How You Can Benefit by Understanding Gestures?

 

People can communicate different types of information at different levels of understanding. The
communication process consists of more than the spoken or written language. When you are trying to
communicate with a person, sometimes you get through and sometimes you do not — not because of what you said or how you said it or the logic of your thoughts, but because many times the reception of
your communication is based upon the degree of the listener’s empathy for your nonverbal communication.

A husband turning his back on his wife and slamming the front door without a word is her shielding a significant message. It is therefore not very difficult to understand what benefits a person can derive from understanding nonverbal language, since we communicate in a multiprocess manner. Keep in
mind, however, that your emotional relations, mannerisms, habits, and gestures are separate and distinct
from those of the person sitting next to you at a business conference or party, at a ballgame or bar, or on
the subway or bus. Also, dealing with people by lumping them into one category or another has more
dangers than rewards.

 

Observing and becoming aware of gestures is fairly simple, but interpreting them is something else. As an example, we have recorded, observed, and had corroborated by other researchers the gesture of
covering one’s mouth while speaking.There is agreement that this is an indication that one is unsure of
what he is saying. If you then find yourself listening to an individual who suddenly starts to speak through
his hands, is he lying? unsure? doubting what he is saying? Possibly any of these. But before you jump to
a conclusion, recall (if you can) whether the person has previously spoken in that manner. What were thecircumstances?

People can communicate different types of information at different levels of understanding. The
communication process consists of more than the spoken or written language. When you are trying to
communicate with a person, sometimes you get through and sometimes you do not — not because of what you said or how you said it or the logic of your thoughts, but because many times the reception of
your communication is based upon the degree of the listener’s empathy for your nonverbal communication.
Observing and becoming aware of gestures is fairly simple, but interpreting them is something else. As an example, we have recorded, observed, and had corroborated by other researchers the gesture of
covering one’s mouth while speaking.There is agreement that this is an indication that one is unsure of
what he is saying.

If you then find yourself listening to an individual who suddenly starts to speak through his hands, is he lying? unsure? doubting what he is saying? Possibly any of these. But before you jump to a conclusion, recall (if you can) whether the person has previously spoken in that manner. What were the circumstances? If not, consider that he may have had some recent dental work that might cause him to become self-conscious when talking, or that someone may have told him he has bad breath. If he has a
track record of covering his mouth while speaking, continue to Phase II of the analysis. After he says
something that you would like to test, ask him, “Are you sure?” Such a direct question can be answered with a simple yes. It can also make him very defensive, in which case you will know that he is not sure of
what he has said. Or he will react to your question by saying something like, “Now that you mention it, I
guess I’m really not sure.”

If not, consider that he may have had some recent dental work that might cause him to become self-conscious when talking, or that someone may have told him he has bad breath. If he has a track record of covering his mouth while speaking, continue to Phase II of the analysis.

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