Share a part of the life of our collaborators by discovering their hobbies! Sandrine GASTINE (Director d²X Switzerland) talked to us about her passion for synergology.
What is your passion?
I am passionate about meeting people. My job as a Director, therefore, suits me well.
But since there's more to life than just work, I have a lot of passions on the side: diving, for more than 10 years, beekeeping for 2 years and Rural Family Homes (MFR) for 5 years.
Before starting the interview, I wanted to talk about Rural Family Homes (MFR) because it is a cause that is close to my heart: it is a network (managed in an associative mode) of 430 schools in France (1000 in the world), offering professional training. I am the president of the board of directors that manages one of the 17 schools in Haute-Savoie. Each school trains 200 to 400 young people per year.
But today, I wanted to talk to you about "synergology". It is a discipline that studies a non-verbal language.
I am a synergologist, like the 307 other synergologists in the world (source: http://registre.synergologie.org/registre-officiel/ethique/liste-officielle-des-synergologues). I observe, analyse and interpret the non-verbal communication of my interlocutor.
When and how did you start?
I started my training in 2014, thinking that I wanted to do my job differently. I had been an Account Manager for 10 years in a service company and I wanted to change the way I worked (in recruitment, negotiation, interaction with my contacts).
A colleague told me about synergology after attending a presentation by Philippe Turchet, the inventor of synergology. He mapped the body and created a classification table to give a common reading grid around the observation of more than 1500 signs (position on the chair, head axis, arm or leg crossings, gestures, itching, not to mention everything you see on the face...).
The training lasted more than 2 years, 1 weekend out of 2, on 3 levels, with research work and a thesis (mine was entitled: "Is the non-verbal communication of the autistic Aspergers different from that of the neurotypics?). This is not the kind of training you do in 3 days.
What do you like about this activity?
It's impressive what we can see if we look at it. The best thing would be to show you videos.
Some say that in communication, 7% represents words, 38% tone, timbre and intonation of voice, 55% body language. Regardless of the %, non-verbal communication has a major place in communication and especially in our jobs. In other words, it is important to take into account what the body shows us.
I learned a lot about myself because I am the first person I observe. I can confirm what I feel, my intuition. This gives me additional elements, a head start. I can more easily perceive lies, unspoken words, discomfort or nothing if the words are in congruence with what the person is thinking. In this case, the body shows nothing. The body speaks when there is a gap between what we say and what we think or feel.
It is widely used: for caregivers (people affected by stroke who lose their speech, autism, young children or the elderly...), educators or coaches, HR, investigators, lawyers or customs, supervisory companies, sales representatives, negotiators.
Let me reassure you, I don't observe everyone all the time!
And in your daily life, how does your passion fit in?
I use it every day because I always interact with candidates, clients, consultants, etc. at home, or outside as a spectator (in a restaurant, in a meeting, on TV...), etc. The playing field for observation is huge. It's exciting, but analysis takes time and is based on video. Some details are missing right now and would be easier to see on the slow motion of a video. I haven't spent much time on it in since I joined d²X.
I am a member of the European Association of Synergology (AES), which brings together certified synergists once a year for 2 days of continuing education. Afterworks are held 3-4 times a year in each country (France, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Canada) during which we exchange and analyse.
I sometimes make presentations, conferences or training courses on the subject.
Have you acquired any skills through this activity that you use in your professional life?
This allowed me to develop my observation, my attention to other people.
The final word
For those who are interested, I am available to discuss it or to make a presentation.
Thank you Sandrine for your answers!