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Using psychology and body language to hear more

“Mirror mirror on the wall, who speaks the clearest of us all?”

Mirroring is a behaviour in which one person copies another. It usually happens when two people are talking to each other or are in close proximity. Common mirror behaviour is things like copying someone’s body language or movements, saying the same words or expressions or looking in the same direction. It’s usually a sign that there is some kind of friendship or respect between the person being mirrored and the copier. You can read more about mirroring here.

I’ve noticed that I can sometimes use mirroring to make people talk a bit louder or a bit clearer. It really does work! If someone is mumbling or talking into their hand, looking the other way when talking or doing something that is making it difficult to hear I can sometimes make them stop it by raising my own voice, looking straight at them and talking as clearly as possible.

The opposite is true as well. If I am quiet, reserved and mumbling then often the person I am speaking with will do that too.

Mirroring won’t always work but once you learn about it it is very surprising how often you notice yourself being mirrored and also how often you find yourself doing it to someone else. Try and use it to your advantage – could be useful if you don’t really feel like asking the other person to speak up.