The Definitive Book of Body Languageby Allan Pease
The Definitive Book of Body Language is an in-depth exploration of nonverbal communication. Authored by an experienced commission salesman, it draws on research from behavioural scientists and practical advice from other fields such as sociology, anthropology, zoology, education, psychiatry, family counseling, professional negotiating and selling. It equips readers with the tools to make every interaction with another person an engaging and rewarding experience.
Nonverbal Communication: Universal, but Different
Nonverbal communication is a form of communication that is understood by people all over the world, but the meaning of the gestures can vary from culture to culture. Common gestures such as smiling, baring the teeth, and the shoulder shrug are generally understood the same way in most cultures. However, the ring gesture, the thumb-up, and the V sign can have different meanings in different cultures. To avoid any misunderstandings, it is important to understand the cultural context in which a gesture is used and to follow the local customs. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the power and superiority signals that can be conveyed through gestures, as well as the V sign, which can have an offensive interpretation in some cultures.
Actions to take
Non-verbal Communication is Key
Non-verbal communication is an essential part of communication, and can often be more powerful than verbal communication. To interpret body language accurately, it is important to observe the gestures and how they match up with the verbal communication. Non-verbal communication can be affected by physical restrictions, disabilities, status, power, and age. Personal space is also important in relationships and social situations, and the distance between two people's hips when they kiss can tell you something about their relationship. Cultural factors also play a role in determining the amount of personal space required, with Europeans having an intimate distance of 20 to 30 centimetres, while Australians have an intimate distance of 46 centimetres. It is important to respect the personal space of people from different cultures, as they may have different expectations of the distance between them. The amount of personal space required by an individual is related to the population density of the area in which he was brought up.
Actions to take
Using hand gestures to communicate non-verbally.
Allan Pease has noted that hand gestures can be used to communicate non-verbally and express a range of emotions. They can also be used to detect deceit. For example, the mouth guard gesture is a sign of trying to suppress deceitful words, while the nose touch gesture is a more subtle version of the same. The eye rub gesture is a signal of the brain attempting to block out the deceit, doubt or lie that it sees. The ear rub gesture is an attempt by the listener to ‘hear no evil’ and block out the words. The neck scratch gesture is a signal of doubt or uncertainty, while the collar pull gesture is used when a person is feeling angry or frustrated.