‘ What often happens in any relationship is that language itself becomes a mask and a means of clouding and confusing the relationship. If the spoken language is stripped away and the only communication left is body language, the truth will find some way of poling through. Spoken language itself is a great obscurer” Body Language , Julius Fast, MJF books, 1970. Actions Speak Louder than Words?
Misinterpretation = Trouble??
Lack of animation = lack of interest?
Conflict with peers
Different work styles
Misinterpretation of signals
Can be BIG trouble
Do you know how to act or are you confused?
Do you know what you are saying?
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’s like a mirror that tells what the other person thinks or feels in response to our words or actions.
It is the most used yet most misunderstood secret language in the world.
body language is scientifically known as kinesics or non verbal communication.
it is based on behavioral patterns of non verbal signals
it can include any conscious or any unconscious movement of a part or all of the body used by a person to communicate an emotional message to the outside world.
What we say is content , what we do while we say it is context
As we are looking at it we start to see that body language is only one part of that context
Other parts are:
Where you sit/stand
Who else is in the room?
Time of day, week, year
History of previous communications
The body language component can be divided roughly into three parts
One The stuff you can do nothing about - your gender, race, age, height, etc
Two The stuff you can, with effort, change - your dress, hair, weight, etc
Three The stuff you already have that you can chose to use - gesture, eye contact, voice, etc.
Body language means much more than simply posture and gestures.
It includes less obvious mannerisms such as eye contact, speed and tone of voice, facial expressions and even non-verbal expressions such as sighs
Body language helps us to look beyond what people actually say, to what they actually mean.
Body language is something we have been observing and learning sub-consciously since the time we were born
MANAGING WITHOUT WORDS
We convey a lot through our gestures and tone of voice.
Less than 10% communication occurs through language (words we use when we speak)
40% occurs through tone of voice and 50% through gestures
Intuition is generally sensing the other person ’ s body language, without being able to pin point why one thinks or believes that way
USES OF BODY LANGUAGE
to understand the inner turmoil going on inside the mind of a person.
to keep the upper hand in arguments and negotiations.
tell that is a person you are talking to telling a lie
detect and send messages of friendship.
convey your inner feelings without words.
recognize and overcome boredom or defensiveness.
recognize the gestures purposely used to make you nervous.
succeed in delicate and tricky situations
and many more………..
Proximics means nearness between people or distance maintained during communication.
Proximics is divided into four major zones
intimate distance (e.g., child and parent)
personal distance (eg,shopping)
social distance (eg,boss and employee)
public distance (eg, actors)
The nod is the most common head movement and signifies agreement affirmation or approval.
The slight use of head nod is a signal to the speaker to continue as he has the listener ’ s attention.
Slight head nods, sweeps to one side and chin thrust act as stresses while speaking, and this is observed in public speakers.
The head is also used to point in a particular direction, when actually pointing a finger would be inappropriate
the most critical period in an encounter between two people is the first five seconds.
when we look at someone for the first time, we make a judgment whether we like them or not, whether we find them attractive or unattractive.
within the next few minutes we make judgments about their character, personality, intelligence, temperament, personal habits etc, etc…
… and then of course, we change our opinion later if the person happens to be different from what we had first thought
We say a lot with our faces.
Facial expressions communicate much more than what our words actually do.
Artifacts like moustaches, beards, spectacles, earrings and make-up also add to our facial expressions.
People tend to smile more, make speech errors and talk less when trying to deceive someone
It is a fundamental way of getting along with people and building trust.
When it is lacking, communication becomes uncomfortable and it is easy to get a wrong impression of things.
Yet eye contact is different in different cultures. In some cultures it may be downright rude to make direct eye contact while in others it may mean overstepping one ’ s limits.
Even eyebrows are important. Flashing of eyebrows is a universal sign of recognition
Too much eye contact may be interpreted as communicating superiority, lack of respect, threat, or a wish to insult.
Too little eye contact may mean not paying attention, being impolite, insincere or just plain shy.
Withdrawing eye contact could imply submission.
People will communicate with each other more effectively if their interaction contains the amount of eye contact they both find appropriate for the situation
Avoiding eye-contact may convey a message that one is busy, or avoiding the other person.
During presentations, if one looks at the flip chart or screen for too long, rapport with the audience is lost.
Communicators who use eye-contact effectively, are seen as persuasive, sincere, credible, skilled, informed, honest and friendly.
However, one should avoid more eye contact with those one likes or look at those one knows in the audience
Some common emotions expressed by eyes:
When people are excited they tend to make rapid eye movements.
When they are afraid, the eyes appear to be frozen open as if not to miss any sign that the danger is coming nearer.
When people are angry, the eyes narrow into slits.
Sadness is expressed by looking downwards as well as by reducing eye contact and this is a universal phenomenon
In a hotel or restaurant, discreetly try to see the kind of eye contact people have with the others in their group
One may have seen this comment:
Be difficult if you must, but smile if it kills you.
This notice makes an essentially serious point –
If people show by their faces that they are trying their best to be pleasant to others, they will be allowed greater extremes of difficult and disruptive behavior than those who are unpleasant in both action and manner
Smiling conveys acceptance and agreement while frowning conveys just the opposite.
A genuine smile can convey pleasant emotions such as happiness, acceptance and appreciation.
A smile can also be faked, artificial, or the stamp of habit.
It is important to smile even when answering the telephone; the caller will hear the cheerfulness in your voice.
Remember that you use forty three muscles to frown but only seventeen to smile!!!
The face we present to others is rarely our genuine face. Social etiquette decides what is proper and what is not in terms of body language.
A smile is the most common way of masking our real feelings and we could actually be very angry or annoyed beneath the façade of a smile.
Under stress or tension, the façade usually fades away.
Further, we cannot hide our involuntary reactions by a mask. We may perspire profusely when under tension, or we may have trembling legs and knees when we are nervous.
Usually masking is not done in front of persons who are of a lower status than us - because it does not matter any way
There are three main kinds of posture, standing, sitting and lying down. There are many variations in these depending on the position of the arms and legs and the various angles at which the body might be held
Ex: walking tall- shoulders straight and head held high. A person who has such a posture is generally more confident, fitter and more alert in going about his daily business.
Try walking tall and you will notice a change in your own attitude and in the attitude of others towards you
You can tell a person ’ s attitude by his body language.
Anger is conveyed by leaning forward, often accompanied with clenched fists and ‘ tight ’ facial expression.
Excitement is exhibited with open body position, arms raised, palms open, mouth and eyes wide open.
Shyness is conveyed by looking down, making little or no eye contact, leaning to one side.
How a person stands indicates not only how he feels, but also how he views the situation.
Standing / sitting with arms akimbo, or standing with hands on hips is an attitude of superiority or dominance.
Sitting in the four-cross position with the hands clasped behind the head, is an attitude of relaxed superiority. Two managers may generally adopt similar postures when interacting with each other.
Arms crossed is a defensive posture
Posture not only reflects feelings but also intentions.
Positive interest is indicated by propping up head on a hand with index finger pointing up on cheek.
Thumb under chin with fingers on or near mouth also indicate interest.
Leaning forward suggests that you are reacting positively, while leaning backward suggest indifference or lack of interest.
Head cocked to one side or nodding slowly while listening indicates interest and agreement or understanding
When people get on well with one another and are comfortable in each other ’ s company, they often mimic each other ’ s posture and behavior.
Such synchronizing occurs when people pick up coffee cups simultaneously, or start to speak at the same time. In fact this is our response to our partner ’s subtle cues
The most important hand-gesture is the hand-shake
A firm hand-shake is associated with positiveness, conviction, strength, openness and honesty.
Again cultural differences do not allow people of all countries to have a firm handshake.
It becomes more noticeable when the handshake is between a man and a woman.
There are many other hand gestures such as the V sign, the thumbs up sign or the hand shrug
Steepling signifies confidence or that the person has come to a decision
DECODING BODY LANGUAGE
Lots of eye contact
High blink rate
Staring into space
LET ME SPEAK
Feet under chair
Looks up and right
Legs crossed in 4 pos.
(Ankle on knee)
LET ME GO
Feet towards door
READY TO AGREE
Hands flat on table
Arms behind back
Legs crossed 11 pos
Hands on hips
Clearing throat frequently
Hand over mouth
Story 1 A Japanese man asks an American passenger whether the airport has a luggage-trolley service. The American wants to say that there is not only a trolley service, but that it is FREE! So he replies with the famous "A-OK" ring gesture. To the Japanese, however, this means "money" and the Japanese man concludes that there is a significant charge for the service. Meanwhile,
a Tunisian observer thinks
the American is telling the
Japanese man that he is a
worthless thief and that he
is going to kill him . What confusion !
Story 2 A Sardinian woman asks a man if it is easy to find a taxi at Heathrow Airport. The answer she gets is a cheerful British thumbs-up. Immediately, she hits the poor man with her handbag for making such a rude suggestion. This is an example of why, incidentally, it's not a very good idea to go hitchhiking in Sardinia .
Story 3 Glancing around a restaurant in the airport, a Frenchman remarks wonderingly to his wife, "Do you know how much this airport cost the British taxpayers? Nothing !" He then makes a finger and thumb ring, meaning "zero". Unfortunately, at the same time, the Frenchman is glancing at a Colombian who is enjoying a fine wine with his dinner. The Colombian is made very angry by the mean gesture because he believes it is directed at him.
So he swallows his wine the
wrong way and holds his
nose between his finger and thumb.
Yet this gesture horrifies a
Syrian sitting opposite the
Colombian because he thinks
he is being told to "go to hell ".
Thanks to a Greek friend, the
Syrian is held back , with great difficulty, from getting up and hitting the Colombian on the nose .
Meanwhile, the restaurant owner hurries over and attempts to calm the men, holding out both of his hands. This, of course, is taken by the Greek to be a double "moutza" and, in his anger , he instantly tries to kill the unfortunate man with his fish knife ! So you see, the lesson from all these stories is that one should be careful with one's own body language.