Reading Body Language Is A Strategic Skill In Business Dealings

It is essential in today’s world of business to be able to read body language. It is a strategic skill that can give you a real advantage in negotiating and in other business dealings. I strongly believe this because of my personal and professional experiences for more than 35 years and because of what modern communication science has to say about body language.

According to Albert Mehrabian, in “Psychology Today” (1968) referring to a personal spoken message – “…… of the total message, 7% is conveyed by words; 38% by the vocal tones, and 55% by facial and body expressions.” In my opinion, this alone confirms the importance of being able to read body language as a strategic skill.วิเคราะห์บอลเกมสร้างรายได้

Body language, or nonverbal communication, is a second source of human communication and is often more reliable or essential to understanding what a person really means and what is going on beyond the words. You may have heard the saying about a persons actions being so loud that one cannot hear what they are saying. Accurate knowledge of body language is critical for success in interpersonal relationships in the business world and in personal life.
Acquiring the ability to read body language is a coachable goal and one that I will emphasize more strongly to my clients.

So, what are some of the basics of reading body language? In researching that question, I found a great resource in Max Wideman and his Issacons (abbreviation for Issues and Considerations), which provide a summaries of positive and negative gestures and what meaning they convey. First, here is the summary of positive gestures from Max Wideman’s Issacons.

Acceptance: hand to chest; open arms and hands; touching gestures; moving closer, one to another; preening; sitting on one leg (for female)

Confidence: steepling (fingers touching like a church steeple); hands behind back, authority position; back stiffened; hands in coat pockets with thumbs out; hands on lapels of coat

Expectancy: rubbing palms; jingling money openly; crossed fingers; moving closer

Cooperation, readiness, openness: open hands; hands on hips; hands on mid-thigh while seated; sitting on edge of chair; arms spread, gripping edge of table or desk; moving closer; sprinter’s position; hand-to-face gestures

Evaluation: hand-to-face gestures; head tilted; stroking chin; peering over glasses; taking glasses off, and cleaning; putting eye glass ear piece in mouth; pipe smoker gestures; getting up from table and walking around

Reassurance: touching; pinching flesh; chewing pen or pencil; rubbing over thumb; touching back of chair on entering room; biting finger nails; hands in pockets

Self-control: holding arm behind back; gripping wrist; locked ankles; clenched hands

And here is the summary of negative gestures with the notation from Max Wideman that these gestures descriptions reflect North America gestures and do not necessarily represent gestures correctly in other ethnic cultures.

Boredom: doodling; drumming with fingers; legs crossed, foot kicking; head in palm of hands; blank stare

Defensiveness: arms crossed on chest; legs over chair arms when seated; sitting in arm chair reversed; crossing legs; fist-like gestures; pointing index finger; karate chops; fast eye blinking (I’m lying!)

Frustration, annoyance: short breaths; tchsk sound; tightly clenched hands; wringing hands; fist-like gestures; pointing index finger; running hand through hair; rubbing back of neck; kicking at ground or an imaginary object

Nervousness: clearing throat; whew sound; soft whistling; picking or pinching flesh; fidgeting in chair; hands cover mouth when speaking; not looking at the other person; tugging at pants when seated; jingling money or keys in pocket; tugging at ear; perspiring or wringing of hands

Suspicion: not looking at you; arms crossed; moving away from you; silhouette body towards you; sideways glance; feet/body pointing towards exit; touching or rubbing nose; rubbing eyes; buttoning coat, drawing away

Territorial claim: feet on desk; feet on chair; leaning against or touching an object; placing an object in a desired space; elevating oneself; cigar smoking; leaning back with hands behind head

Glenn Ebersole, Jr. is a multi-faceted professional, who is recognized as a visionary, guide and facilitator in the fields of business coaching, marketing, public relations, management, strategic planning and engineering. Glenn is the Founder and Chief Executive of two Lancaster, PA based consulting practices: The Renaissance Group, a creative marketing, public relations, strategic planning and business development consulting firm and J. G. Ebersole Associates, an independent professional engineering, marketing, and management consulting firm. He is a Certified Facilitator and serves as a business coach and a strategic planning facilitator and consultant to a diverse list of clients. Glenn is also the author of a monthly newsletter, “Glenn’s Guiding Lines – Thoughts From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach” and has published more than 250 articles on business.

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