What Cops Teach You About Body-Language and Tonality



As night two of bootcamp is wrapping up in Kelowna, BC, Myke, one of my assistants, asks if he can take the student around for “one more lap.” I say ok and tell him I will meet him outside. I want to give him that space to do this alone, without me watching over his shoulder. Teaching is very different when you know it’s only on you, without a seasoned instructor standing two feet away ready to step in if needed. This kind of pressure is good for him.

Jamie (another assistant) and I head outside. We both love people watching so naturally this occurs. There are few places better for this than outside a nightclub at two in the morning. In all honesty, it’s one of the most hilarious, disturbing, and endearing situations to observe. Drunk people everywhere, couples fighting with tears flowing, “No! You can’t walk away from me!” Fights about to break out, Cops surprisingly stationary, with a hot dog vendor nowhere to be found.

There are two kinds of people I pay attention to in this particular scenario or environment: Drunk people and the Police force. Today, I want to focus on our favorite neighborhood superheroes; the Cops.

Whenever learning a new skill, I find using imagery and building parallels helps integrate key concepts quicker. Last year when I set out to take my body language to the next level, I thought: “What is the vibe that you want to give off?” Instantly the answer came to mind: “Guys need to come across like they take themselves seriously, with strong confident body language, and a congruent tonality to boot.”

I thought about every situation I’ve had that involved conversation with a cop, and how I would always take him seriously. It’s not as if he’s talking to me and I’m looking around, bored, not paying attention, not responding to every word he says. When a cop talks-I pay attention. I take him very seriously. I respond.

Sure, his status could play a part in it. But I also think a major part of that comes from the fact that he speaks with authority and his body language is strong. His shoulders, back. Chin up. Feet firmly planted on the ground, shoulders width apart. His eye contact, as Tyra Banks would say, “fierce.”

non verbal communication chartBody Language and Vocal Tonality count for 93% of all communication. “It’s not what you say it’s how you say it” right? If you want to improve your interactions with people instantly, than improving your body language and tonality will be the quickest way. I’ve always been curious if the police force teaches a class on body language and tonality to cops, or if they act that way because of the internal mindsets they keep. (Here’s more information on Non-Verbal Attraction.)

While standing outside Club Sapphire against a brick wall, two cops approached a young man idling nearby to ask for his identification. After they were done with him I thought it would be cool to ask the question above. “Hey guys, quick question, I like studying Body Language and Tonality and notice how Cops always have it dialed down, so I’m curious… when you guys go to the Academy, do you take classes on it?”

They responded saying they have some classes on basics but not much else. Which just proves the concept “the self is always coming through.” How you feel about yourself internally will be portrayed through your body language and tonality externally.

So if you want to improve your body language and your vocal tonality, act like a cop. But don’t forget this one thing: you still need to be open, and friendly looking. If your body language is closed off and you’re being too serious, people won’t interact with you. But if you come across like you take yourself seriously, and talk like it too, people will respond as if it’s true. Having people take you seriously will make a serious difference in your life. It really does open up a lot of doors.

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  1. Well put Cam. I can notice that – time to time, on every where I go.
    I am personally a very serious guy, though I know when to have fun – and that is what I recommend to other people. Though, every one has their own personal view(s).

  2. Thanks for the comment Max.

    Don’t forget that you have a great smile. Don’t be afraid to use it!!! 😛

  3. It actually reminded me when I teach a classmate of mine about Trigonometry. (He’s my classmate in English but not in my Math class.) My intentions were pure. I’m not giving any hints about our exam or quiz. Then, I just teach him the way he’ll understand the topic. More personal than our prof. Even my intentions were pure, (he knows that) He said that my facial expression was like of a sour-face expression contrary to my voice.) So from that, I realized that my facial expression were ironic about my intention. But he understand that there’s something in my facial structure that even I try to smile, I end up like frowning. Even my other classmate defended me for that. I dunno why. Even in our psychology class, my friends tell me that I’m so good if I’m around them, but to our other classmates, I’m like “snob” or in Filipino’s term “suplado.”

    I just realized that I’m just being defensive because of my life. But because of this site and social dynamics, I’m trying to be a better person.

    I hope you can help me about this defensive personality like the character in

    A piece of string of Guy de Maupassant

  4. Because I deny what other people might think of me, and maybe because of my strict father.

    But I know now how to deal with this personality, thanks to this site. I read a lot of articles and it’s really easy to apply to life because of how you guys write it and you really know the social dynamics of life.

    Anyway, I really shared this site to my friend because she’s kinda sad about her school life and she’d been busy. She said she’ll read it if she have time.

  5. Thanks for sharing the site with your friend. We LOVE when people do this because it means people are seeing value in what we’re trying to help them with and this is the biggest motivation to keep going! 🙂

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