance the rapport and the relatedness by altering our body language.
When you chat to another, are you unconsciously conveying that you’re “not interested” or mirroring someone so much that you’re stepping on them?
So uncross those legs and arms, face them and convey that you’re listening. Be present and stride with them:)