Leonardo Da Vinci’s Body in Motion drawing circa 1492
What is Kinesics• Kinesics, or body language, refers to the subconscious gestures and body movements we make. They indicate what we are thinking and feeling, much of the time without awareness of them. – Body language can be manipulated to persuade an audience, whether done consciously or unconsciously Kinesiology-the study of body movements
How we move says a lot about us. Wecan persuade or dissuade friends,enemies, associates, and prospectiveemployers with simple body language.By learning to control the unconsciousconsciously, we can make better use ofthese natural tendencies……… or rid ourselves of them altogether.
How do you know?The previous picture brought your attention tobody language, or kinesics. But, what did you readin these two bodies?• The couple isn’t cuddling each other-they simply have arms at each other’s back.• They have erect posture- they aren’t leaning into each other.• The woman doesn’t have her head leaning on the man’s shoulderBut, does that mean they aren’t in love. No! Look again
Did you closely examine the photo?They are standing erect but:• He is looking down at her because he is listening to her• She is speaking because her left hand, even though he can’t see it, is gesturing as she is talking• She is probably explaining some thought or feeling, again, because of the type of hand gesture• Their posture is erect because the conversation is seriousBy paying close attention it is possible to read aperson’s body language without hearing a word
Movement is languageEvery movement has purpose whether-• Walking across or around a room• Wringing one’s hands• Nail biting, chewing on one’s lips, crossing and of uncrossing of legs• Playing with hair, tapping fingers, nodding excessively• Physically backing away or putting an object between oneself and the speaker or listenerAll of these movements speak to the audience (one or more people).Watch carefully and learn about people through their body movements.
Walking across or around a room• Makes audience pay attention – Moving in wrong direction causes others to become suspicious of one’s abilities (lecturers)• Shows one is thinking – Slow, pensive gait• Shows one is impatient – Rapid, shallow back and forth moves• Shows purpose – Long, purposeful strides
Wringing one’s Hands• Can signify uneasiness or even fear and trepidation – This might be appropriate while waiting in the dentist’s chair, but it is not during a job interview or while giving a presentation• Can also be a sign of devious intentions or expectations of evil doings. – Picture Stewie of Family Guy or the evil Dr. Evil in Austin Powers
Stewie wringing his hands in mad glee and anticipation
Nail biting, chewing on one’s lips, crossing and uncrossing of legs• All of these might seemingly innocuous behaviors to the casual observer yet they are seen as nervousness in a job interview or job review. – The same is true among peers. These behaviors can signify discomfort in the presence of certain people
Twirling hair, tapping fingers, nodding excessively• Twirling hair- – You might think it’s flirty-Others think it’s immature, especially in a job interview• Tapping fingers- – A sure sign of impatience• Nodding excessively- – Way too much agreement to be authentic, especially in a job interview
Physically backing away or putting an object between oneself and the speaker or listener• Backing away can simply mean the speaker has bad breath, or it can mean, “You are invading my space” or “you are being a little too effusive”.• Placing an object, such as a pillow, between yourself and the speaker can signal ill ease or discomfort at the close proximity of the speaker
More subconscious gestures: • Slouching-indicates a lack of confidence• Too little or no eye contact-too timid or not to be trusted • Hands constantly moving while talking-too frenetic • Head tilting to the side or leaning in while talking-too submissive • Shaking hands too delicately-Seen as passive behavior Can you think of any more?
ReferencesDebenham, L (May, 2010). What do Nail Biting and Hair Twirling Really Mean?Body Language Expert. http://www.bodylanguageexpert.co.uk/what-do-nail-bitinghair-twirling-reveal.htmlGoman, C (2010). Ten Body Language Mistakes Women Make. Officepro,70(7), 4.Movement and Meaning. (2001). Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 21(3), 368.Naval Administration Training Manual, (ND). Integrated Publishing, 5, 40.http://navyadministration.tpub.com/134t/css/134t_50.htmPower, Mary R., "Chapter 11 : Non-verbal communication" (1998). WorkingThrough Communication. Paper 12.http://epublications.bond.edu.au/working_through_communication/12
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