Learning how to effectively read Body Language cues may help at work and at home.
Many people are aware that body language gives insight to a person’s thoughts. Being aware of a person’s motivations can help interpret their emotions and encourage better interactions.
A recent UCLA study shows just how much of an impact body language has on interpersonal relations. According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, “Only 7% of communication is based on the actual words we say. As for the rest, 38% comes from tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from body language. Learning how to become aware of and to interpret that 55% can give you a leg up with other people.”
Tips for Reading Body Language
Dr. Bradberry offers tips for reading body language.
- Crossed arms and legs signal resistance to your ideas. Studies have shown that crossed arms and legs are barriers that show the other person is not open to what you’re saying.
- Real smiles crinkle the eyes. People may be able to fake a smile with their mouth, but the eyes don’t lie, according to Dr. Bradberry.
- Copying your body language is a good thing. Mirroring body language shows that the other person is receptive to your ideas.
- Posture tells the story. Dr. Bradberry writes that a dominant presence can be conveyed with, “erect posture, gestures made with the palms facing down, and open or expansive gestures in general.”
- Prolonged eye contact. The notion that people can’t make eye contact when lying is so commonly held that it can sometimes be flipped. Beware the unblinking, laser-focused stare – the person may be evading the truth.
- Raised eyebrows signal discomfort. Be aware that a person with raised eyebrows may be experiencing surprise, worry or fear. Responding with comforting acknowledgement can help set the person at ease.
- Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval.
- A clenched jaw signals stress. Additionally, a tightened neck and furrowed brow are also stress signs. “The conversation might be delving into something they’re anxious about, or their mind might be elsewhere and they’re focusing on the thing that’s stressing them out,” according to Dr. Bradberry.
This article from Dr. Bradberry was shared with Kathryn and others at a recent Milford/Highland networking meeting by Julie Hill, Comcast Spotlight Advertising Account Executive. The Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce Networking Group is a fantastic resource for local business owners. In addition to supporting one-another’s marketing efforts, the group also shares tips for effective business outreach.
Reading body language is a necessary tool for all businesses but especially law practice. Experienced attorneys like Kathryn Wayne-Spindler use body language cues to help put her clients at ease, determine when others are avoiding a topic, and encourage positive, stress-free negotiations. Kathryn’s ability to read people’s emotions through non-verbal cues makes her a successful litigator and mediator. For a free consultation, contact Highland Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000. Kathryn handles cases throughout five Southeastern Michigan counties including Oakland, Wayne, Washtenaw, Livingston and Genesee. She helps clients in Milford, Highland, Hartland, Waterford, Wixom, White Lake, Walled Lake, New Hudson, South Lyon, Howell, Holly, Grand Blanc and many more local communities.
Written and Posted by Christine Donlon Long
Communications’ Specialist for Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates