Offence and defense. Two distinctly different strategies. Not just in sports, but in life. "Which one should I use?" On the playing field, you should have already studied your opponent. You should know their every weakness. Therefore, picking a strategy is much easier. What about in life? Do you always know your opponent, their weaknesses, and most importantly, their intentions. In a sports context, the intention is always to win the game. Not so much in life, which is what we are talking about in this blog. People do things for many different reasons, and winning may not be one of them. DEFINING YOUR STRATEGY STARTS WITH PERCEPTION, THE RIGHT PERCEPTION:
It is assumed that in life, when someone gets defensive, it is felt they have something to hide, or they did something wrong. On the other hand, when they are on the offensive, we perceive that as anger and it could also be that is their form of a defensive posture for the same reasons. What's that saying, "The best defense is an offense?" THERE IS YOUR TOOL. In order to be successful at anything, you first must have control of it. Meaning, your mind. NEVER let your anger take control of your mind. Stupid things will generally follow. How do you choose? First you need a little education. Can you read a persons body language? The subtle, and often times difficult to notice, changes in their voice? Most important, CAN YOU READ WHAT'S IN THEIR EYES? What is body language?
Body Language - the process of communicating nonverbally through conscious or unconscious gestures and movements.
Eye Contact - the act of looking directly into one another's eyes.
Importance - In human beings,eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication and is thought to have a large influence on social behavior. Coined in the early to mid-1960s, the term came from the West to often define the act as a meaningful and important sign of confidence, respect, and social communication.
(good reference article by Dr. Desmond Morris http://www.all-about-body-language.com/)
Great medical data, but what about the real world. There are certain characteristics that everyone has. They are innate, meaning, your born with them traits. It's takes a great deal of training not to show them. Professional gamblers and martial arts experts have master the ability to hide these gestures. What about you and I? There are some basic things to know which are not that difficult to remember. I can honestly say that one or more of these may have saved my life at one time or another.
Eyes - NEVER take your eyes off off the other persons eyes. The human nervous system is faster than lightning. Their eyes will tell you if they are going to do something before it happens. Direct eye contact is a form of confidence and security. Anyone who does NOT make eye contact with you, or who constantly is looking elsewhere when your speaking, or their speaking, is either insecure, or has something to hide, and possibly lying.
Voice - The pitch, volume, and tone, of someones voice will tell you their lack of, or degree of, agitation. Alone, it may not be conclusive due to anxiety, however, when assessed along with eye contact and body language, you can see the full picture.
Body Language - Basic everyday gestures are normal, and are closely related to ethic traits. Another saying, "If you tie and Italians hands down, they can't talk." However, in a conflict or conversation, someone whose body moves away from a conversation is not being truthful, or hiding something. Someone whose hand gestures or body moves towards the conversation is more secure in what they are saying. Look at it as reaching out versus withdrawing. Let's take someone who is pacing the room, or making a fist when they speak, or don't speak at all or appearing fidgety, is a time bomb waiting to go off.
Focus - Anyone whose focus is NOT on what is going on is also a dangerous sign. They actually aren't hearing a word you're saying. They're in a separate world of their own at that time.
Four things to watch for. All which can be assessed in seconds. In the real world, we call that sizing someone up. Once you have established your thoughts, you can now chose to be on the offensive, or take a defensive posture. Control the conversation, or possibly the event. Obviously we are not getting in the intimate medical details about this, however, medical personnel, police physiologists, and many law enforcement officers are trained in these techniques. You would be surprised how many corporations send their staff to classes on these exact subjects. Being an education major in college, these this subject was required learning in two of my psychology classes. As a field Paramedic, they were invaluable tools whenever I had to approach a potentially violent or combative patient, which happened on a daily basis working the streets of an inner-city.
Like any good surfer, you must learn to read the waves in order to have a successful ride. The choice to take an offensive or defensive approach when dealing with people in any situation is yours. In order to make any choice, you need to have the knowledge. No one can make an educated decision without education. Follow me on Facebook - Twitter - and Instagram. Thank you .... CJR
"Perception perceived, is perception achieved." - The movie the substitute.