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When I first heard about 'body language' at a seminar in , I became so excited This book is by no means the last word on body language, nor does it. That's why studying body language has such a long history. That's because, the Peases write in "The Definitive Book of Body Language," an open palm has. Available for the first time in the United States, this international bestseller reveals the secrets of nonverbal communication to give you confidence.
Psychology Personal Growth. Hardcover —. download the Ebook: Add to Cart. About The Definitive Book of Body Language Available for the first time in the United States, this international bestseller reveals the secrets of nonverbal communication to give you confidence and control in any face-to-face encounter—from making a great first impression and acing a job interview to finding the right partner.
Also by Barbara Pease , Allan Pease. See all books by Barbara Pease , Allan Pease. About Allan Pease Allan Pease has written eleven bestselling books on the subject of human communication and body language, including, with his wife,… More about Allan Pease. Product Details. Inspired by Your Browsing History. Related Articles. Looking for More Great Reads? Listening can pay good dividends. It can establish you as a friend, and that makes for more mutual understanding in a business relationship.
Besides, if you listen carefully, you pick up all sorts of infor- mation about the idiosyncrasies of an organizationand the individual youre dealing with. People who are poor listeners often see listening as a passiveand, therefore, unproductive activity. Their ego gets in the way. They feel that they need to be talking to make any impact on the other person. Observe people in internal meetings in the workplace and in sales situations, and youll see the talktalktalk syndrome with a vengeance.
Some people continually interrupt with superfluous remarks because they believe that theyre contributing. When they butt in, though, they miss important points. And they ask questions to which they already know the answers.
But theyre communicating, they feel, because theyre talking. How wrong they are! Attentive listening is also part of communication. Talking long and loud doesnt always equate with having per- sonality; it is often a substitute for it. Running Tapes in Your Own Head You can listen productively in only one way: Try to remove all dis- tractions from your mind, so you can concentrate on the speaker.
Of course, thats easier said than done! Preoccupation or lack of interest impedes effective listening see Figure 2. Figure 2. If youre not interested in what the speaker has to offer, youll have an aversion to listening. Preoccupation with something can be a barrier, too. For example, if someone has just bumped into the back of your car, the nuisance of it keeps coming back to you. The environment can also influence how well we listen.
Have you ever tried to have a meaningful discussion with somebody when a TV set is blaring in the background? Your requests to turn it off because you want to discuss something might meet with a reply such as, Its okay, I can listen even if its on. It doesnt work. Youre still distracted by the visual noise, even though youve elimi- nated the auditory interference. Noise can come from all sources. Its difficult to concentrate in a meeting if street repair is going on outside.
Similarly, you could be in a seminar and miss the first 20 minutes of what is said because youre absorbed in a beautiful oil painting hung over the fireplace visual noise, again. I often use what I call the W. Fields test if I want to test somebodys listening skills. Consider his old quip: We lived for days on nothing but food and water. In conversation, if I sense that somebody isnt listening, Ill throw in a statement relating to a fictitious scenario.
The responses are often quite amusing, ranging from Oh, how awful and How on earth did you manage? Other people actually listen and respond with a smile or laugh as the words sink in. Try it. Youll find it interesting and amusing. So who are you trying to kid when you claim to be a good lis- tener? Listening isnt merely saying nothing while the other person is talking.
Its deriving meaning from what someone else says. And thats what people find difficultthey think listening is just hearing. I Hear What You Say A lot of confusion and discord is perpetrated in our daily lives because of a lack of distinction between hearing and listening. You may have always assumed that the two terms are inter- changeable.
I hear what you say! But the two terms actually are entirely different. Hearing is a sensory activity, a physiological process in which our auditory connections transmit information to the brain through our ears, of course. Listening involves a different process, of interpreting and understanding. It derives meaning from what has been heard its a psychological process.
Weve all probably been guilty of not listening to what was said and then meekly repeated the words verbatim while being amazed and relieved that we didnt flub our lines. Weve got that long drive down to moms on Christmas Day. Him: Absorbed in a playoff football game on television Her: You didnt listen to a word I said, did you? Him: What? Yeah, of course I did. Weve got to get the car tuned up in the next few days because of the long drive down to your moms on Christmas Day.
Okay, Ill get it tuned up as soon as Christmas is over. Getting the lines right hearing doesnt look as though it will work in this instance! Effective listening is really a combination of the two activities, which results in deriving meaning and under- standing from the speakers words. Listening isnt easy. Its truly a skill.
Tests have shown the following: We talk at between and words per minute. We think at a rate of to words per minute. We can think at approximately four to five times the rate that somebody is speaking, so we tend to think of other things than just what is being said see Figure 2.
Of course, the figures vary, but the fundamental point is that the listener is always ahead of the person doing the talking.
The Definitive Book of Body Language: Summary & PDF
The implications of this are evident. When youre listening to people, the radio, the television, or whatever, your mind has time to wander away from the words being spoken. You lose concentra- tion. And if you start thinking about something and it takes you over, youll blot out the other noise and thus switch off.
You might look as though youre listening, but youre not actually hearing anything. Since all communication between individuals essentially moves the relationship forward or backward, or keeps it the same, the way you listen and respond to other people is para- mount in promoting the relationship.
If you listen empathically, youre giving out the signal of Im interested in everything that youre saying and Im eager to understand your point of view. If you fail to listen and respond in the right way, youre saying the opposite. So how do we get the best out of the speaker by showing that were listening in the right way? Smiling tells you are non-threatening.
Subordinates are more likely to smile in the presence of dominant and superior people, both in friendly and unfriendly situations. Superior people instead smile around subordinate people only in friendly situations. The superior person will also make subordinates laugh but without laughing himself -or laughing less- as a way to maintain his superiority. Smiling is Contagious Barbara and Allan Pease say we automatically copy the facial expressions we see in other people.
Science has indeed proven that the more you smile, the more positive reactions others will give you. Allan Pease also found out that smiling at appropriate times -such as at the beginning of a negotiation-, produces positives responses on both sides of the table leading to higher sales ratio and more successful outcomes.
These people often talk about general rules to be successful but rarely give their details. The Twisted Smile The Twisted smile shows opposite emotions on each side of the face.
It can only be done deliberately and conveys sarcasm. Sideways-Looking-UP Smile With the head turned down and away while looking up with a tight-lipped smile. It looks secretive but in a juvenile and playful way. Laughing Makes You Happier Intentionally producing smiles and laughter will make you spontaneously happy. Smiling and Laughing to Bond Laughing is more than 30 times more likely to happen in social situations than when one is alone. Laughter has less to do with jokes and more to do with relationships.
Pictures of unsmiling men were seen as less attractive and decoded as a sign of sadness. Pictures of unsmiling men were decoded as a sign of dominance.
Women should smile less with dominant men in business situations and -or mirror the amount of smile of men- and probably more in social and dating scenarios.
Pease says that if men want to be more persuasive with women, they would do good to smile more in all contexts. Laughter and Love The authors say women laugh more than men in courtship. The ability to make others laugh is a dominant trait, so the more a man can make a woman laugh, the more she will find him attractive women love dominant men and men love subordinate women.
Very interestingly, Pease say men also become annoyed when one man dominates the joke telling, particularly so when there are women around who are laughing. The men who are not laughing will think the joke teller is a jerk and not funny either. Arm Signals Hiding behind barriers is an innate behavior of human beings. Folding one or both arms across the chest we form a barrier as an unconscious attempt to block out threats or undesirable circumstances.
Arm Crossing Crossing arms in front of the chest is a sign that someone is nervous, negative or defensive. As long as someone keeps an arms folded position, a negative attitude will persist. A good idea can be then to give the person something to hold on that will lead them to unfold their arms. For the law of cause and effect, having neutral people crossing arms in front of your chest also give you more negative thoughts about the speaker and you will retain less information.
Arms crossing will also send out a message to the people around you though, and that message is likely to be negative. Reinforced Arms-Crossing Clenched fists with crossed arms show hostility on top of defensiveness. A conciliatory approach is recommended. Arm-Gripping In the Doubled Arm Grip the person tightly grips both his upper arms to further strengthen his barrier. It shows a negative, restrained attitude.
Pease says that in court, the claimant maybe using a first clenched arms crossed while the defendant may have adopted the double arm grip position. A general manager greeting new employees for example will not cross his hands and will either keep his hands to his side, behind his back superiority or in his pockets non involvement.
If the GM know met a young up and coming superior type, the younger gun might cross his arm but keep his thumbs sticking out and pointing up.
The Importance of Body Language & the Non-Verbal Communication
The thumbs up show a positive and self confident attitude. Also very interestingly, the authors say that defensive and submissive will be shown in symmetrical positions, while defensive and dominant will take an asymmetrical pose.
Thumbs Up If the Thumbs-Up-Arms-Crossed appears towards the end of a presentation, chances are you can go ahead and ask for the order. Hugging Ourselves Barbara and Allan Pease say we hug ourselves when are stressed or we find ourselves in tense situations.
Of course our self hugs are more masked. For example one arm might reach out to the other upper arm -mostly used by women- and recreating the feeling of how their mothers held them. But their nervousness will still often leak. For example, they might reach out with an arm to the bag on the other side, or fix their watches or bracelet, or shirt cuffs. Women can often clasp on their purses. Gauging Our Speaking Partner Offering a refreshment is a great way of gauging where the other person stands.
They can also hold it to the side, thus crossing their arm in front of their body, or hold it to the side, thus opening up. Arms and Armrest Planting your elbows on the armrest is a position of power. Letting your arms fall on the inside of the chair is the position that humble, defeated individuals will take. Pease said that worked well because the elbow is a safe area to touch, second because touching a stranger is not considered normal so it created a powerful impression and third, the most important of all, a touch creates a momentary bond between two people.
Touching above or below the elbow did not produce the same positive effects, and touching for more than 3 seconds also had a negative response. Looking at conversation outside cafes indeed showed touches an hour in Rome, in Paris, 25 in Sindey, 4 in NY and 0 in London. Women were four times more likely to touch another woman than a man another man. A famous experiment with a librarian slightly brushing the hand while issuing a book also had powerful effects, with the borrowers being touched responding more favorably to all the question and more likely to recall the name of the librarian.
Read also: 4 ways men touch women wrong. Cultural Differences I fully agree with Barbara and Allan Pease when they say the world is becoming more and more similar and the basics are the same almost everywhere. Pictures of happiness, anger, fear, sadness, disgust and surprise in 21 different cultures registered mostly the same responses everywhere. Japan was the exception which described fear as surprise.
The biggest cultural differences exist mainly in relation to territorial space, eye contact, touch frequency and insult gestures. The regions with the most local signals are Arab countries, parts of Asia and Japan. Pease says that we do business with people who make as feel comfortable and it comes down to sincerity and good manners. Hand and Thumb Gestures How to Spot Which Option We Prefer Right-handed people give their favorite point of view or summarize their favorite contestant with their right hand and left handed people with their left.
Rubbing Palms Rubbing the palms together is a sign of positive expectation. A quick rub signals the person expects the benefits to be for you, Slow rubbing signals the expectation is for them to profit. Sales people are instructed to rub hands quickly indeed. Hands Clenched Together Barbara and Allan Pease say Hands Clenched Together can be mistaken for a signal confidence as people are often seeing smiling when using it.
It is though a gesture showing anxious, restrained or negative attitude.
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During negotiation it can be frustration gesture signaling a negative or anxious attitude. The person using feels they are either not convincing the other person or felt like they were losing the negotiation. The hands can be held in front of the face, on a desk on the lap or low in front of the crotch. There seem to be a correlation between height and frustration: the higher the hands clenched position, the higher the degree of frustration. As for arms crossed then, you should take action to let the person un-clench his hands.
A favorite of Angela Merkel, The steeple is frequently used in interactions between superior and subordinates and it shows a confident, self assured personality. The steeple is usually held high when speaking and held lower when listening. Women tend to use the lower steeple more often. The raised steeple with the head tilted back gives more arrogant and smug air.
The steeple can also be a sign of negative confidence. If you are delivering a presentation or a sale and the client was folding arms, crossing legs, looking away and having many hand to face gestures and then he assumes a steeple your prospect is feeling confident he will say and that he will easily get rid of you. The Face Platter Resting the face on both hands can be a gesture used by women during romantic encounters or dates.
She is placing her face there for you to admire it and to attract your attention. If you are interested in more sex signals, take a look at Undercover Sex Signals. High military, headmasters at school, royalty and policemen will usually use it.
The person is fully exposing his body in a show of fearlessness. Cause and effect also applies, so if you use this pose in high stress situations you will also begin to feel confident and even authoritative. If however the person is holding his wrist behind his back it communication frustration and an attempt to self restrain, and the higher up is the grip, the higher is the frustration. Thumb Displays Barbara and Allan Pease say that thumbs denote superiority, and body language gestures using the thumb show self important attitudes.
Thumbs indeed are used to display dominance, assertiveness and sometimes even aggressive attitude. You will rarely see low status individuals using it. Thumbs coming out of back pockets are a bit of a tamer pose, as if the person was trying to hide the dominant attitude. Pointing at someone with the thumb is usually a gesture of ridicule and disrespect towards the person you point your thumb at. None of the subordinate is likely to do it around the boss. You can sometimes see people with the hands in their pockets and thumbs sticking out but their arms folded.
The folded arms is defensive or negative, while the thumbs out show a superior attitude. Evaluation and Deceit Signals I love when Barbara and Allan Pease say that lying is the oil greasing social interactions. Research shows that social liars are more popular than people who continually tell the truth even though we know the social liar is not being fully forthcoming. Malicious lies, of course, are a different beast. Women are Better Liars Allan and Barbara Pease say women are better at reading emotions and even better at telling lies.
Lying is easier behind something that will cover part or all of your body. Behind a desk for example, peering over a fence, from behind a door or, of course, via telephone or email.
Note: Allan and Baraba Pease here seem quite encouraging about the fact you can spot lies. This is in contrast to FBI agent Joe Navarro who takes a strong stand in saying spotting lies is notoriously difficult and unreliable. These are some indicators of lies: Mouth Cover, or anything similar, could be a fake cough.
Nose Touch can such an indicator and people tend to smile less when lying. The itching can actually be real Eye Rub. But since most people are aware of that, they will swing in the other direction keeping eye contact more than they normally would -and get rarely caught- Foot Movement Boredom Supporting the hand with your hands is a sign of boredom.
If they want to feign interest but are starting to the bored the palm will start supporting the head. The index can rub or pull the eye if the negative thoughts persist. It can be mistaken for interest, but the difference is the supporting thumb under the chin. Decision Making Chin stroking is a sign that a person is thinking about what to say or what to decide. Stalling Clusters People wearing glasses can take them off and put one arm of the frame in their mouth, a smoker will take a puff of smoke and someone with a pen can put the in their mouth.
Putting objects in the mouth is a sign that the person feels like he needs more time and wants to delay an answer. Head Rubbing and Slapping When someone forgot something or did a blunder they might slap their own head to communicate forgetfulness.
If they slap their forehead they signal they are not intimidated by you, if they slap the back of the neck it says you are actually a pain in the neck.
Habitually rubbing the back of the neck says that someone tends to be more negative or critical, while those rubbing the forehead tend to be more open and easygoing. Eye Signals Barbara and Allan Pease say that women have a wider peripheral vision, men tend to have more tunnel vision. Women can look at you better without moving their eyes. Pupils Dilated pupils are a sign of attraction.
This is why lighter eyes are considered more attractive: because you can more clearly recognize a dilated pupil and this is why romantic encounters tend to be more successful in dimly lit places: the pupil dilates naturally. Interestingly, people are better at decoding eye signals than they are at decoding body language. Women are good at deciphering it, men not as much. Eyebrow Flash The Definitive Book of Body Language says that the eyebrow flash is the eyebrow raising rapidly for a split second.
Eyebrow Signals Lowing the eyebrows shows dominance or aggression and raising the eyebrows shows submission. Looking Up Barbara and Allan Pease say that lowering the head and looking up is a submissive gesture women use to appeal to men.
It makes the eyes seem larger and makes the woman more childlike.To appear taller, dark colored clothing, pinstriped suits or pants suits and full sizes watches make you look taller. Women judge men who use facial feedback as caring, intelligent, interesting and attractive.
Women are good at deciphering it, men not as much. For example, consider this: Anne: Did you enjoy the cruise, Charlotte? Seated Body Pointing When we are seated we can point our knees towards the person we are most interested in or towards the person we accept the most.