You can tell a lot about a person by watching his body language. A person can send you a signal without even talking to you. Body Language is nothing more than nonverbal communication or nonverbal signaling.
Bodily movements, gestures, eye contact and facial expressions are things to watch for in trying to read body language. A smile can easily be read. A smile can tell you a person is friendly, but too many smiles tend to appear that a person may be hiding something. Looking away while you are talking, playing with an ear and scratching a chin are all clues that the person is not paying attention, or has a different agenda. Crossing the arms is one of the most powerful body language signals you can get – or give. It indicates a defensive or hostile attitude.
Many businesses use experts in body language to translate what a person in an interview is really thinking. Lawyers in courtroom settings also often use body language experts.
When I first became interested in body language, I realized that I often listened with my arms crossed in front of me. For some reason, it seemed like a natural pose for me. After I realized that it put a barrier between me and the person I was talking to I stopped doing it. Watch your own body language as well as that of other people.
Understanding body language can be a useful tool, whether you are a student talking to your teacher, or you are trying to make a good impression on someone you are interested in knowing better, or when interviewing for your first job. Appropriate body language helps make a first good impression.
Head for the nearest library or go to Google to learn more about body language. You’ll soon be an expert.
By Lois Jamieson
Be sure to read these other posts on etiquette and manners:
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