Jan Hargrave reads body language for the CIA, the police, is involved in jury selection and works with many businesses around the world. As leaders most of us focus all a lot of our attention on what we say, rather than how we say it. What is interesting is that content accounts for only 7% of our impact. Our physical presence or body language accounts for approximately 55% whilst 38% comes from our tone and intonation. The saying "it is not what you say, but how you say it" is true - 45% of the time, but what is more important is what is your body saying?
What did I learn?
Making eye contact is important and the more difficult the conversation the more important it is. This one is obvious, but not something we always do as leaders, especially when courageous conversations are required.
Folded arms are not always a sign of disengagement. If you can see the persons fingers this means that they are still open to what you are saying.
Rubbing your nose with your left hand is a sign of lying... watch out if you have a cold.
When people hold their hands in a steeple position, either facing up or down it is a sign of engagement and confidence. This is a great buying sign.
And, if a man pulls up his socks whilst he is talking to you he thinks you are hot!!
Here's a short clip