Body Language in Business: Decoding the Signals by Adrian Furnham

By Adrian Furnham

This cutting edge new paintings clarifies the misconceptions aroundbody language whereas supplying a systematic method of knowing non-verbal communicationat paintings. The authors clarify why it's so very important to appreciate physique language in company, combining demanding study facts with unambiguous information and useful purposes.

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Symbolism: usually of warmth, friendship and inclusion. The handshake is one of the most over-interpreted of body signals. We are told that it is an integral part of personality and a symbol of a power struggle. Whose hand is “on top”, how vice-like the grip and 46 THE SIGNAL SYSTEM the weight-on-the-foot relative to the hand are all supposed to provide information. The hand has “palm power”: one can have a submissive, recipient, open gesture – like a beggar – or a more aggressive, palmdown gesture.

While body language is particularly important in some situations, it is also possible to over-emphasize the power of the medium by attributing to it more significance than it is capable of delivering. 22 2 THE SIGNAL SYSTEM What are the major components of body language? What are the most important nonverbal behaviors we need to attend to? What do very specific behaviors tell us? Traditionally, researchers have “split up” the different types of bodily communication. Thus there are books, papers and experts on eye gaze as well as experts focusing on gestures alone.

We reciprocate and in social 31 BODY LANGUAGE IN BUSINESS groups it can be contagious. People respond to those who smile, and evaluate them differently and more positively than those who do not. As the old saying goes: “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone”. This sets up a virtuous cycle for the smiler and a vicious cycle for the non-smiler. Thus in sales, hospitality and negotiation situations, the person who smiles first increases the possibility of the other person(s) smiling, which increases trust and liking and, therefore, also cooperation and helpfulness.

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