Friday, May 26, 2017

Body Language for Project Managers

One of the more amusing parts of the project management course I just completed was this discussion of body language:
The ability to read body language is invaluable in situations where enhanced communication is critical. Basically, every gesture can send a message. Here are a few of the most important signals being transmitted by body language:

Head tilted forward or sideways is receptive, while a face turned away acts to distance.

A head tilted backward so a person can look down their nose at you is just what it seems.

Eyes that blink rapidly or constrict are signaling distress or disagreement.

A stare of longer than two seconds can be seen as a challenge.

Removing glasses while making a point intensifies eye contact, humanizes the face, and removes a barrier between the parties.

Mouth movement, such as licking or biting the lips is a sign of discomfort.

Thinning lips is a negative response. Yawns can mean some level of discomfort or boredom.

Shoulders that roll or shrug are a strong sign of receptiveness or submission.

Squaring of the shoulders indicates an authoritarian attitude.

Arms on the chair with palms up indicate goodwill and honesty.

Self-clasping, such as holding an arm or hands, indicates the need for reassurance.

A body that leans forward or toward someone shows attention.

Angling the body is a cutting off gesture.

A tie that is loosened slightly portrays openness.
There is also a section on how to improve your own body language, from which I draw the following mysterious item:
Try sitting as if someone were pulling your hair to the ceiling.

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