Body Language Magic
Have you heard of the word Body English? I remembered one basketball game when the sportscaster said, “Air Jordan used a little Body English to coax that ball into the hoop, as he released the free throw.” He meant that the player moved his hips sideways, as if using mind control, so that the ball will go through the basket.
Body English is just one of the myriad of examples of body language that we do and apply to our lives every now and then, consciously or unconsciously.
What is Body Language?
Body language is the unspoken or non-verbal mode of communication that we do in every single aspect of our interaction with another person. It is like a mirror that tells us what the other person thinks and feels in response to our words or actions. Body language involves gestures, mannerisms, and other bodily signs.
Would you believe that in real life situations, 60% to 80% of the messages that we convey to other people are transmitted through body language and the actual verbal communication accounts for only 7% to 10%?
Our ability to use body language in a positive way and to read other people’s minds through their body language separates the men from the boys (or women from girls), and can be a powerful tool to our overall personality development. Imagine creating a great impression for work, business, and love by being knowledgeable in this not-so-common yet powerful field of study. It is the unspoken tool to a successful life.
So read on and find out how you can read and utilize body language – the most used yet most misunderstood secret language in the world.
Chapter 1 Reading the Signs
We use body language everyday in our lives to get our message across, to achieve positive feedback in our lives, and to get whatever we want. We use this language all the time, but we may not be aware of it. Moreover, this language doesn’t only involve the mouth but the whole body as well.
Could you even imagine the awesome power of applying it? With it, you’ll be able to interpret other people’s inner emotions even if they’re not directly expressing it. You’ll also be able to modify your behavior to fit the situation. You’ll get them to like and trust you. What words cannot do, body language can.
In this chapter, we shall explore the various body gestures or movements conveyed by people in different scenarios. Let’s begin.
It is important to know if people are interested in what you are saying; otherwise, you are just wasting your time.
Just imagine you are a chemistry teacher. You have always been interested in chemistry, so you assume that your students feel the same way as you do. But are they really interested? Are your teaching methods good enough to arouse their interest? Unless you can recognize the different body signals your students are conveying, you would never know how they are adapting to the subject matter. And unless you find out if staring continuously at you without blinking the eyes is a sign of interest or an indication of being in dreamland, you simply could not take the necessary steps to adjust to their learning needs.
Here are some of the movements exhibited by people who are interested in what you are saying:
- They maintain eye contact more than 60% of the time. The more wideopened the eyes are, the more interested the person is. In fact, a person maintains eye contact more when listening than when talking.
- Their heads are inclined forward.
- They are nodding their heads. Such action means that they’re agreeing with you. That means they’re attentive and listening.
- Their feet are pointing towards you.
- They smile frequently. But take note, not all smiles convey the same feeling. An oblong smile is not genuine. It is used to show courtesy, but not necessarily happiness or friendliness. The lips are withheld completely back from the upper and lower teeth, forming the oblong shape. This is usually the smile that many people exhibit when they feign to enjoy a lame joke.
Indications That They’re More Open to Agree with You
When you were a young child, have you ever tried to decode what your parents’ facial expressions mean when you ask them to buy you a new toy or to take you to Disneyland? A frown would likely be a “No!” But a nod would make you jump with joy. As you grow older, it has become a necessity to be able to detect if other people will agree with your decision or proposal. This is an ability that will truly help negotiators, employees, and even lovers to succeed in their ventures because they would be able to change their approach early enough to adjust to a specific situation.
There are certain hints to indicate if people are more receptive in accepting your ideas. Some of these are:
- Their hands are flat on the table.
- Their palms are open.
- If they’re stroking their chin, they’re thinking. They may agree with you after careful evaluation.
- Their heads are inclined forward.
- They are nodding their heads.
- Their legs are spaced out from each other.
- They smile frequently.
- They unbutton their jackets. This indicates friendliness and willingness to collaborate with you.
- Their hands are open. This also indicates genuineness.
- They place their hands in their chest. This signifies openness and conveys sincerity, honesty, or dedication. However, a woman putting her hands in her breast is a defensive position and may indicate that she is surprised or astonished.
Indications That They are Thinking
People think all the time. But different individuals make different body movements based on the type and intensity of their thinking. Some of their actions are written below:
- They’re stroking their chin. This means they are assessing the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal/idea being presented.
- They take their glasses off, after which they may either (1) clean them, or (2) put the tip of the frame in their mouth. They are buying themselves some time to think things over. A frame in the mouth would also likely indicate that they need more details and they are willing to listen.
- They are pinching the bridge of the nose most likely with eyes closed. People doing this are engaged in very deep thought. They may be involved in a difficult situation, where they are aware of the consequences that may occur as a result of making crucial decisions.
- They put a palm below the chin, index finger pointed and extended along the cheek, while other fingers placed beneath the mouth. This gesture more likely indicates thoughts that are criticizing or antagonizing other people.
- They walk with the head down and hands behind the back. People who walk this way are probably worried about their problems, and they are thinking of ways to solve them.
Indications That They Are Frustrated/ Dismayed
A basketball coach whose team loses by a point may say “Aaarrrrrrr!” or he may just keep quiet while making certain body movements that indicate how disappointed he is. Here are some hints that indicate frustration.
- They are scratching/rubbing the hair or the back of the neck.
- You often hear the word “Tsk.” · They kick the dust or air.
Indications That They Are Action-Oriented
People who are goal-oriented and highly motivated may not only be recognized by how they speak. Their actions actually speak louder.
- They walk at a fast rate while swinging their arms loosely.
- They put their hands on their hips, usually with legs apart.
- They walk with hands on their hips. This may indicate a spurt of vitality at the moment, but may be followed by sluggishness.
Indications That They Are Defensive/Hiding Something
The mouth might keep a secret, but certain gestures could indicate that people are hiding something they don’t want others to find out, such as:
- They walk with their hands in their pockets.
- They cross their arms.
- They hide their hands any way they can.
Indications Of Boredom
Imagine your boss is doing a presentation and all employees are required to listen. You noticed that many of them are clicking their pen, tapping their feet, and drumming their fingers. After the meeting, you hear the boss ask them, “Did you enjoy the presentation?” They would say “Definitely!” But you know better. Their actions indicate just how bored they are. It feels good to know body language, doesn’t it?
Some signals conveyed by people who are bored and disinterested include:
- Head supported by the palm, often accompanied by drooping eyes.
- They show inattentiveness by staring at a blank space (eyes not blinking) or by looking around frequently.
- They are pulling their ears. This may also signify that they want to interrupt while another person is talking.
- They are clicking a pen non-stop.
- They are tapping their hands or feet.
- They yawn incessantly.
- Their feet or other body parts are pointing to the exit, as if they are very eager to leave.
- They move restlessly in their seats. This could also mean that they are not cozy or at ease, or they might just be exhausted.
- They cross their legs and constantly kick their foot in a very slight motion (particularly done by females).
If you’re the one making the presentation and you discerned that your audience are displaying signs of boredom, don’t start talking faster or louder. Restrain from such act even if your instinct tells you to do so. Instead, say, “Hold on. I feel that I’m losing your attention. What’s up?” Hear what they have to say.
You may discover what’s actually preventing them from keeping up with you.
Signals Conveying Excitement or Interest
If you have experienced getting a promotion, receiving a special gift, or winning a contest, I bet you’ve done any of the acts made by excited people when you first discovered about your blessing. Some of the movements made by excited people include:
- They rub their palms against each other.
- They clap their hands.
- Their heads are tilted forward.
- Their cross their fingers (usually comes with the hope that something big or special will happen).
Signals Exhibiting Confidence/Authority/Power
People with a high degree of self-confidence are normally more likely to be successful than those who have low self-esteem. Moreover, those who exhibit authority or dominance usually come out on top because they subconsciously make other people feel weaker. So how do they move?
- They maintain firm eye contact and rarely looks on other body parts underneath the nose.
- They speak with a low-pitched, slow-paced, downward-inflected voice.
- Chin tilted upwards.
- Chest projected outwards.
- They maintain an erect posture, whether standing or sitting.
- They sit in reverse, with the back of the chair serving as their support or shield. People who sit in this position are known to be bossy and aggressive.
- Their hands are clenched behind the back.
- Their hands are placed beside the hips.
- Their feet are on top of the table.
- They have a firm handshake, palms pointing downwards.
- They lean back with both hands supporting the head.
- They move with precision and with no hesitation.
- They walk solidly with forceful arm swings.
- They join the fingertips of both hands together (small finger of both hands joined together, ring finger of both hands joined together, and so on). Palms of both hands are not in contact with each other. The higher the hands are elevated, the more confident they are.
- They extend one leg over the arm of a chair they’re sitting in. When they do this, it may also mean that they are apathetic, disinterested, or unconcerned. They may be exhibiting the “I don’t care” attitude.
Moreover, you can declare your domination over other people by rising or elevating yourself from them. It is not unusual to see taller people being in control over the situation. Choose a chair or location where other people will have to “look up” on you. They will subconsciously think they are weaker and can easily be manipulated.
Signals Of Anger/Resistance
Many people rarely let their anger go out of control. They are more likely to restrain their raging emotions. You must therefore be able to recognize any gesture that signifies wrath or resistance to prevent any possible chances of the fireworks exploding. Here are some hints:
- Their fists are clenched.
- Their hands or feet are tapping.
- One hand is clutching the other hand, arm, or elbow.
- Their arms are crossed over the chest.
- Their eyes are blinking constantly.
- Collar pulled away from the neck, like letting some air in during a hot day in the summer.
- They kick the dust or air.
- Their arms are vertically placed on the table while the hands are gripping the edge. Beware when they do this because it might mean something like “You better get this done or else!” or “Better listen or you’ll regret this!”
Signals Of Nervousness/Tension
Nervousness can be a turn-off. If you’re going to be interviewed in a television show (hey, who knows?), you should be aware of your body movements. Signals conveyed by nervous people include:
- Their fists are clenched.
- Their hands or feet are tapping.
- The bottom edges between the fingers of one hand are clenched with the bottom edges between the fingers of the other hand. This is the position of the hands when praying.
- Hands are interlocked (flesh between thumb and index finger of one hand joined with flesh between thumb and index finger of another hand) and pressing each other.
- They speak in a high-pitched, fast-paced, stuttering voice.
- They whistle to conceal and fight their nervousness.
- They are often clearing their throat.
- One hand is clutching the other hand, wrist, arm, or elbow.
- Their arms are at the back, where one hand is pressing the wrist or arm.
- Their arms are crossed, but they are gripping their biceps.
- Their legs are crossed while standing.
- They have a wilted handshake, palms pointing upwards.
- Their eyes evade you.
- Their ankles are locked or glued to each other. When accompanied by clenched fists, this may indicate that they are holding back strong emotions or feelings.
- They don’t smoke. What?!? You thought people smoke because they’re nervous. But it is in fact the opposite. People who smoke only do so when they are not tensed in any way.
When you hear them say “Whew,” it means they are previously nervous but are now relieved because their problems have been solved or they have survived a big challenge.
Signals Made When They Are Doubting/Suspecting You
It’s sometimes difficult to assume whether you are being regarded as a trustworthy person, or you are being thought of as someone who is full of nonsense. Here are some clues that may indicate suspicion:
- They glimpse sideways from the corner of one eye.
- They are rubbing or touching their eyes or ears.
- Their hands are tucked in their pockets.
- Their arms are crossed over the chest.
- Their glasses are dropped to the lower bridge of the nose, with eyes peering over them. This movement may indicate that you are being examined closely (to the point that you get conscious).
There’s one act you usually do when you are the one doubting yourself – rubbing or touching your nose. This subconsciously occurs when you are uncertain of how to answer a critical question or when you are concerned of other people’s reaction to your answer.
Signals Made When They Need Reassurance
Some people have this disorder where they feel that they are always making the wrong decisions. “Should I really buy this? Maybe I should wait for a sale.” “Can I really get a better job after I resign from this company?” These people do certain actions to reassure themselves that they have made the right choice, that everything will be ok.
- They stick a pen in their mouth.
- They squeeze the chunky part of their hand.
- They rub the back of the chair (while sitting).
- They clamp their hands with thumbs touching against one another.
- They bite their nails (in some cases).
- They touch their throat (for women).
- They jiggle the coins in their pockets. (for those who are concerned about their riches).
Here’s what certain types of people would do when they want to reassure others:
- A woman gives reassurance to another female by holding both of her hands and sometimes hugging her. The facial appearance of the consoling female matches the solemn mood of the other female.
- A politician who would like to reassure you that he will be doing a good job when elected in public office would shake your hand with his right hand and cup it with his left hand.
Indications of Pride
People often show how proud they are of their material possession (for example, a car) by leaning against it or by touching it. You can see the sparkle in their eyes and you can sense the thrill in their voice.
How To Know When They Are Lying
People lie for a variety of reasons. It may be to cover up a fault or embarrassment, to avoid upsetting other people, to encourage when no hope can be perceived, or to be spared from petty hassles. It may also be due to more serious psychological problems such as delusional imaging or extreme vanity.
Here are some indications that are conveyed by people when lying:
- They speak in a high-pitched, fast-paced, stuttering voice.
- They are constantly swallowing and clearing their throat.
- They try their best to avoid having eye contact. This applies particularly to people who want to avoid discussing a certain topic.
- They look somewhere else and glimpse from the corner of their eye.
- They stick their tongue out to moist their lips.
- They are blinking rapidly.
- They rub their throat.
- Their arms are crossed over the chest.
- They are constantly touching parts of their face, especially the mouth, ear, and nose as if covering them.
- They scratch their head or the back of the neck.
- Their poses are closed, descending, and insecure.
- Their hands or feet are tapping.
- They always look down with shrugged shoulders.
- They are constantly moving from one place to another or changing their poses.
- They are projecting parts of their body (feet) to an escape route (door).
Don’t Jump to Conclusions
Every person has a unique body language. Although silence usually denotes that an individual is reserved and relaxed, some people keep their anger within themselves and stay quiet. (This is very unhealthy because rage kept up inside can explode furiously anytime, causing serious casualties). A wide open mouth may indicate shock or astonishment for one person, while another person who performs this gesture could just be concentrating intently on a task he’s doing. Constantly touching the mouth may indicate lying, although the real reason might just be that the mouth is itching. 🙂
One way to overcome this dilemma is to watch out for other signals that jive with the body language being exhibited. For example, you can confirm if a person is really nervous if he exhibits many of the qualities of nervousness described above. Judgment based on one or two gestures only may not be accurate enough, although they can be dependable. Be aware of the body language, but also combine your observations with the spoken words to get more hints regarding the inner feelings of another. Use this power to your advantage.
Chapter 2 Mirroring
Who would you rather be with? Your best friend who loves pizza as much as you do, who’s crazy about basketball like you are, who watches the same programs on TV as you; or your next-door neighbor who’s a vegetarian, hates sports, and watches those shows that will bore you to dreamland?
The answer is obvious. You would want to be around people who have the same behaviors, attitudes, and values as yours.
Birds of the same feather flock together.
Bookworms like each other’s company because they share a common bond – their love for books. Basketball fanatics flock together because they can RELATE to each other’s interests and ideas.
If you really want someone to like and trust you, you’ve got to exhibit the same qualities as that person. And there’s no better way to do this than by using body language. Here’s how it goes:
Match their facial expressions, gestures, posture, speech, styles, actions, breathing patterns, values and beliefs. Put yourself in their shoes. In other words, BE THEM.
By doing this, you are also matching their way of thinking. You may easily adapt to their inner thoughts and views.
You may also do some crossover matching. For example, you talk at the same rate as their breathing. Or you can scratch your chin every time their eyes blink. Get the idea?
Be genuinely interested and curious with everything you can find out about them. Discover their attitude. Know their life story.
This is what we call mirroring.
But mirroring should not be confused with mimicry. You should act with courtesy and caution. Never let the person you’re mirroring be aware of what you’re doing. Just imagine acting out shamelessly what the other person is doing. Every time he stands, you stand. When he scratches his head, you also scratch your head. That would be insulting. Never let the person you’re mirroring have any chance to think that you are mocking him.
Your main objective should be to influence the subconscious. Even if a person is not aware that you’re mirroring him, his subconscious mind realizes it.
The person will subconsciously be at ease when you duplicate his manners indirectly. He will feel very comfortable if you’re both on the same level.
Correspond with Their Moods
If a person you’re mirroring have lots of problems, don’t come to him in a joyous mood and say, “Don’t worry about it. Let’s watch a movie so that you’ll forget about whatever’s bugging you.”
He’s in a foul mood. He expects you to feel for him, to empathize with him. Match his disposition first, then say something like, “I feel bad for you. If there’s anything I can do to help, just let me know.” All he wants right now is to be with someone who has the same mood as he has.
A word of warning though. If someone has some really big emotional problems, and you mirror that person, you run the risk of actually absorbing his emotions. So do this activity in a low-risk situation.
The ultimate goal of mirroring is to build rapport. It’s the time when you and the people you’re mirroring feel so close and in synch with each other that you feel like you’ve known each other for years.
So how would you know if you’ve built rapport?
Mirror them. Match whatever characteristic, value, or behavior they possess that you would like to copy.
After some time, touch your nose or cross your legs. If they do the same thing, mission accomplished! You’ve already lowered their defenses to the point where they are more receptive to your suggestions.
You can even build rapport even if a person you’re mirroring is far away.
Here’s how to do it:
- Just relax. Clear your mind of all negative thoughts and create a bond by focusing on the entire body of the person you wish to mirror. Make his image so real and vivid.
- Use your subconscious to enter his world. Feel the connection. Give out positive projections uniting his entire persona into yours.
- Think of what he may be doing at the moment. Then replicate his actions, behaviors, and principles.
With this exercise, you can even emulate your role models. Let’s say you want to be as successful as your boss who is always traveling around the world.
Do the above exercise and you’ll soon see some astounding results.
Chapter 3 Body Language in Negotiations
In almost every point in your life, you unconsciously do the art of negotiations. From haggling with your favorite flea market sales lady, to lobbying for a well-deserved increase from your boss, negotiations are being made daily in your life. And would you believe almost all aspects of the negotiation process involves body language?
In terms of the actual negotiation in business, body language is a very important aspect. Reading body movements of your counterparts and making the right gestures may spell the difference between success and failure in the negotiation process.
The first step in using body language in a negotiation begins the moment you walk into the negotiation room. Be keen in observing their body language by focusing on the whole body – the head, arms, hands, chest, tummy, legs and feet. If you achieve this, you will be able to listen better. You will also be more perceptive in reading their body language.
Personal Space in Negotiations
In the negotiating table, each person creates his own personal space, his own territory. By business practice, people of higher status (e.g. president of a company) command more personal space, and are usually conferred by other people in the negotiating table.
For example, the authority over the most dominant chair (usually the head of the table) is the apparent symbol of power. If this person occupies the dominant chair, a good negotiator can repel this by strategic seating arrangement of teams or allies in the negotiating table. You may sit in a way that you surround that person, or any seating arrangement where you may comfortably get leverage.
First Impressions Last
In the negotiating table, the first move is the most crucial. Just like in the game of chess, if you play the white piece, you get the built-in advantage because you draw first blood, and the opponent’s next move and game plan for that matter is dependent on that crucial first move.
So make a good, firm, and calculated move. Begin with a positive body language. Radiate your enthusiasm. In a meeting for example, look in the other person’s eyes with sincerity. Your eyes are the windows to your soul. If you can’t maintain eye contact, they might think you’re hiding something or you’re not sincere.
Give a solid handshake. Hold the hand firmly but don’t squeeze it. A common fallacy is that we should squeeze the hand during this monumental time of the handshake. This is certainly not advisable.
Press the hand one time while looking the person straight in the eye. Pressing the hand once or twice may indicate excitement or vitality, but anything more than that can make the other person uneasy.
Put Your Body Language Know-how to Use
During the negotiation process, observe their gestures. In the first chapter, you were taught how to recognize if people are interested in what you are saying, if they are casting doubts on you, if they are more open to accept your proposal, and even when they are lying.
Be alert in recognizing these signals. Moreover, also be aware of your own actions. You might be exhibiting signs of nervousness without you knowing it, and your counterparts (who might also know body language) might take advantage of the circumstances.
CHAPTER 4 Body Language in Selling
Studies in Psychology tell us that the effect you have on others depends on what you say from the mouth (7%), the manner in which you say it (38%), and by your body language (55%). In addition, how you sound also imparts a message, so 93% of emotion is also conveyed without saying the actual words.
This is also true in selling. In the real world, we sell tangible items and also ideas. A concise way on how we can sell effectively is by simply using that old but very powerful arsenal known as body language.
When you sell, you can use postures, facial expressions, gestures, mannerisms, and your physical appearance to close the sale successfully. Most customers tend to buy when triggered by their senses. The key here is to do everything you can to positively affect their senses.
Most people believed the image projected by Saint Mother Theresa is a positive image. She used her personality to convey a constant image of holiness and sincerity. We bought the idea of her image.
Non-verbal communication also connotes that a man of few words is a man of credibility. It’s often not what you say that influences others; it’s what you don’t say. The signals that you impart using body movements suggest comprehension, disposition, morality, and compassion.
In selling, the instant you meet a target client, he is already examining you based on your image and perception in a span of ten seconds or less. This is a crucial moment in selling, as his first impression of you will definitely make a permanent mark.
Whether you make or break a sale can literally depend on the non-verbal signals that you send during this crucial first contact. It’s a must for readers of this book to understand the facets of body language especially in selling. Americans, for example, are somewhat categorized as one of the best in reading body language, because they espouse thousands of non-verbal signs. This ability makes them formidable negotiators.
In addition, women are generally considered to be more adept to body language than men because of their natural built-in instincts. Now you know the secret why some women are more successful than men in the business or professional field.
As a rule of thumb, body language is being used most of the time all over the world. The most common example is a nodding head (meaning “yes”).
But it is not necessarily the case every time. For example, shaking legs might connote that a person is nervous, while it may just be a person’s natural behavior. A person’s eyes could evade you because he’s hiding something, or it could also mean that he’s extremely shy.
Given these intricacies, what’s important is to analyze what the message really is. You can do it by looking at patterns. Look out for groups of signals that may have the same meaning in relation to the verbal expressions, and also in cognizance to the circumstances.
Once you have traced the patterns, it is easier to understand body language. It will therefore help you make a sale.
Written below are some body language techniques to help make your sales sizzle:
- You can immediately analyze a person’s personality by studying his style in shaking hands. An assertive person holds your hand firmly when you shake his hand. On the other hand, an individual with little or no confidence often gives a frail handshake. A person who wants to win your trust would usually shake your hand with his other hand covering the shake or holding your elbow. Adopt a handshake that is firm, yet not crushing. Convey confidence and professionalism, not dominance.
- Posture is another aspect of body language. A slouching shoulder with your eyes looking on the ground can indicate lack of interest. Standing straight with your weight balanced on each foot gives you a more assured and relaxed look. Always maintain a straight body, whether you’re standing or sitting.
- Match the straight open posture with a genuine facial expression. Dispose of the sunglasses. The client may think that you are hiding something, as he can’t see through your eyes. When he looks straight in your eyes, he can tell if you are lying, so be transparent. Lay down your cards and throw the shades away. But be sure to avoid piercing looks. The client might get intimidated.
- When doing sales calls and presentations, be sure to use sincere and open movements all the time. Do not cross your arms, as this can ruin the trust of your potential customer. The outward and upward gestures of your hands are recommendable. If you lean back on a chair and place your hands at the back of your head, it may drive your clients away as this is a sure sign of arrogance and a false sense of confidence. Meanwhile, if you place your hands on your waists, you are exuding positive confidence.
- “Don’t point.” Pointing at a client is equivalent to death wish in selling. It is as if you’re waving your sales opportunity goodbye. Pointing is an aggressive act that can be interpreted as hostility, so throw this gesture out the window if you really want to sell.
- In sales, here are signs that you are open for negotiations and are willing to compromise. Unbuttoning your jacket means you are ready to talk and to listen to a counter offer. Removing your jacket or rolling your sleeves up is a very good sign for the client, as this means you are ready to decide or to give in to the final price.
You, as the seller, may also use body language as a tool to recognize and counteract any potential objections by the client. The usual scenarios include the following:
- If the client’s arms are crossed, it means he is disinterested. Use counter measures like positive movements to cause them to uncross their arms, and for you to begin the sales approach. When his arms and legs are uncrossed, and his hands are open, this is the best scenario, as they are open to your ideas…and a sale is more likely to happen.
- Another good sales scenario is when the client mimics your gestures like when you fix your hair and the client follows. It shows he is very receptive to your ideas and open to buy your idea or product. If this is the case, throw all your barrage of features and benefits, and close the sale! This point is crucial as you can make or break the sale.
- If the client covers his mouth, touches his nose, or the part near the eye, there’s a probability that you are losing the sale. Something you said or did might have discouraged him. But don’t despair. Do the selling process again; but this time, do it differently. Reassure the client that he is getting a great deal and encourage him to open up and share ideas. Open your palms and unconsciously let him see you occasionally putting your palm to your chest (this signifies honesty). Then try to reach that positive sales atmosphere again and close the sale.
- Always be alert to the signs the client is exhibiting. If the client shows interest through his body movements, give the final sales blow and close the sale. The client’s body language may change from positive to suspecting. In this case, take it easy, gather your wits, read your client’s moods, and try to win him back. Always exhibit openness and sincerity. When the client crosses his legs and arms, this is a warning signal. Use mirroring techniques (discussed in the previous chapter).
You must make every effort to earn the trust of the client, so that you ultimately can close the deal.
- In worse cases where you are unable to close the sale, try to be professional and diplomatic at all times. Thank the client for listening and shake his hand with sincerity. Sales cannot be achieved overnight and you generally win some and lose some. Closing the presentation on a positive note will leave a good impression of you. Who knows, he might be your next positive client at some other time.
Use your body every way you can in the selling process. Always be enthusiastic. If you truly believe in the high quality of your product or service, other people will be positively affected by your enthusiasm. Body movements can convince prospects to become believers in what you are offering.
Chapter 5 Body Language in Job Interviews
Gone are the days when the job seeker has to write the handwritten application letter to earn that job interview. In this age of computers and cyber technology, most employers prefer applicants who apply online, and more job seekers are looking to the net for their job opportunities. But one thing remains the same – the body language of the applicant during job interviews and how they make the first impression as they step inside that interview room.
Your Type of Person
Based on your body language, an interviewer may know whether you are confident or not, if you are the shy type or the friendly type, if you are a loner or a team player, or even if you are telling the truth or not. They can tell if you are capable of handling the job, if you are devoted, or if you’re someone who can get along with other employees. Based on their questions, the interviewer will not only pay attention to what you say, but also on how you say it. The interviewer generally will find responses from you that match their qualifications. How you can decode the body language of your interviewer in relation to your own body language will determine the thin line if you get that job or not.
This is the most important aspect of the job interview – arriving on time. The job interview is deemed as a very important appointment, and being late is a cardinal crime with gravity that may cause you to lose that job opportunity. Your attitude regarding time will send the wrong messages to the employer, and will tell a lot about your lack of professionalism. Being stuck in traffic is a very lame and downright unforgivable excuse. It is better to be early by one hour than to be a minute late.
The First Encounter
When the interviewer comes to the room to meet you, do not offer your hand for a handshake unless the interviewer offers his hand. Shake hands firmly, but do not squeeze. Maintain eye contact.
Proper Body Posture
Body posture is important during job interviews and you can adopt the following stance. At the beginning of the interview, sit up straight in your chair, with your back leaning against the back of the chair. Do not slouch or move sideways in your chair because it might be perceived by the interviewer as a lack of interest or boredom. On the other hand, sitting on the edge of your chair can impart a message that you are a little nervous and that you feel uneasy with the situation.
When the interviewer says something, it is advisable to lean forward a little. This shows interest and attention in what the interviewer is saying. You can tilt your head a little to show that you are listening closely.
Do not cross your arms because this might be perceived as a defensive move. Just place your hands loosely on your lap or just put them on the armrest of your chair. By doing this, you will also be able to make hand movements to support what you are saying.
While speaking, you may nod your head occasionally to expound on a subject or to give more meaning to what you are saying. Hand movements can also help to spice up the conversation. The interviewer would think that you are comfortable with the interview process if you make hand gestures.
Too much hand movements at the beginning of the interview may not be a good idea. The proper way is to add them gradually throughout the interview.
Be aware of your interviewer’s hand movements as well. If they use their hands a lot to make a point or to clarify something, you can do the same thing as well (Remember mirroring?). When they don’t make many movements, do the same thing as them. It is important to adjust your gestures to that of the interviewer to establish rapport.
Be alert to unintentional gestures that you may make sometimes due to tension. Some of the acts that may irritate the interviewer could include:
- Tapping your fingers across the desk.
- Shuffling your feet.
- Biting your nails.
- Toying with a pen.
The Panel Interview
Being interviewed by one person could be a piece of cake for many. But being interviewed by a group could be a confusing ordeal, especially when it comes to who you should look at during the interview.
It is important to maintain eye contact with all the interviewers at an equal extent. By looking uniformly at them, you will establish their trust and you will gain composure throughout the interview process.
When one of the interview partners asks or says something, maintain eye contact with him until he ceases speaking. This will indicate that you’re listening attentively. While he is speaking, he may also look at the other interviewers. When he looks at you again, you can nod your head to encourage him to continue speaking.
When you answer a question, look first at the one who asked. But while you are answering, you should take turns looking at each of the other interviewers as well. You should direct yourself again to the person who asked the question when you want to prove a point, when you want to emphasize something, and when you are done answering.
Body Language of Your Interviewers
Observing the body language of your interviewers is as important as being aware of your own body movements. The body gestures of your interviewers can give you an indication of how well you are coming across to them. This can serve as a signal to change your approach at an early stage before they give you the thumbs down.
For example, when you did something that displeases the interviewers, they will show their annoyance through body language. When they sigh, shake their heads, look down, or fold their arms and lean back, you can take this as a sign of discontentment or irritability. The interviewers might not consciously notice that they’re exhibiting their body movements at first, so you still have a chance to shift your strategy.
It’s Okay to be Nervous
Knowing how to act confidently using body language can increase your chances of passing the interview. You can utilize this knowledge to conceal your anxiety a little, but this is something you shouldn’t worry about too much. Many applicants are tensed during an interview, and they would not want to let the interviewer know about their inner feelings. However, it is completely understandable to be nervous at this stage. It is completely normal.
Your nervousness may even indicate how valuable getting this job is to you. If you weren’t nervous, and you act like a happy-go-lucky person, you might be perceived as someone who is not very interested in the job.
The interview not only functions as a way of determining who among the applicants is most capable of performing the job well, but it is also a means of allowing the interviewer to get to know more about the applicants. It’s a first encounter with an individual that you might soon work together with. If that’s the case, then the interviewer (who could be your boss) should actually feel the same way as you are. Nervousness often accompanies excitement.
Chapter 6 Body Language in Meetings
Communication occurs constantly in a meeting. Not many people are involved in speaking, but almost everyone (if not everyone) would exhibit body language signals that divulge what they are actually feeling inside.
If you are the leader of the meeting, it is important to know if the attendees are interested in what you are saying, or if they agree with your ideas. Early detection of boredom or disagreement is crucial in order for you to change your approach or present a different proposal when necessary.
When you see most of the attendees reclining back in their chairs or just staring blankly without blinking an eye, it likely means they are not interested in the topic being discussed. Do not prolong the discussion or do something that will break the monotony.
When the attendees nod constantly, it means they are agreeing with what you are saying.
When the attendees cross their arms, touch their nose or mouth, sit back, and worse, shake their heads, they oppose your ideas. Time to think of some countermeasures to neutralize the situation.
When an attendee breathes deeply, it probably means that he wants to interrupt the conversation and express his point of views.
Observe also other body gestures, such as:
- Changing the intonation of the voice.
- Looking down at the ground
- Drumming fingers in the table.
- Exiting the meeting room.
You need to detect the inner feelings of each attendee and bear in mind how this can affect the reaction of the other attendees. If the topic being discussed becomes “too hot to handle,” it might be better to re-schedule the meeting at another time. Some emotional people can exhibit great facial expressions and body gestures. Recognizing them early in the meeting can prevent any undesirable emotional outbreak to occur.
Chapter 7 Body Language in Flirting
Male and female courtship signals have been studied, and the basic conclusions are that these signals are completely unconscious. The more you consciously understand the signals, the better and more successful you will be when courting the object of your desire, whether it is the man or woman of your dreams.
To master the art of successful flirting, you have to feel good about yourself first. Be confident. Be yourself, or else you will look deceitful or desperate. Flirting can be utilized in just about anything, not just in attracting the opposite sex, but also in attaining just about anything you want in your life. This can be described as good flirting. Good flirting should be done with a precise understanding of what you really want, coupled with positive sensations.
I have interviewed a number of successful men and women in the field of network marketing and advertising in their 30s and 40s. Here are their tips on how you can put good flirting to your advantage:
- Don’t worry about whether you are making a good impression or not. Instead, analyze how you can make the other person feel good. By doing this, you will get the feedback you are expecting. Soon you will make the connection.
- Flirting can help you make friends or impress a client if you make yourself approachable. Put a smile on your face, as it gives you an aura of being friendly.
- Remember that you cannot attract people just by sitting or standing like a statue. There will be instances when you will encounter a person who gets a little bit too close for comfort feel, or someone who makes you feel you are already invading privacy. No matter what you do, you would get a so-called “vacuum” reaction. Tough one, huh? You can avoid this by using gentle moves and by calibrating the person’s reactions to you. Be aware of these signals: mouths get larger, the lips swell, eyes widen, pupils dilate, skin flushes and changes color, muscles around the mouth move, among others.
- Be persistent. Flirting works best when you are patient. By being such, you will have room for improvement if at first you aren’t getting the results you want. If you fail the first time, do it again the second time, third time, just keep trying. Try different approaches until you realize what will really work best for you. If you were rejected, don’t give up.
This goes with the sayings, “To err is human” and “Nobody’s perfect.”
- This is probably for me the most interesting and somehow funniest tip I got: “Practice in the mirror, only then can you make it perfect!” This is especially true in meeting friends and prospects, because flirting may involve unwanted actions and attention which can put you in the bad light. You may be spontaneous in your actions, but you can’t guard yourself if you are already overdoing it, and I supposed you don’t want to be in that situation. Try practicing with your close friends and ask for feedback.
- Make the first move! Opportunities knock only once, so if you want something or even someone, go for it, now! Let go of your inhibitions. But remember to apply positive or good flirting. Who knows if the person you meet at that moment is your gateway towards the fulfillment of your dreams.
Let Your Body Attract
Do you know why some people seem to have an easier time attracting the opposite sex? Here’s what you can to do in order to catch the eye of your Honey Bunch.
- Smile sincerely and frequently. In his article “The Six Don Juan Commandments of Body Language,” Allen Thompson wrote that smiling is “The simplest, most obvious, and most powerful of the body language commandments.” He also mentions that “Smiling conveys, both instantly and clearly, many wonderful things about yourself. Smiling demonstrates confidence, friendliness, a positive attitude, a good mood, and it gives the impression that you’re someone who is, most likely, fun to be with. It’s also very difficult to ignore.”
- Have a sense of humor. Learn to laugh at petty matters. People love to be with those who can turn any situation into a funny setting.
- Maintain eye contact. Your eyes are probably the most expressive parts of your body. When you look at your dear one constantly, you are expressing your sincere intentions. Eye contact also establishes a bond between two persons. They would naturally feel more comfortable in each other’s company.
- Nod your head. By nodding, you signify your approval and you encourage the other party to continue talking. You give reassurance that your loved one is doing ok.
- Be open, physically. Do not cross your arms across the chest or hold obstructive objects (such as a food) between the two of you. Put your hands on your sides (and if possible put your palms up) to convey openness.
Knowing If The Apple Of Your Eye Is Interested
Do you want to know if that special someone is interested in you as well? Let’s assume you’re a man. You see a gorgeous lady that made your heart beat faster. Look at her with extreme confidence letting her know you are interested. Then wait for her reaction. She may be a bit shy to stare back at you, so it’s natural if she shifts her glance. Here’s how to find out if she’s attracted to you.
- If she looks down and away, she’s interested.
- If she looks to the left or right, she’s not interested.
Moreover, how will you know if a person is attracted to you just by observing body signs? A girl, for example, is flirting if she espouses the following body language:
- Her lips show the way. She wears that big smile with her teeth exposed and with a relaxed face. She bites her lips or shows her tongue, or she licks her lips and touches the front of her teeth.
- Her eyes show you everything.She looks at you with a deep stare and her pupils are dilated. She raises her eyebrows seductively and gives you a wink from a distance, or when she is talking to you. And of course, the most common one – she blinks her eyesmore than usual and shows you that fluttering eyelashes.
- She gets herself noticed by the stroking of her hair. She may push her fingers through her hair, twirl it around her fingers, or throw her hair back off her shoulders.
- She shows a little more skin on her clothing. The hem of her skirt goes up a little further exposing her legs, or she fixes her clothes more than usual to look a little better.
- You can tell it from the way she sits. She sits with an open leg or crosses her legs in a manner where her thighs can be seen. Or her legs are rubbing against each other or against the leg of the table.
- Her hands mirror how she feels. She rubs her wrists up and down in a suggestive manner. She rubs her chin or touches her cheek, and in a bold way may even unconsciously touch her breasts. She plays with objects on the table, fondles keys, or rubs a drinking glass in a flirting manner.
On the contrary, how does a man show his interest in a woman? It’s much simpler. Maintaining eye contact, smiling frequently, and exhibiting confidence through his actions are the main ways.
If you want to start a relationship, you’ve got to initiate the dialogue. Here are some great openers.
- If your special someone is a specialist, ask “How do you…?” or “What’s it like to…?”
- Ask about experiences, like “Have you ever tried to…?” or “Have you ever gone to…?
Find out what interests your special someone. Give compliments inbetween conversations. Always stay calm and relaxed. Be curious and interested. Nod to signify that you’re listening. Say, “Wow,” “Great,” “I see,” etc.
A simple touch to the body can have a thousand different meanings depending on how you perceive the power of touch in body language. It is a basic need to be touched. We definitely need to be stroked and have physical contact with other people to survive. As we mature, we continue to heed that need of touching and being touched.
Touch can convey respect and trust, and is also a way to differentiate power between people.
Touching as an ingredient of body language can be a powerful tool if done with finesse, with precision, and with accuracy. You must learn the art of touching in order to send your signals to the other person.
Timing is important, as some people will react negatively if you touch them too soon or too much. It has to be done at the right time in a suitable way, or the result would not be one that you expect. Be keen to the circumstances and the mood.
You can determine the appropriateness of your touch and your ability to adjust to the circumstances, by how your receiver reacts to it. If the person seems to lean or get closer to you, you‘ve made the right move. But if the person seems to back off, this means you did not touch properly, so you have to make some adjustments.
Undeniably, communication is as important as life itself. It would be unimaginable how chaotic the world would be without communication. Even primitive people tried to find ways to communicate when things were much simpler then. In our modern and fast paced age, its necessity is a thousand folds over.
There are varied forms of communication. Each form is valuable, nonverbal communication being one of them. One of the illustrations that somewhat resembles or falls under the category of non-verbal communication is the way the deaf and mute communicate. But probably, the most profound form is body language. It is probably the least known, not because it is the least effective but because it is the least noticed; yet it is one of the most practiced, subconsciously. We are all using it but we hardly notice that we’re doing it. It’s one of the most reliable sources of truthful information.
Action speaks louder than words and body language is the literal translation to this statement. If time is a factor in the delivery of a meaning, body language may be the way to communicate. This is another essence of action speaking louder than words.
Body language is made available to us naturally. It comes spontaneously. All you need to do is to know how to interpret and develop it to its full potential. Don’t deny yourself this skill. Yes, this is a skill. And what you have just read and learned from this book will be beneficial to you in every activity you engage yourself into. Read this book over and over again if you have to, till you are comfortable with this new skill. Use this book as a reference. You’ll be delighted you did.
Remember to keep this in mind: Learning body language from this book does not stop here. Experience is the key factor. Experience will sharpen your body language skills to greater heights and consistency. Body language may not be absolute but your degree of efficiency will certainly be high.
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