Body language in Business

People often focus on words, and what verbal language conveys to them from people who are negotiating, or hiring, or working. However, we are losing a large part of the communicational information: we are losing the non-verbal. Paul Ekman, a pioneer psychologist in the study of emotions and their facial expression, assures us that we do not register 80% of the communication process on a daily basis by not taking into account facial and postural expressions.
The challenge is: How can we reach an effective negotiation without taking into account Body Language? That is why here we offer you brief tips so that in your next meeting, negotiation, or recruitment you can use them, and generate the correct message. But be careful, these gestures should not be analyzed in isolation, but in a set, otherwise, you can fall into a misinterpretation of your interlocutor.

Tip 1: Hand on the chin

If they show themselves with their hand on their chin they are willing to listen to you and think about what you say. However, be careful, because if your fingers reach the corner of your lips it can be interpreted as a sign of skepticism about what is being considered.

Tip 2: Hand in Mouth

It generates distrust or lack of credibility if you put your hand in your mouth when you speak (even more if you bite your nails). This gesture is also interpreted as “keeping silence”. That is why we speak of mistrust, because your receiver does not want to comment or tell us what he thinks about it, or is hiding information.

Tip 3: Hand on the back of the neck

This action shows you insecurity and is even interpreted as a lie or exaggeration. Moreover, you must be very careful about the hands-on heads, because a hand on the forehead denotes shame, a gesture that we have seen many times.

Tip 4: Nod 3 times

You can produce more empathy and liking if when you nod you do it three times. But be careful, if you do more than three it can be taken as a false gesture.

Tip 5: Don’t cross your arms

Crossing your arms hiding your hands is a sign of hostility. It is also accompanied by closed fists. In the case that the fists are not clenched, it can be interpreted as a gesture of defense. On the other hand, we must always keep in mind about crossing the arms, especially in position. If we cross our arms close to our chest, especially in women, it denotes fear or vulnerability.

Tip 6: Hand on the shoulder

You can build trust in someone by touching their shoulder for a few seconds. But only a few seconds, otherwise it will be another message to give. On the other hand, the hand on the back, depending on the shape and intensity, denotes different things. One hand close to the shoulder blade, and with slaps, shows a situation of power over the other. And as for the position, and accompanying gesture with the hand on the back should always be in the middle of the back, higher up shows dominance, and lower down constitutes an abuse of body space and can cause problems.

Tip 7: Crossed fingers

The clasped fingers project an image of frustration. On the other hand, we must also be careful with the gestures of our hand. Playing with a ring or an object denotes anxiety and inattention. If you are negotiating with someone who crosses their fingers, has an upright posture and backwards, and crosses their legs, know that it is very difficult for that person to change their mind, and if you try to do it directly, the posture may be accentuated. If you take the position, know what you are communicating. If your interlocutor is the one who takes the position, find a way to get him out of that position, making him stand up or looking for him to expand and express his opinion honestly. This will help you get out of position by taking an honest stance, and you will be able to achieve better results.

Tip 8: Cover the pelvis

It is a posture that shows vulnerability and submission. It is instinctive, natural, and prehistoric. We think that we assume it because «that is how we sit», but in reality we do it when we do not feel comfortable in an environment, and we have an instinctive need to protect our offspring. This posture occurs in all sexes and is natural to all cultures according to the studies of Paul Ekman.

Tip 9: Cross arm over belly

This posture shows that you do not have enough confidence in your interlocutor or in the situation.

Tip 10: Cross the opposite leg

To generate empathy you must cross the leg opposite your interlocutor.