“Hi Son, what are you studying” asked a father as he sat down heavily next to him on the sofa.
“Hindi, Dad. It is such a tough language and especially writing it” The son protested, exhausted.
“Oh I can teach you a language in next five minutes which you are not taught in any school, does not have any grammar, most are blind to and yet people who know it are far more effective in everything that they do in life”.
“Really Dad, what language is that which is so easy that it can be picked up in five minutes yet so effective that it helps in almost all spheres”. Son asked putting his Hindi book down.
“Body Language, Son. We humans communicate far more than we want to and people who can read bodily cues are expert communicators. Now to start, know that body language is not an exact language however it has its syntax which can be interpreted in a context. Let me outline its cues for you in three different interpersonal contexts.
Eyes : Holding of eye contact is one of the surest sign of detecting if somebody is attracted. In fact once in relation couples are known to gaze at each others eyes for almost 80% of the conversation time. Also blinking more than 6-10 times a minute which is routine is considered a sign of attraction.
Posture: Closed posture while conversing or leaning back might be a sign of lack of interest.
Gesture: Smiling often, laughter, feet towards the speaker are some of the signs that spell attraction.
Touch : Apart from eye contact, physical touch is one of the most reliable sign of attraction. It can be a casual touch on arms, face or shoulder or even holding of hand on some pretext.
Space: Closeness of sitting and lack of space between two bodies betray that they are attracted to each other.
Eyes : Aggressive eye contact and last to break an eye contact conveys high status. A speaker maintaining extended eye contact is high status while a listener maintaining low eye contact is high status.
Posture: Legs apart, Shoulders drawn back and spine straight is normally a high status cue.
Gesture: Arms on your hips or fingers on table while leaning forward are authority set up signals.
Touch: To touch someone first asexually while talking is a high dominance signal. To repeat the touch sustains the dominance.
Space: Splaying out to occupy more space is high on dominance as is speaking slow.
Eyes : Look into your negotiators eyes often as that is a sign of truthfulness. Do not stare though.
Posture: Check for limbs crossed or open. In one study of 2,000 negotiations, which were videotaped to assess the negotiators’ body language, there wasn’t an agreement in any case where one of the participants had his or her legs crossed.
Gesture: Smiling often and nodding often lead to good negotiation outcomes.
Touch : Use a firm but short handshake to communicate intent. A hand or arm touch can be used if appropriate.
Space: Leaning forward will show interest and will prompt other to lean as well.
Overall use non-verbal communication to SOFTEN the hard-line position of others: S = Smile O = Open Posture F = Forward Lean T = Touch E = Eye Contact N = Nod