Written by Josh Fisher

My mentor recently pointed out that my predominant style is fire. Rather than likening me to the iconic musical group Earth, Wind, and Fire, she highlighted my inclination to embody the qualities associated with fire during interactions. By “fire,” she didn’t mean blazing intensity but rather traits such as being inspirational, outgoing, dramatic, and competitive. This insight prompted me to reflect on my approach to engaging with others more deeply.

Our bodies speak volumes before we even utter a word. This is what we call somatic communication, the language of movement.

Dr. Stuart Heller discusses somatic communication in his article, “The Five Rings: An Introduction to a Language of Movement.” The Five Rings encompass movement, body posture, language, voice inflection, and eye contact. Mastering these rings is like learning the art of dancing. So why bother perfecting this dance? Picture this: you’re giving a presentation, and instead of standing rigidly with your arms crossed, you’re moving with purpose, making eye contact, and using dynamic gestures. Suddenly, your audience is not just listening but engaged and hanging on to your every word. That is the power of somatic communication. It’s about increasing the impact and connection of your message through your physical presence.

Here are some key steps to begin your journey into somatic communication:

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Spend time observing yourself in different social situations. Notice your body language, gestures, and posture. Are there any patterns? Awareness is the first step to improvement.

Practice Makes Perfect. Experiment with different body postures and movements. How does standing tall with open arms versus slouching with crossed legs feel? Notice how these subtle changes affect your confidence and how others perceive you.

Feedback Tango. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from trusted friends or colleagues. Sometimes they can offer valuable insights into your blind spots and help you refine your somatic communication skills.

Remember, your body is always speaking whether you’re leading a team meeting or simply chatting with a friend. Why not make sure it’s saying exactly what you want it to?

Founded in 2004, Lead Star is the company behind New York Times best-sellers SPARKLeading from the Front, and Bet on You. Lead Star supports professionals to reach new levels of success through its innovative coaching programs.