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Body Language and Gender Differences in Communication
2014-12-09

Tonya Reiman

Communication is the means by which ideas and information are spread from person to person. People use communication to express feelings, emotions, opinions and values, to learn and teach, and to improve their status. Communication is therefore vital to human interaction whether between parents and children, bosses and employees or even husband and wife. The diversity and characteristics of those involved in any interaction can thus affect communication. Taking account of any diversity in interaction rather than assuming uniformity is important to achieving effective communication.

Good communication is difficult to master and can be a major source of strife in any situation or business. Gaps in communication arise when the intended message is not transmitted or the message is misunderstood. The resultant miscommunication is mainly due to the different styles of communication amongst people. In order to understand the differences of communications patterns we should begin by considering the different elements of the communication process between the sender of the information and receiver. In any form of communication, the sender has a message to transmit that becomes encoded. The receiver obtains this encoded message via some medium or channel e.g. verbal, nonverbal or written, which is then decoded and translated (as shown in the following diagram). In order for the communication process to work both the sender and the receiver must understand the codes. As an example consider the encrypted messages that were sent during World War II. In order for the receiver to understand the message, knowledge of the code was important. We can even consider the situation of an English speaker in Japan. For effective communication either one or both parties should be able to understand and communicate in the language of the other. Good and effective communication can therefore be affected by many things including the situation, time, culture, and gender. The assertion that gender affects communication in different ways has been accepted by a large part of the population today. Gender differences in communication may pose problems in interpersonal interactions leading to intolerance, resentment, stress and decreased productivity. This is extremely critical in business organizations but even moreso in your everyday world and therefore an examination of these differences in the first step to understanding the issues involved and moving towards better communication.

In any study of communication, there is variability in what is meant by "communication". Some individuals may consider only the verbal attributes whereas yet others will consider nonverbal interactions -- and the smart will focus on both. Additionally research studies have focused either on both the microscopic and the macroscopic levels of communication. The microscopic level deals with performance or perception of verbal and nonverbal behavior and the macroscopic assesses behavior on a global level (Canary & Dindia, 1992). In this discussion, both verbal and nonverbal aspects of communication will be considered.

Gender communication Many people use the words gender and sex interchangeably, however these words do not mean the same thing. The word sex refers to the genetic and biological status of being male or female, while gender refers to the psychological and social manifestations of being male or female, i.e. the socially defined, learned, constructed accoutrements of sex, such as hairstyle, dress, nonverbal mannerisms, and interests (Lippa, 2002). Gender therefore focuses on the social construct regarding the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex. It concentrates on the roles and responsibilities, expectations, and aptitude of men and women that are learned, and modified as a result of the interaction of culture, society and environment.

There are two views regarding gender -- the essentialist and the social constructionist views (Robb, 2004). The essentialist view gender as that with which we were born, being part of our genetic make-up. The male and female roles are therefore distinct identities and they shape behavior. However, this view might be somewhat limited since it does not account for the masculine and feminine attributes inherent in people. The social constructionist upholds the idea that psychological conditioning early in life leads to who we are and become as a result of the social interactions. Therefore in this view gender is shaped by society, culture and time.

What then is gender communication? Several have used the term to signify the differences in communication due to biology and others use it to represent differences resulting from social, psychological and cultural interactions. For most researchers gender communication focuses on the expressions used by one gender in the relationships and roles between people. The existence of a difference in gender communication has been a topic of interest for decades with generalizations being made between the sexes. A large volume of work has been published both in the mainstream popular books and in the research arena with linguistic scholars stressing the differences in communication style. While a large volume of literary work on the subject exists, the findings are not consistent and much controversy arises mainly as a result of the biased view of the mainstream publications.

Most published work on gender differences are believed to fall into 2 categories of bias: alpha where the difference is exaggerated or beta which presumes that there are few if any differences between the sexes (Canary & Dindia, 1992). The bias approach adopts the view that "similarities rather than differences characterize men and women" and that while "some noteworthy differences between men and women exist, when both within-and between-gender comparisons are made; the similarities are as important--if not more important--than the differences" (Canary & Dindia, 1992)).

The alpha bias can be seen especially with books such as Jennifer Coates' Women, Men and Language, John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, Lillian Glass' He Says, She Says: Closing the Communication Gap Between the Sexes, Julia Wood's Gendered Lives, and Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, that have sought to explain the gender differences in communication and fall into the category of alpha bias. Jennifer Coates (1986) wrote about her studies involving gender separated discussion groups. From her observations she noted that women reveal a lot about their private lives in their conversations, stick to one topic for a long time, let all speakers finish their sentences and try to have everyone participate. In contrast, men discussed things other than their personal relationships and feelings, change topics frequently, dominate conversations and establish a hierarchy in communication over time.

The hierarchical view in communication has also been emphasized in scholarly work. Males are said to establish a status hierarchy to compete, exert control and maintain the upper hand (Eckes, 2000). Females also establish hierarchies however these are based on friendship rather than power and accomplishment (Robb, 2004).

In her book Deborah Tannen argues that men and women approach conversation with a distinct set of rules and interpretations of talk. Men focus on status and independence; women focus on intimacy and connection--a difference that makes communication between the sexes problematic. She states that "communication between men and women can be like cross cultural communication, prey to a clash of conversational styles" (Tannen, 2001).

In a similar manner to Tannen, John Gray's (1992) book, based on participants' reports in relationship seminars, shows a clear and polarized depiction of men and women. Gray's theory is that women use superlatives, metaphors, and generalizations in their speech which men interpret literally causing miscommunication between the sexes. He also stated that men are more direct and straightforward in their speech.However he states that in addition to a communication difference, there is a difference in thinking, feeling, perception, reaction, response, love, need, and appreciation. As a result his book is often viewed as sexist by many feminists.

Dr. Lillian Glass (1992) noted over 105 sex talk differences in her book. Her findings are similar to those of Coates where she noted that men disclosed less personal information and spoke more loudly than women do. She stated that men use the technique of loudness to emphasize points, while women use pitch and inflection for emphasis. Other findings were that men tended to interrupt more often than women do, make direct accusations and statements, and ask fewer questions.

"Gendered lives" by Wood supports the theory that women use communication as a way to establish and maintain relationships. Wood states that women are responsive, supportive, value equality and work toward sustaining communication. She goes on to show the polarization of communication by stating that men use communication as a means by which to solve problems, maintain dominance and assertiveness. Men are less responsive; their talk is more abstract and less personal.

Communication styles The authors above have all promoted the idea of different styles of communication between men and women. To this extent, there are four areas where gender differences in communication are believed to exist. These are problem solving, communication of feelings, needs and desires, understanding of a situation and relating to it and the approach to situations. When messages are transmitted from sender to receiver, there is a potential for distortion of the message due to how it may be perceived. Differences in communication between men and women may be a result of this distortion or differences in the style and content of the messages. The styles of gender communication have been expressed as "debate versus relate", "report versus rapport", or "competitive versus cooperative". These different styles of communication are believed to be the cause of miscommunication. The commonly accepted differences in these styles of interaction can be summarized as shown:

    Competitive • Make more commands • Limited emotional content • Quantity of speech limited • Use of slang and/or swearing • Gives information Relational • Ask more questions • Discuss feelings and perceptions • Higher quantity of speech • Polite speech • Includes more detail The work by Tannen supports the view of "report talk" and "rapport talk" where her studies have shown that men engage in solution oriented conversations aimed at the main issue. Women however were said to engage in relationship-oriented conversations that targeted to connect with and relate to the other speaker.

Generally, the communication style of women has been described as being more emotional than men. Women focus on feelings and building relationships while men focus on power, and status. This is also shown in problem solving, where men take a straightforward approach compared with women who tend to establish intimacy, show concern and empathy. Additionally women are also seen to foster cooperation rather than competition.

Men display a higher percentage of task behaviors -- providing information, direction, or answers, and direct disagreement than women do (Eckes, 2000). They use problem solving as an opportunity to demonstrate competence, ability to solve problems and their commitment to the relationship. When thinking about the problem, they expect solutions, exerting power to accomplish the problem solving task. On the other hand, use problem solving as a way to strengthen relationships, focusing on sharing and discussing the problem rather than the end result.

Of course, not everyone feels there is a strong difference. This theory of two communication styles has been rejected by Mulac (1998). He believes that when applied to written work establishing a difference in communication between men and women was difficult. He bases this viewpoint on a study that reported on individuals of non-English backgrounds, of different ages and social classes who were are not able to distinguish whether written English messages had been produced by males or females. He maintains that if such differences exist in speech then these should be an observed difference in writing style.

Similar studies involving speech have been investigated to determine whether differences can be detected in taped conversations where the sex of the speaker was unknown. The results here are mixed with some of these studies showing no detectable difference and some studies concluding that a difference was observed.

Verbal communication The communication differences observed between the sexes range from verbal to nonverbal communication. When considering verbal communication researchers look into speech and voice patterns while nonverbal communication encompasses body language, facial language, and behavior Glass, 1992).

Literature reviews of gender differences do not help either way when considering verbal communication. The evidence shows that men are more talkative than women in mixed-sex groups (Eckes, 2000). Many linguists will have us believe that women are more talkative than men. Women are also considered to interrupt conversations and finish sentences. However there are studies that contradict the idea of interruptions as the domain of women. Scientists have sought to rationalize the reason for the lack of agreement between studies as being a failure to define what an interruption and to distinguish between the different types and well as the environment.

Verbal differences include the use of vulgar words, aggressiveness and a tendency to attack the speaker, dominate and interrupt the conversation by men (Eunson, 2005). On the other hand, women are considered as being polite and less aggressive. However, while there are differences in the speech patterns, everyone shows varying degrees of what is considered to be masculine and feminine speech characteristics. This raises the issue of stereotyping and bias, and the effect of other factors that can influence speech patterns. With the interaction of external and internal factors other than gender on communication and the controversy surrounding the two language styles, it is difficult to demonstrate differences in verbal communication based on gender only. As a result, nonverbal communication is seen as the area where gender differences in communication exist.

Nonverbal communication refers to those actions that are distinct from speech. Thus nonverbal communication includes facial expression, hand and arm movement, posture, position and other movements of the body, legs or feet (Mehrabian, 2007). Nonverbal communication or body language has been consistently shown to be different in the two sexes (Glass, 1992).

Women are considered to be more nonverbally warmer than men with a tendency to smile and lean toward others during conversation. Women also use a pleasant warm voice in conversation that is not characteristic of conversations between men (Eckes, 2000). Differences have also been noted with respect to the gestures used while speaking. Men are observed to use straight and sharp movements, while women tend to have more fluid movement. In terms of posture, women tend to keep arms next to their bodies and cross their legs while men often have an open wider posture -- arms away from the body and legs apart.

Another difference lies in visual dominance, with men being considered to be more visually dominant than women. Visual dominance is defined as the ratio of the time spent maintaining eye contact while talking to the time spent maintaining eye contact while listening (Eckes, 2000). Of course, one needs to take into account that women have wider peripheral vision allowing them to give the impression they are looking in one direction while actually looking in another direction.

In communication men tend to sit other side-by-side next to each or stand at some distance. Women sit face-to-face with other women or stand closer, indicating a more open and intimate position that help them connect with one another. For men, a face-to-face position indicates challenge or confrontation.

Nonverbal differences have been categorized as being:

    1. primary - hereditary characteristics of male and femaleness. In this aspect the developmental difference in bone structures of males and females determine how they walk, their gestures, and other nonverbal behavior. Body shape is also considered as it relates to nonverbal communication since it affects posture -- larger shoulders in man, and breasts in women. 2. secondary - modeling or observation of same-sex role models. Children model the behavior of parents and consequently learn to follow the patterns of same-sex role models, boys using nonverbal movements similar to their fathers' and little girls act like their mothers. 3. tertiary - popular explanations of reinforcement or conditioning for male or female behavior. Positive reinforcement of behavior increases the behavior, whereas negative reinforcement decreases it and culture is thought to shape appropriate behavior for boys and girls (Payne, 2001). In childhood play, boys are encouraged in activities that involve rough-and-tumble play for boys and girls have been cuddling and nurtured. Although this has been changing in recent times, this division still exists in some societies and cultures.

Nonverbal differences are said to exist along lines of the sex role expectations of society. Specific gender role nonverbal communicative behavior is learned however men and women also use other nonverbal styles not typical of their sex for practical purposes (Payne, 2001). Here the external influences of the situation may dictate the use of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communicative behavior is also affected by culture. For example the use of space varies from culture to culture, from an appreciation and respect for personal space to a negation. Studies involving the use of space as a part of interpersonal communication recognizes that "people of different cultures do have different ways in which they relate to one another spatially" with spatial use defining social relationships and social hierarchies (Payne, 2001). Examples include the difference in posture between manager and employee, the close proximity by Arabic speakers, and the traditional position of the male at the head of the table in Western society.

Nature versus nurture The concept of nature versus nurture has been used to explain the differences in verbal and nonverbal communication. It was introduced in 1874 by Francis Galton and since then there has been a debate on which accounts for the observed differences.

Nature relates to biological evolution, genes, hormones, and neural structures. In contrast, nurture is related to culture, social roles, settings and learning, and stereotypes. Nature and nurture both produce sex differences in behavior and gender-related individual differences within the sexes. Advances in biological psychology, neuroscience, and molecular genetics have resulted in new findings that provide evidence on the theory of nature versus nurture of gender (Lippa, 2002).

The influence of gender differences begins very early in childhood and can shape the communication of style of the adult (Tannen, 2001). Studies on children have shown that there are language differences between boys and girls as early as preschool (Eckes, 2000). Tannen highlights differences in the way young girls and boys use language in childhood, stating that girls make requests, use language to create harmony and use more words while boys make demands, create conflict and use more actions.

The differences in adults are thought to stem from influences in childhood such as parents and playtime instruments. In the first few years of life girls are more used to physical touch by their mothers during childhood compared with boys. Women therefore use touch to express caring, empathy and emotions. In contrast, men regard touch as way to communicate sexual interest, orders, and as a symbol of control. Men are seen as being more competitive and verbally assertive due to childhood influences of toys such as guns and swords.

A person's communication skills in addition to being partially genetic, are therefore also shaped by factors such as society, culture and education. Society often expects that a woman should be polite and well behaved. This stems from childhood when girls were told that it is better to be seen and not heard.

Status and Role One argument that has been ongoing since the early 20th century is that gender varies with status and role in society. Even with the advances in thinking, there still exists a division of labor that allocates different work and responsibilities to men and women in societies and cultures. Interactions involving women are characterized as being that which draws out supportive, cooperative behavior, whereas men interact to elicit dominant, directive behavior. A comparison of men and women in the same social roles is therefore important in the investigation of whether a true gender difference exists or the observed difference is confounded by status.

In addition, gender differences can also be accounted for by the difference in status. Research has shown that aggressiveness and dominance found to dependent on status on top of gender (Aries, 1998) and that the differences in communication are sometimes less noticeable in men and women at the same societal level (Powell & Graves, 1998).

Situation The context in which communication occur can have an effect dependent on who is taking part in the interaction, i.e. the characteristics (age, race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation), relationships and setting. Communication between friends may be less stilted than between strangers and acquaintances. In the studies of differences, strangers were grouped together and communicative behavior observed over time. Some may be shy, others concerned with making a good impression and yet others having a laissez faire attitude. These situations will not replicate interactions between families, friends and co-workers and therefore caution should be applied in the interpretation of the observed differences.

Meaning of Behavior Researchers consider interruptions to be a mechanism of power and dominance in conversation. They use this as a benchmark to demonstrate the pervasiveness of male dominance in daily interactions. However the context in which the interruption occurred should be considered before application of a meaning to the behavior. Interruptions may serve many purposes -- as a show of support, understanding and agreement (collaboration) or as a disruption or violation of the speaker's right of speech (dominance). Hence occurrences of interruptions cannot be considered without regarding the reason and function of the interruption.

When status and role, culture, situation, and assigning meaning to behaviors are taken into consideration as confounders, the magnitude of gender differences and the effect size can sometimes appear to be small. Taken into context this means that while there are some differences that can be attributed to gender, the overall magnitude of the difference must also include the interaction of several factors.

Masculinity, femininity and communication There are contexts in which men display feminine behavior, contexts in which women display masculine behavior, and contexts in which the behavior of is differentiated by gender. Behaviors that society label as feminine or masculine are displayed by both men and women; they are not always sex specific.

A study by Rahman et al. (2003) found within sex differences in verbal fluency. The researchers examined gender differences amongst heterosexual men and women, and homosexual men and women. The results of the study showed that homosexual men and women had opposite-sex shifts in their verbal fluency scores. To test verbal fluency, subjects were assessed on letter, category and synonym fluency. Homosexual men had the highest scores on letter and synonym fluency while homosexual women had the lowest scores for letter fluency. The differences were related to the difference in the functioning of the prefrontal and temporal cortices of the groups.

Four theories have been used to explain gender differences in communication. These are on the basis of biological, psychological/sociological, cultural, and religious differences (Payne, 2001). The discussion will focus on culture and biological differences.

Culture The word culture indicates the lifestyle of the people within a group and denotes the values, beliefs, artifacts, behavior and communication. Culture is learned being passed down from generation to generation, providing guidance for ethical and moral behavior. Gender communication can be considered to be a sub-culture since it is passed down from generation in the interactions that children have with their parents and other adults. This idea appears to validate the theory of nurture and its effect on communication. Tannen (2001) has shown that the role of culture is critical to the understating of the communication skills of a person. Tone, aggressive speech, and interruption of the speaker all depend on cultural background. In Asian culture, aggression is not considered to be appropriate behavior, with both men and women showing politeness in their conversation with others. Depending on status, tone is used to indicate displeasure.

Studies have shown that preschool Chinese girls are bossy and argumentative with boys depending on the scenario (Eckes, 2000). In the Chinese culture women are dominant in the domestic context while men play a more powerful role in business. Role play in which domestic scenes are performed show a difference in tone, language and behavior with girls showing dominance and boys being deferent. In contrast Western culture does not show such a demarcation of roles.

A literature review on gender differences in Japan and the United States looked at sex, cultures (i.e., nationality), and the interaction of sex and culture to determine which accounted for differences in communication in men and women (Waldron & Di Mare, 1998). The review concluded that there are not many major differences in communicative styles between Japanese men and women. A similar study on Asians in Hong Kong also found that although some, there was not that many significant difference in communication styles between the sexes. When the effects of culture and sex were compared, culture appeared to be the more important variable in affecting communication. The authors of this study concluded that sex differences manifest themselves differently in Japan than in the United States.

Biology and brain structure Gender difference in communication has been related to biological factors. This age old theory is regarded by some as sexist since it was used in the past centuries to subjugate women. The current view leans toward a biological basis of sex differences in brain and behavior. This area has been developed in recent time with an increasing numbers of studies in the behavioral, neurological and endocrinological sciences.

That there exist differences in the male and female brain structure has been the topic of academic research and popular books such as Moir and Jessel's Brain Sex, where they discuss the theory in relation to the processing of information. Differences in cognition between the sexes has been documented since the last century, with males showing great aptitude on visuospatial tasks and females scoring higher in verbal fluency tests (Allen and Gorksi, 2002).

Recent studies on structural differences in the brain of men and women account for the greater verbal fluency by showing that the corpus callosum (the huge crescent-shaped band of nerve fibers connecting the brain hemispheres) is larger in women than in men (Lippa, 2002). Since parts of the corpus callosum as well as the anterior commissure, another connector, appear to be larger in women they are thought to permit better communication between hemispheres. Anne Campbell's (1989) work on brain lateralization supports the theory of brain structure differences accounting for differences in gender communication. The planum temporale, a region of the brain involved in verbal ability has been shown to have greater symmetry in females (Allen and Gorksi, 2002). Campbell concluded that the female brain is therefore better organized for communication being less lateralized with functions spread over both sides of their brains. This she states explains the reason why women use words more expressively than men. Based on brain differences women are better communicators than men, a difference that probably existed at birth.

Current research using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) has shown that differences in brain anatomy of males and females may explain differences in cognitive behavior (Gur et al., 1999). The superior performance by women on verbal and memory tasks has been explained by the difference in hemispheric specialization of cortical function. Using this background as the basis for their study, Gur et al. (1999) found that parallels between gender differences in cognition and differences in gray matter exists. Results showed that the percentage of gray matter was higher in women and in the left language hemisphere and women outperformed men on the language tasks.

In a more recent study, researchers in France have found differences amongst males and females groups on brain activation strength linked to verbal fluency (words generation) (Gautier et al., 2009). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the study showed that there is a gender effect, as well as a performance effect, on cerebral activation. The gender effect was found regardless of performance with men activating several regions of the brain in comparison to women having high fluency.

These studies involving magnetic resonance imaging of the brain during problem solving tasks provide evidence that supports the theory of brain structure and gender difference in communication. Of course, results of studies are still being debated since some studies are being reviewed for having yielded conflicting results.

Some studies have shown that a difference exists in hemispheric activity in men compared with during certain language tasks. And a few studies have failed to find differences in functional asymmetry. Since the task used in the studies may not be comparable, then the results should be interpreted with caution since a difference in task is shown rather than a gender difference. The question of group differences in verbal abilities which might account for neurocognitive differences elicited between men.

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Body Language - Detecting Deception Webinar
2013-02-11

Join us as we reveal the details of deception in the upcoming webinar: How to Detect Deception in Business and your Personal Life Through Body Language and Micro Expressions Analysis<

Tuesday, February 19th at 9 PM EST

Everyone I meet asks me how they can determine when someone is lying to them. My answer? It's usually in the baseline. Discover the most reliable signs in our next webinar.

Tuesday at 9 PM, you can learn the signals of deception using body language and micro expressions. This webinar will be super cool as you will learn the significant tools of truth detection which is primarily what you need for lie detection. This is a gift that will cost you nothing yet afford you an opportunity to learn much. If you enjoy the webinar, I will offer you the opportunity to join us in New York in mid March to participate in an intense, one-day body language and micro expression bootcamp (more details on that soon).

To learn more details about the Detecting Deception Webinar visit: http://www.bodylanguageuniversity.com/public/256.cfm

Then write down Tuesday, February 19, 9PM EST.

Best to you, Tonya

Power of Status
2008-03-20

When dealing with power, chances are you'll get burnt if you do not take certain precautions. The power of status will need similar precautions in order to achieve results without getting destroyed in the bargain. As a salesperson you will come across all sorts of clients, and one among them will be the established, powerful tycoon who always gets his way. Nothing talks louder than money and you will soon be made aware of the decibels. When face to face with a powerful client you will be left in no doubt that you are in the presence of someone who may believes they hold your future in their bejewelled hands. So it would be wise to send appropriate signals back that serve to establish viable means of communications. It wouldn't require too much frontal lobe activity to figure out who your boss will choose to please, if has to pick sides between a replaceable salesperson and an influential client.

While interacting with some one used to commanding and getting things done at the snap of his fingers, you'd better be prepared to read body language like the French speak French. That is the only way for you to retain your head on your shoulders. Here you have a situation where your client expects you to know what to do, often without too much details divulged or requirements explained. You have to mind read and deduce and hope and pray, and keep your fingers crossed like a pretzel. Fortunately, there's body language to the rescue. You can immediately realize something's right or wrong from the quirk of a bushy eye brow or the sulk forming at the corners of the mouth, and adopt a more suitable tactic.

Now professional salesmanship is not at all about kowtowing or fawning, it is a job like any other. Your client however powerful needs your service or product. He has the money and you are the authority who has the information. This authority is something he does not have but expects you to possess. Your primary concern would therefore be to convince him, using verbal as well as nonverbal communication, that you are an authority on what you are selling. Your secondary aim would be to prove indisputably that you have the power to get this done without harassing him with details or wasting his valuable time. The authority and power you wield in your field is seen by him as common ground and if convinced of its authenticity, he will happily deal with you.

Unimpeachable knowledge about the service or product, delivered in a low, confident tone, with a minimum of gesticulation would sound highly convincing and impressive. To fully authenticate your verbal pitch you need to dress the part. The impeccable fit of a dark coloured suit that looks like it was tailored with you in it, would convey power, confidence, and authority like none other. Of course, you should have the accessories to go with it—good shoes, briefcase, and nice hair style and well manicured hands. Strong colognes and perfumes are best avoided as it might be distracting. Now you are talking his language. On the other hand an ill fitting suit or even one of a weak colour, and shoes that were wiped behind your trouser legs five minutes ago, would have you dismissed as inconsequential or a wannabe in the power and status club.

To reinforce your message you would need to adopt gestures where your body continues with the sales talk even when you've hardly said anything at all. Mirroring his moves indiscreetly is a proven way of coercing compliance without anyone being any the wiser. The best part is that once your powerful client is convinced of your ability to put up, they might even eschew the business talk and slip into casual conversation. He has decided, and now it's in the past. Keep up the camaraderie and soon he'll supply you with other big fish to fry. He'll recommend you in his exclusive circles and you get a toe hold that will take you places. Powerful people often pride themselves in their ability to read other people and pick winners. So if you can drop clues using body language to prove him right that would be one of the wisest things you can do.

Five Part Body Scan to Selling
2008-03-20

An accomplished sales person would have to be half acrobat half psychologist to pull off a deal, or he can use body language to advantage. Using every part of your body from head to toe in sales is an art that defies ballet. Let's start with the head. Of course it helps if have a head full of luxuriant locks, but even skin heads have to sell. And it is what&rsquo;s inside that counts. Right

The head is a powerful weapon, ask the famous soccer player Zinedine Zidane. No, you are not to head butt your clients into submission. In the field of salesmanship head nodding, tilting, bowing, and even shaking can convey a wealth of meaning. Nodding of course means acceptance, although I've heard of cultures where it means the opposite. So it might be worth your while to check who you are dealing with. They might be asking if you want a million dollars and you might nod yourself to the asylum when you later find out what happened. By itself, this particular gesture is too mundane to merit mention, but it is extremely useful in conjunction with others. For instance, the importance of making eye contact cannot be overemphasized. But there are occasions when clients find direct eye contact unnerving or even embarrassing. When you realize you're causing a flutter with your baby blues, move out and look at the eye-nose triangle, just tilt your head a little and nod. This breaks the jinx and helps your client rally.

Nodding your noggin when the client has launched on a long description conveys your interest in what is being said, and also that you most likely agree. Keep in mind, men and women think of the nod differently. Women nod more often than men as a means of encouragement and to let the speaker know they are listening but NOT always because they agree. Men, however, tend to nod when they agree with something. Abruptly stopping your bowing conveys that you would like to say something. A single exaggerated bow conveys that you agree completely without reservations. Bowing is also an oriental gesture that signifies greeting and respect. While shaking of the head is often meant to mean negation, if it is done looking down it shows commiseration and can be used to show you're on the same boat, whether it's a nagging wife or a bad boss. Gaining common ground is invaluable in securing sales.

Moving on to the windows to the soul. If you really want to convey openness, take that Versace off your eyes and lay it on the table. You have just made a statement that you are prepared to come clean and are opting for open communication. If your client does this, it tells you he means business and wants no fluff, just the straight talk. Making the right degree of eye contact is an art. If the eyes are darting all over it conveys inconsistency, dishonesty and worse, spinelessness. Stare too long at the opposite gender and soon sales would be the last thing on your mind. If holding eye contact makes you nervous, again, look at the eye-nose triangle &hellip;of the client, not yours. While you're not actually eyeballing you give the same impression. To show appreciation or camaraderie, bring your smile to your eyes, or fake it by crinkling the corners of your eyes. If you're worried about crow's feet, don&rsquo;t be, better to have laugh lines than worry warts as I once heard.

Your arms are never still when you are communicating. They keep furiously up with whatever you're saying and can sometimes express strong emotions such as hostility and arrogance way better than any words can. Crossing them across your chest may not be the answer since you might be perceived as closed to whatever is being said and is not amenable to convincing. If you place them on your hips arms akimbo, it signals dominance or at least condescension. To send positive signals use upward and open gestures that spell expansiveness. A show of palms signifies honesty and willingness to meet half way without being pushy. Of course, the importance of a firm, friendly, unsweaty handshake cannot be overemphasized. Remember, deodorant can be used on the palms.

Women can speak volumes with their torso and do not even have to be taught the science of body language to do that. It's a skill. That doesn't mean males have to feel deprived of something so important. To show attentiveness or to take the meeting to a higher level of communication you can lean your upper body gently towards the other party. Now if they reciprocate, stay where you are. If they lean away from you or stay where they are, it signifies that they are not ready for that level of intimacy yet. Then give them the space and move gently back to where you were. Now that you know this, don't feel insulted if they fail to reciprocate and jump back like a scalded cat. You can also align your torso with that of your client to show you're on the same plain. Torso can divulge how relaxed you are, or not. Your breathing can also do the same.

Moving further down to the legs, we come to a body part that is often ignored as far as body language is concerned. But they are quick to mirror your thoughts. This is evident in teenagers who are seated but have dancing motions in their legs probably in rhythm with some song going on in their heads or the ipod. Minus the ipod, fidgety legs display nervousness and a lack of concentration. If your legs are crossed it means the same as for your arms&mdash;you might be perceived to be closed to proceedings. However, if the legs are crossed with the upper one fidgeting by itself, it expresses anxiety or a troubling thought. If you're seated across a desk this is probably not going to come to your attention, and there's a limit to the number of times you can drop things to get a quick peek under, without you coming across as a bumbling idiot who can&rsquo;t hold a pencil. So the feet assume more importance when you are standing. If you have a habit of bouncing on your feet, stand with them placed slightly apart, toes pointing straight, so your clients can relax and stop worrying about you toppling over.

Building Rapport Through Body Language
2008-03-20

Have you ever wondered why it is that some sales people just seem to have a knack for the job? Not only do these "Super-Salesmen" seem to snare new prospects at alarming rates, but their repeat business rates are nigh on unbelievable. "What do they know that I don't," you may wonder. The short answer to this question is "nothing." Now you're probably thinking "that's ridiculous" - you might even want to stop reading...but read on. The long answer is better, I promise.

Let's start clearing away the shroud of mystery.

The simple fact is these salespeople don’t know anything that isn’t encoded into your limbic system. Up until now, you’ve been studying body language and its applications to salesmanship. You’ve learned all about mirroring and can spot a bored or angry prospect from the driveway. The only thing the “Super-Salesman” has on you is a new application of the same old knowledge. The Super Salesman comes to the door a stranger and an hour later leaves as a dear old friend. To his prospect, he isn’t just a guy “selling” anything. He is a trusted confidante; someone who would fit in as well on a family picnic as on a sales call. How did she gain that kind of trust? She certainly didn’t accomplish this feat by cold-calling in the middle of dinner. If you're familiar with these articles, you’ve probably already guessed how she did. That's right, it was body language.

"Super-Salesman" comes to the door with an appointment, a friendly smile and a keen eye for the unspoken message. He mirrors positive signs and skillfully circumvents his prospect’s subconscious negative gestures. Most of all, he is honest and open, inviting trust and confidence.

First, we'll talk some more about mirroring. The overall effect of mirroring is to create the impression of being on the same wavelength as another. This is a purely psychological effect in as much as when two people spend vast amounts of time together, they tend to adopt each other's habits. This is precisely the sort of familiarity shared by best friends and close family members who claim to read one another’s thoughts. It isn’t hard to see that mirroring tends to project familiarity, leading a prospect to feel as though you genuinely understand him.

Next, you want to be sure to project openness and honesty with your own body language. There are a few important things to keep in mind here. Avoid crossing your legs, even if this position is comfortable for you. Instead, sit with your legs together, both feet on the floor. Subliminally, this tells your prospect two things: That you are open and being honest, and that you are stable. The same holds true for your arms; don’t cross them in front of your chest. Crossed arms indicate a defensive or closed off attitude – and even if you don’t feel this way, changes are you will unconsciously be PERCEIVED this way.

Now lets discuss your eye contact. Try to look directly into your client’s eye nose triangle, move across from eye to eye to nose and back to eye again, especially when listening. Remember not to use what I call the stalker stare – (directly staring into someone’s pupils for long periods of time) as this can make your prospect uncomfortable. You want to project trust, confidence and understanding, which will not be accomplished by projecting creepy stares.

Most importantly, listen to your client and give sincere, truthful answers. There is no better sign in a sales relationship than getting a prospect to open up and do the talking. If you listen closely and sincerely, he will tell you everything you need to know about his needs. If you can honestly provide for those needs, you have a sale.
An ideal sales relationship is one in which both buyer and seller share feelings of mutual trust and understanding. Establishing these qualities early on will help to build a tremendous amount of confidence. By learning to use body language to project honesty and commitment, you will find yourself soaring rapidly into the ranks of the “Super-Salesmen.”

Liar Liar Pants on fire
2008-07-29

How do you tell when someone is lying? Do you think you can tell? Think about it right now.... What are the signs of a liar? Its harder to tell than you might think.

Most people associate lying with looking away or shifty eyes. Actually, a good liar will maintain eye strong eye contact to get around that stigma. This is why you must look for others signs and observe other movements or gestures that are clustered in.

Often times, even when the face covers up the lie rather well, the body pulls back the covers and exposes the lie. It might be something as simple as a quick nose touch, rapid blinking, a change or shift in posture, or pupil dilation, etc. You see when a person lies, their subconscious mind sends out signals to the rest of the body which plays out in different telling gestures.

See how many you can notice. When observing other people in conversation, look for things like a touching of the nose, rubbing the eye, covering the mouth, scratching their neck, grabbing or tugging of the ear, and even pulling at their shirt collar. Congratulations, you are on your way to becoming a human lie detector and you will be able to really master your interactions whether it be in a personal or business setting.

Appearance In Sales
2008-07-29

In this do or die field, if you are careless about your appearance, you die. You might be selling a combination computer coffee machine that also makes julienne fries, but if your appearance doesn't pass muster, your sales figures go down and takes you with it. This is one profession where that all important first impression counts for about oh almost 100 percent of client decisions. And this impression is made even before introductions are completed. Which means it is a purely visual process requiring no commentary.

While your impressions of the client might not be that important, their thoughts about you are very relevant to the outcome. So part of your job description would be to make yourself irresistible. A dark coloured suit in good condition and impeccable fit, is a must have. There's no such thing as business casual in sales. You can't go wrong in a white shirt. A medium width tie that just stops short of choking, adds to your personality. Women should avoid dangerously low necks, ultra short skirts, and long hair left untied, if you want to be taken seriously. Neutral coloured suits with either slacks or skirts are just right for that professional look.

Personal grooming is definitely called for. Shower, shave, scrub, scrape, scruff, brush, floss, rinse, do whatever it takes to look as fresh as a daisy. Also keep your teeth clean and white. Your hairstyle says a lot about you, so it would be a good idea to silence it with a neat, groomed look. Your shoes, briefcase or handbag should not appear scruffy and worn. Shabby chic will not be appreciated in sales. Your personal accessories should be limited to small pieces of jewelry for the ear for women, and it would be a good idea for men to desist. Any other visible body piercing might send strong signals of immaturity or irresponsibility, which though not acknowledged consciously, might wreak havoc at unconscious levels. Strong perfumes and colognes are best avoided as they can be distracting. The best scents are the natural ones – sandalwood for men, musky scents for women. Your hands are going to be on display a lot; so keep them manicured and clean.

Your appearance is especially important if you are meeting a client for the first time. Subsequent meetings may be on a different level since impressions about you have already been formed and filed. Even so, it would be a good idea to maintain your smart look and not dress down drastically. This may prompt the client to believe you were putting on a show and you are not the suave, confident individual you led them to believe you were. Once seeds of distrust have been sown they can become rampant like dandelions and be rather hard to get rid of. So cultivate an image and stick to it.

It would be equally disastrous if you were to go overboard with the wardrobe. It would definitely be a bad idea to flaunt designer clothes and accessories as if you wouldn't be caught dead without it. You might intimidate some clients, and disgust others. How you dress in your own time is entirely up to your inclinations, but at a meeting keep it simple yet classy. It would be a good idea to tidy up your car and keep the interiors clean in case you need to offer a ride, and it is accepted. It wouldn’t go with your image if you have to keep the client teetering on the curb while you haul armloads of stuff from the backseat into the boot.

Professional Use of Space
2008-07-29

Professional Use of Space and Crowd Behavior Space is relative. The distance from my space to yours is decided by my relation to you. None to 18 inches would signal intimate relations as between life partners, family and very close friends. 18 inches to 4 ft would be personal space, as between acquaintances and most interpersonal exchanges; and 4-12 ft is agreed upon as social space under formal situations. This science of the proximity or amount of space around or between people in interaction is an important branch in the study of body language, and has been given the name Proxemics. Someone has deemed it important enough to warrant a name—a very impressive one at that. Now that can only mean one thing. It belongs right up there with anger management and good teeth as far as a sales professional is concerned.

Now from a sales point of view this space can be magical in that it can get you what you want; a deal or sale. Most sales talk, especially the one-on-one variety would take place in the rather confining personal space of up to 4 ft. Your ability to manuever in this circle without having your client checking out the nearest exit would be where your ability and reputation as master salesperson rests.

Now it doesn’t call for a University degree to figure out how not to scare your clients off. First of all, your client is there because they are interested or at least curious about what you're selling. Half your battle is won. The other half rests on your ability to convince them as to how badly they need it to make their lives better, look younger, get richer, or get smarter and other seemingly impossible ambitions that only your product can achieve, and at a very viable, almost ridiculous good price.

To do this you will need to execute moves around them in order to keep them interested in what you're saying. You would use facial expressions, hand gestures, smiles flashed at just the right brilliance at opportune moments, and even your eye-brows and pupils. All this would fall flat with a resounding thud if not executed at the right distance. Too far and you seem not interested enough in what the client really wants; too close you seem intimidating or even worse, a pervert.

The boundary that separates personal space from intimate space is hardly discernible, especially to people who believe they are being very avuncular and appreciated, when you can literally see their epiglottis doing it's job. Any salesperson worth their salt would know not to step that close, or would learn this two days into their new job. So where do you draw the line and when do you step outside the line? This totally depends on what you're selling and to whom you're selling to.

For instance if you are in haute couture, it is absolutely expected of you to not only enter the clients intimate space but also touch, pat, brush the person and sometimes even fluff the hair of the client while helping them into that Armani. Then again there might be that one client who prefers to go it alone, and you're only job is to hold the hanger and stay out of their intimate zone. So this space business may differ from client to client to a considerable degree. Moving into the intimate space may be routine in the area of personal products, health and beauty, or fitness, while it most definitely might seem incongruous if you are selling real estate or encyclopedias.

The golden rule of space invasion would be that you shall not enter a client's intimate space without permission. So that would mean you may enter when you're signalled to. This won't be a blatant come-hither, so you need to be alert in catching this elusive gesture. When you start off both individuals keep their distance, and the boundaries are well defined. As you warm up, the no-man's land in between shrinks slightly and a degree of commonality is achieved but the boundaries are still preserved. Then, if your spiel has hit the mark and the client is really interested, they may lean forward ever so slightly and then retreat. This is when you mirror the movement to show you understand and sympathize with the client's needs and fears. Now you work on these needs and fears and assuage them, possibly with an extended warranty or by explaining the treacherous small print a bit more clearly. If that worked the client may actually move in your direction and not retreat fully. That's when you move forward, clinch the deal with a handshake and move on to your next prey, oops, client.

Three is definitely a crowd when you're selling. Try not to think of it as three against one, and that will bring down the odds considerably. After you've talked the talk it is important that you give the group their space. If you continue to haunt their personal space they may feel disinclined to proceed. So retreat ever so gently till they are ready to make eye contact again. Crowd mentality is usually controlled by a leader whom you'll recognize in less than two seconds. While you need to address this person directly, you certainly have to divide your attention among all members and make sure you don't ignore even one person when pitching the sales talk. If even one feels ignored it may work against you when they put their heads together to reach a decision. After all is said and done, the leader may not be the one making the payment; it might be the lady in the droopy stockings who you thought didn’t count, but now walks out with the others following like sheep.

Anchoring
2008-03-20

An accomplished sales person would have to be half acrobat half psychologist to pull off a deal, or he can use body language to advantage. Using every part of your body from head to toe in sales is an art that defies ballet. Let's start with the head. Of course it helps if have a head full of luxuriant locks, but even skin heads have to sell. And it is what&rsquo;s inside that counts. Right?

The head is a powerful weapon, ask the famous soccer player Zinedine Zidane. No, you are not to head butt your clients into submission. In the field of salesmanship head nodding, tilting, bowing, and even shaking can convey a wealth of meaning. Nodding of course means acceptance, although I've heard of cultures where it means the opposite. So it might be worth your while to check who you are dealing with. They might be asking if you want a million dollars and you might nod yourself to the asylum when you later find out what happened. By itself, this particular gesture is too mundane to merit mention, but it is extremely useful in conjunction with others. For instance, the importance of making eye contact cannot be overemphasized. But there are occasions when clients find direct eye contact unnerving or even embarrassing. When you realize you're causing a flutter with your baby blues, move out and look at the eye-nose triangle, just tilt your head a little and nod. This breaks the jinx and helps your client rally.

Nodding your noggin when the client has launched on a long description conveys your interest in what is being said, and also that you most likely agree. Keep in mind, men and women think of the nod differently. Women nod more often than men as a means of encouragement and to let the speaker know they are listening but NOT always because they agree. Men, however, tend to nod when they agree with something. Abruptly stopping your bowing conveys that you would like to say something. A single exaggerated bow conveys that you agree completely without reservations. Bowing is also an oriental gesture that signifies greeting and respect. While shaking of the head is often meant to mean negation, if it is done looking down it shows commiseration and can be used to show you're on the same boat, whether it's a nagging wife or a bad boss. Gaining common ground is invaluable in securing sales.

Moving on to the windows to the soul. If you really want to convey openness, take that Versace off your eyes and lay it on the table. You have just made a statement that you are prepared to come clean and are opting for open communication. If your client does this, it tells you he means business and wants no fluff, just the straight talk. Making the right degree of eye contact is an art. If the eyes are darting all over it conveys inconsistency, dishonesty and worse, spinelessness. Stare too long at the opposite gender and soon sales would be the last thing on your mind. If holding eye contact makes you nervous, again, look at the eye-nose triangle &hellip;of the client, not yours. While you're not actually eyeballing you give the same impression. To show appreciation or camaraderie, bring your smile to your eyes, or fake it by crinkling the corners of your eyes. If you're worried about crow's feet, don&rsquo;t be, better to have laugh lines than worry warts as I once heard.

Your arms are never still when you are communicating. They keep furiously up with whatever you're saying and can sometimes express strong emotions such as hostility and arrogance way better than any words can. Crossing them across your chest may not be the answer since you might be perceived as closed to whatever is being said and is not amenable to convincing. If you place them on your hips arms akimbo, it signals dominance or at least condescension. To send positive signals use upward and open gestures that spell expansiveness. A show of palms signifies honesty and willingness to meet half way without being pushy. Of course, the importance of a firm, friendly, unsweaty handshake cannot be overemphasized. Remember, deodorant can be used on the palms.

Women can speak volumes with their torso and do not even have to be taught the science of body language to do that. It's a skill. That doesn't mean males have to feel deprived of something so important. To show attentiveness or to take the meeting to a higher level of communication you can lean your upper body gently towards the other party. Now if they reciprocate, stay where you are. If they lean away from you or stay where they are, it signifies that they are not ready for that level of intimacy yet. Then give them the space and move gently back to where you were. Now that you know this, don't feel insulted if they fail to reciprocate and jump back like a scalded cat. You can also align your torso with that of your client to show you're on the same plain. Torso can divulge how relaxed you are, or not. Your breathing can also do the same.

Moving further down to the legs, we come to a body part that is often ignored as far as body language is concerned. But they are quick to mirror your thoughts. This is evident in teenagers who are seated but have dancing motions in their legs probably in rhythm with some song going on in their heads or the ipod. Minus the ipod, fidgety legs display nervousness and a lack of concentration. If your legs are crossed it means the same as for your arms&mdash;you might be perceived to be closed to proceedings. However, if the legs are crossed with the upper one fidgeting by itself, it expresses anxiety or a troubling thought. If you're seated across a desk this is probably not going to come to your attention, and there's a limit to the number of times you can drop things to get a quick peek under, without you coming across as a bumbling idiot who can&rsquo;t hold a pencil. So the feet assume more importance when you are standing. If you have a habit of bouncing on your feet, stand with them placed slightly apart, toes pointing straight, so your clients can relax and stop worrying about you toppling over.

Inverse Mirroring
2008-03-20

An accomplished sales person would have to be half acrobat half psychologist to pull off a deal, or he can use body language to advantage. Using every part of your body from head to toe in sales is an art that defies ballet. Let's start with the head. Of course it helps if have a head full of luxuriant locks, but even skin heads have to sell. And it is what?s inside that counts. Right?

The head is a powerful weapon, ask the famous soccer player Zinedine Zidane. No, you are not to head butt your clients into submission. In the field of salesmanship head nodding, tilting, bowing, and even shaking can convey a wealth of meaning. Nodding of course means acceptance, although I've heard of cultures where it means the opposite. So it might be worth your while to check who you are dealing with. They might be asking if you want a million dollars and you might nod yourself to the asylum when you later find out what happened. By itself, this particular gesture is too mundane to merit mention, but it is extremely useful in conjunction with others. For instance, the importance of making eye contact cannot be overemphasized. But there are occasions when clients find direct eye contact unnerving or even embarrassing. When you realize you're causing a flutter with your baby blues, move out and look at the eye-nose triangle, just tilt your head a little and nod. This breaks the jinx and helps your client rally.

Nodding your noggin when the client has launched on a long description conveys your interest in what is being said, and also that you most likely agree. Keep in mind, men and women think of the nod differently. Women nod more often than men as a means of encouragement and to let the speaker know they are listening but NOT always because they agree. Men, however, tend to nod when they agree with something. Abruptly stopping your bowing conveys that you would like to say something. A single exaggerated bow conveys that you agree completely without reservations. Bowing is also an oriental gesture that signifies greeting and respect. While shaking of the head is often meant to mean negation, if it is done looking down it shows commiseration and can be used to show you're on the same boat, whether it's a nagging wife or a bad boss. Gaining common ground is invaluable in securing sales.

Moving on to the windows to the soul. If you really want to convey openness, take that Versace off your eyes and lay it on the table. You have just made a statement that you are prepared to come clean and are opting for open communication. If your client does this, it tells you he means business and wants no fluff, just the straight talk. Making the right degree of eye contact is an art. If the eyes are darting all over it conveys inconsistency, dishonesty and worse, spinelessness. Stare too long at the opposite gender and soon sales would be the last thing on your mind. If holding eye contact makes you nervous, again, look at the eye-nose triangle ?of the client, not yours. While you're not actually eyeballing you give the same impression. To show appreciation or camaraderie, bring your smile to your eyes, or fake it by crinkling the corners of your eyes. If you're worried about crow's feet, don?t be, better to have laugh lines than worry warts as I once heard.

Your arms are never still when you are communicating. They keep furiously up with whatever you're saying and can sometimes express strong emotions such as hostility and arrogance way better than any words can. Crossing them across your chest may not be the answer since you might be perceived as closed to whatever is being said and is not amenable to convincing. If you place them on your hips arms akimbo, it signals dominance or at least condescension. To send positive signals use upward and open gestures that spell expansiveness. A show of palms signifies honesty and willingness to meet half way without being pushy. Of course, the importance of a firm, friendly, unsweaty handshake cannot be overemphasized. Remember, deodorant can be used on the palms.

Women can speak volumes with their torso and do not even have to be taught the science of body language to do that. It's a skill. That doesn't mean males have to feel deprived of something so important. To show attentiveness or to take the meeting to a higher level of communication you can lean your upper body gently towards the other party. Now if they reciprocate, stay where you are. If they lean away from you or stay where they are, it signifies that they are not ready for that level of intimacy yet. Then give them the space and move gently back to where you were. Now that you know this, don't feel insulted if they fail to reciprocate and jump back like a scalded cat. You can also align your torso with that of your client to show you're on the same plain. Torso can divulge how relaxed you are, or not. Your breathing can also do the same.

Moving further down to the legs, we come to a body part that is often ignored as far as body language is concerned. But they are quick to mirror your thoughts. This is evident in teenagers who are seated but have dancing motions in their legs probably in rhythm with some song going on in their heads or the ipod. Minus the ipod, fidgety legs display nervousness and a lack of concentration. If your legs are crossed it means the same as for your arms?you might be perceived to be closed to proceedings. However, if the legs are crossed with the upper one fidgeting by itself, it expresses anxiety or a troubling thought. If you're seated across a desk this is probably not going to come to your attention, and there's a limit to the number of times you can drop things to get a quick peek under, without you coming across as a bumbling idiot who can?t hold a pencil. So the feet assume more importance when you are standing. If you have a habit of bouncing on your feet, stand with them placed slightly apart, toes pointing straight, so your clients can relax and stop worrying about you toppling over.

Man Hug
2008-03-20

Are you a man that hugs or have you ever seen two men hugging and wonder why or what it means?

What are the different types of "man hugs" we are noticing today? Men typically hug with either one hand, one hand with a handshake, one hand with a back pat, one hand with a shoulder bump, two hands (aka bear hug) or two hands with a back pat.
It is interesting how times are changing in that it is suddenly acceptable for men to hug – even in public. Not too long ago this was mostly acceptable in the sports arena only. What do you think the "man hug" says about you? or about both men in the hug?

Let’s go through the basics of these hugs and discuss what statement or thought the hug might offer:
Men hugging in general demonstrates that there is some level of self confidence (of course, if you are not a man hugger this does not make you insecure) as the hug shows that the hugger is comfortable in his own skin. Usually the hugger is a quite extroverted person.
Men have also made it a point to almost perfect the man hug to ensure that it does not appear feminine at all.
Most of the hugs men partake in involve just the upper body ensuring the lower portions of the body never need touch.
When two men hug with a handshake between them it comes across as closeness with a small barrier between the two permitting each of the men to demonstrate their affection for one another while maintaining a sense of tradition.
This differs somewhat from when men hug and slap or pat each other on the back which offers a chance for each hugger to show regard while at the same time confirm their masculinity by hitting the other on the back (quite a manly gesture).
In addition, there is the two handed bear hug which is the only one in which the lower body has a chance to actually touch (most men, however, will pull back their hips to guarantee there is no contact). This hug is usually reserved for men who are quite close or who have just experienced a life altering event such as a celebration or a death.
Overall, the man hug is coming into it’s own. Men are much more comfortable touching other men today which to some might be alarming while to others it is quite comforting – proving that we can open ourselves up to new things, new emotions and new opportunities for closeness.

Reading Emotions - Anger
2008-01-06

Picking up on facial expressions - Anger Other than the obvious assumption that he would be annoyed at this interaction, how can one see anger in another just by looking at their face? That is what I want to discuss with you today. Over the next several weeks, we will discuss how to see emotions on the face. Of course, can you read some of those emotions without ever seeing the face? Sometimes you can… Anger can be seen by clenched fists right?. Sadness perhaps assumed by a forward leaning posture and lowered head. But, if the face is available for viewing, you can always see emotion on someone’s face, even if it there for just a flicker of a second before being quietly replaced by either a forced look of indifference or any other emotion the conversant might be trying to convey. Ok, so let’s get started. The first emotion we will discuss will be anger. What does anger look like and how do you read it on the face.

Ok, let’s get started. Let’s take a look at the picture below: What is

The first thing you notice about this expression? Yes, the eyes. Can you see how they appear to be piercing. Typically, when the gaze is this piercing the message is more intentional and more emphatic. The signs of anger are severe in that when you have someone who is truly angry, you will see the anger in three different areas of the face. You will see the eyebrows squish together and come down. The eyes themselves will either look wide open and piercing or small like two narrow slits. In the picture above you can see that his eyebrows are down low (you can barely see his eyelids), and his lower eyelids are tense. When someone is angry you will notice the brow furrows and vertical lines might form in between the brows. Move down the face now and see his nostrils appearing to be flaring, they look wide open. Move down a little further and you can notice immediately that his lips are tightly pressed together and he has a little bit of a bulge beneath his lower lip. That bulge gets bigger as the lips get tighter. The lips get tighter as the anger get more intense.

Body Language and Interviewing
2008-01-06

Job Interviews

Did you know a great majority of employment decisions are made within the first few minutes. Realize that during our conversations, especially the first minute, a very small portion of the first impression we give is via words. The remaining is based upon paralanguage; pitch, amplitude, rate, and voice quality of speech as well as body language. Click here for some tips interviewing.

1. Are recruiters aware of a candidate's body language?

Yes. Some are consciously and some are unconsciously. I have taught classes to managers on how to look for specific signs during interviews. The astute one's who are aware of the significance of body language will usually be looking for specific movements of comfortability, direct eye contact, interest, energy level, confidence, courteousness and honesty. The ones who do not consciously pick it up will just "feel" something for a candidate. This is why decisions are sometimes made within the first few minutes.

2. Depending on body language, what types of vibes can you pick up?

Vibes can be insecurity (lack of eye contact, poor posture), lying (lack of eye contact, scratching the face or ear), lazy (slump in chair), overbearing (sitting down before being asked to). Pointing feet in the direction of the exit (feet point to where the body wants to go). Rocking back and forth ( nervous).

Weak body language can cost you a job.

3. What are some of the most common body language flaws you have witnessed?

People getting into other's personal space, especially with poor hygiene. People closing their body language due to nervousness. Slumping onto a large chair instead of sitting close to the edge. Not enough eye contact or sometimes too much eye contact - what I like to call the "stalker stare". Looking angry sometimes also caused by nervousness and not have a "ready and relaxed face" - p;eople need to learn how to relax the entire face but especially the lips. Candidates adjusting their clothes during the interview or perhaps a woman adjusting her pantyhose.

4. What are some flaws candidates may not know they are committing?

Again, walking into someone's intimate zone which is 18 inches in front of them. Folding their arms which usually is perceived as defensive. Neglecting eye contact (looking at the area with the eye nose triangle) or the stalker stare which is too much eye contact directly in the eyes. Shaking a leg while sitting which gives an indication of bordeom, nervousness or insecurity. Crossing and recrossing the legs which also indicates unease. Rubbing the nose, face or ear - which sometimes gives the impression you are lying. Rubbing the back of the neck which is usually read as the candidate being bored (pain in the neck). Also, using space fillers such as um and uh are picked up quickly by interviewers and looked down upon. A silent pause gives the indication that you are really thinking about your answer and are confident enough to allow momentary silence. Fidgeting in general - while interviewing don't play with jewelry, don't twist your hair, don't jazz your legs, talk too loudly with hands, slump over in your seat, tap your pen, adjust your clothes or bring your hands to your face. Your voice should be strong - if it is too low you are giving the impression you are shy. If it is too loud you will give the impression you are overbearing. Find a happy medium. Also, Men should not rest one ankle on the other knee which sometimes indicates stubborness.

5. What are some examples of good body language?

Standing up straight. Open body language which means that nothing is crossed, your arms are at your sides, your legs are straight down and your face is smiling and inviting. Good handshake- strong and confident. A firm handshake should be pumped 2-3 times and then released. Handshakes should not be with two hands. Be aware of your hands and feet. Sitting with feet firmly planted on the floor (for women, perhaps ankles crossed). Relaxed hand position and proper gesticulations - always keeping your hands below your chin and within shoulder range. Make sure you maintain proper eye contact. You should be smiling when it is warranted - not during the entire interview. Proper head tilt and nod as well as leaning forward to show interest and enthusiasm.

6. Do you think nerves might influence someone's body language?

Absolutely. When we become nervous, we are not consciously aware of our bodies and what they are saying. When we are nervous we also tend to speak faster and at a higher pitch (because our vocal cords become stretched) which is usually picked up on by the interviewer.

Finally, go lightly on cologne and perfume - smells are very strong anchors - you don't want to walk into an interview wearing the same scent as the person who potentially dumped the interviewer the night before. Remember, proper speed of speaking, proper tone, proper pitch. Shoulders up and back, smile, confident walk and confident handshake.

Physical Appearance and What it Says
2008-01-06

Since a very young age my mother had always reminded me that "appearances can be deceiving". However, for the most part, society does not acknowledge or perhaps cannot acknowledge this tidbit of wisdom. How do we know this? Studies done indicate that infants under the age of six months fix upon faces rated as attractive by adults much more often than faces rated as unattractive by adults. Studies also demonstrate that one year olds prefer to play with strangers who are rated as attractive as opposed to those rated as unattractive. Could this be a learned characteristic? Studies done seem to indicate that mothers of cuter newborns show more affection towards their babies than mothers of less attractive infants. During the above mentioned study, each baby was rated for attractiveness via photographs by a group of college students. The mothers and their newborns were then observed for 20-30 minutes before leaving the hospital. Mothers of cuter newborns showed more affection to their babies by holding them closer, patting them more often and giving them more "baby talk". Mothers of less attractive babies were seen to pay more attention to others around them and be more concerned with things such as "diaper duty" (no pun intended).

What conclusion can be drawn from this information? Appearance matters..

Beginning in the infancy stage and continuing over into the adult stage – we rate individuals on their appearance. We are told to treat everyone equal, but we never do. On average, children will be mean to or avoid the unattractive, overweight, poorly dressed and "uncool" population. Unfortunately, this goes way beyond children. Teachers also favor the more attractive students. Studies show that teachers believe that good-looking, well-groomed, and dapper dressed children are smarter than their less attractive peers. From this, some children spiral downward onto the path of a negative self-fulfilling prophecy.

Just for a quick moment – think of a man wearing glasses – what is the first adjective you think of? Smart? Usually, that is the answer. Do most people unconsciously feel that individuals who wear glasses do so because they have read so many books that their eyes have been damaged and therefore they need glasses to correct the damage?

Interestingly, this is not new. The desire to be attractive has been around since the earliest civilizations. Excavations of bodies reveal that Neanderthals used natural pigments to paint their bodies. Ancient people stained their skin and created intricate jewelry and clothing to enhance their appearance. Women in the middle ages used a poisonous plant known as belladonna to dilate their pupils. Dilated pupils would make women appear more sexually arousing provoking men to find them more attractive. Of course, because it was poisonous it was potentially fatal. Did this stop the women from using it? No, women would use the eye drops, dilate their eyes and then potentially drop dead, but do so looking very, very good.

As a population, we have established what we believe to be the end-all of "attractive." Plastic surgeons have developed the model of perfect facial features and proportions. Plastic surgeons can now determine exactly how far a patient’s facial features deviate from the ideal face. They are equipped with the perfect measurement to determine what the proper length and angle of a nose should be, the exact distance between the eyes, the precise height of the forehead. The accurate spacing between the tip of the forehead down to the tip of the jawline. Everything to make you flawless. What have they discovered? For women, attractive equals clear skin, high cheekbones, shiny hair, a high forehead, full lips, small jaw, small chin, big eyes and a small nose. For men attractive equals large expressive eyes set in a smooth-skinned symmetrical face, a straight nose and rounded hair and jaw line.


In addition to having the perfect features, facial attractiveness is also based on the principle of symmetry. In a study done in 1994, photographs of male and female students were precisely measured at varying points to determine whether features on one side of the face were equal to the midpoint as the same features on the other side of the face. They then showed assymetrical photographs and symmetrical photographs to groups. Of course, the results pointed to the most symmetrical faces also being chosen as the most attractive. So what are the rest of us to do?

Overall, how does this affect us? Our self esteem is closely tied to our physical traits. Therefore, the more physically attractive we are perceived to be, the higher our self-esteem will be. Of course, there are those individuals who, regardless of whether or not people think they are drop dead gorgeous, still have poor self-esteem. Just as there are those of us who are perhaps not as good looking, yet still have incredibly high self esteem. Unfortuntely, the latter is not the majority. As you might already conclude, this tends to occur more often with women than with men. In addition, physical attractiveness affects not only our self esteem but also how others perceive us. As stated earlier, teachers believe that more attractive students are smarter, students rate attractive professors as being better teachers. Physically attractive people are looked upon as being more interesting, more credible, more trustworthy and more persuasive than unattractive people.

The bottom line once again, appearance matters.

Ok, moving on to the halo effect. The halo effect is the generally positive impression we perceive of someone based on an unrelated attribute. An example of this would be believing that someone who wears glasses is smarter than someone who does not. Another example would be a movie star who might potentially know more about phone service than I do just because she is on TV. What about the athlete who sells us underwear. Recognition, high status, and beauty create positive impressions that extend outward to other areas of our lives. This exists everywhere you look. Judges give lighter sentences to more attractive defendants, good looking people get better jobs, tall men are perceived as powerful, women with smaller breasts are perceived as smarter than women with large breasts. The list goes on and on. Men who are perceived as having "baby faces" were considered weaker, more submissive and more intellectually naive.

What about body shape? Typically, there are three different types of body shapes: Mesomorph which is represented by large bones and well-defined muscular shape. Typically the mesomorph has a V-shape or wedge shape which starts off thicker at the shoulders and narrows to a smaller waistline. The mesomorph is always in good shape. Endomorph which is typically rounder, shorter, plumper and softer battles weight gain daily. Usually, the endomorph holds a portion of their weight in their abdominal area giving them an apple shape. Lastly, the ectomorph. The ectomorph is usually seen as fragile and delicate with small bones and joints. The ectomorph usually appears taller than they really are because they are so thin and they constantly struggle to maintain their weight.

Of course, everyone is a combination of the three different types. Why is this significant? Because, although body shape is generally considered to be genetic, it can be adjusted by diet and exercise as well as surgery. Therefore, a person’s general body shape will also convey a distinct about their personality.

What does excess weight say about a person?

Those First Few Seconds
2008-01-06

Reading Body Language - Those first few seconds.... (part 1)

Everyone knows you are supposed to make a good first impression. Unfortunately no one ever gave us an instruction manual for making a knock-em-dead first impression. First impressions occur so regularly, we hardly acknowledge them . Most of us interact each day with someone new whether it be the deli clerk, a new colleague, a parent at a school meeting, or a waiter or waitress in a restaurant or bar. Today you're going to find out just how important that initial impression is. Then you'll find out what factors go into whether or not you've “hit it” right. Finally, I'll get very specific. I'm going to show you exactly what to do at the nonverbal level to assure yourself of the best possible outcome in every encounter you have.

I want to show you what the cumulative research shows. Not my opinion, studies and research.

You're going to get the facts. You're going to learn what really works. You're going to find out what...and why. There will never again be guesswork on your part in that all important first impression. Why is the first impression so important? The first impression is our intial (and sometimes only) chance to supply others with insights about who we are - this insight will usually be a lasting insight. It is also our chance to gain insight about the other person so we are better equipped to make the next move.

Imagine this: You are vacationing in the caribbean, laying in the sun, relaxing. The woman next to you strikes up a conversation. She speaks to you about the weather, the hotel you are both staying at, the staff and the resort. She speaks easily and breezily. You enjoy chatting with this woman and find that conversation just flows well. She packs up her things, bids you farewell and she is gone. In a few short minutes, you feel as though you made a “friend”. She was pleasant and easy to talk to.

Imagine this: You have just met a new co-worker, he seems very nice. Over lunch you bring this up with your buddy who immediately replies "don't believe it - it's all an act, he is actually trying to take your job away from you and I heard it from a good source". It could be that your friend is incorrect, however, that no longer matters. After you receive this information into your subconscious, it will begin to influence the way you interact with your new co-worker.
This happens to people all the time yet they never understand exactly what is happening. What made that women easier to talk to than some other woman? What made us suddenly question the sincerity of a new co-worker? It’s very interesting the way our minds work. Each time we meet someone we take a small slice of their personality, a tiny sample of their entire life, and and form interpretations. In essence, we assume it is a 100% portrayal of their personality.

Once we form an attitude or belief about someone, it takes a lot to change it. In fact, it is almost impossible to reverse a first impression. Studies done indicate that the information people initially take in has much more weight than information later assimilated. Therefore, if your initial impression is poor, you can only hope that many positive interactions will counterbalance the one negative interaction.

That is why it is so important to understand the basics of body language and to understand that every time we speak to someone we say so much with just our eye contact, hand gestures, facial expressions, postural changes and personal space. Once you have begun to understand the basics, you will find yourself becoming comfortable with those of your choosing much more often. You might even come to realize that people you don’t care for are attracted to you. Becoming aware of body language and utilizing the tools discussed here will help to make you a people magnet. What does that mean? Well, once you learn how to demonstrate positive body language and build rapport with others, people automatically like you - even if they cannot tell you why they like you. It is as if subconsciously they are saying “I like this person because they are just like me" - we tend to like people who are like-minded to us and those we find attractive.

First impressions affect everything and everyone. Studies show that job interviews are basically decided within the first few moments of an encounter and are based more on how much the interviewer likes the applicant as opposed to the requirements of the position or the background of the interviewee. Research out this year (2006) indicates that we determine whether we feel someone is trustworthy in just 1/10 of a second. Did you read that?? 1/10 of a second - a mere blink to conclude whether we have belief, confidence, faith and security about someone. That is pretty powerful.

I am sure in your own daily life you recognize that some people catch your attention while you barely notice others. whether you are married, dating or single you will always take notice of the most intriguing people. There will always be the girl or the guy who everyone has to look at, who walks into a room and literally fills it up. What is it about those people? They are not always the best looking yet.... there is something incredibly attractive about them.

So during those first few seconds of an encounter, how are we evaluated, how are we sized up? Well, sometimes it is just with a glance. Within a split second you can see the spark or lack thereof in a person. We are appraised on our visual and behavioral appearance from head to toe. Our demeanor, mannerisms, body language as well as our grooming and accessories are all looked upon and judged.

During the first few seconds of any meeting an important and large part of the impression is already made. Your conversant has made a judgement about you whether you wanted them to or not. Did you smile the right way, walk the right way, stand in a confident position, shake hands the right way? Did you sit in the right position, make enough eye contact, nod your head at the appropriate times? Remember, sometimes it is just about a feeling a person gets about you which of course, comes from the subconscious body language you are giving off. No matter what your verbals say, people will opt to believe your nonverbals. Congruency means everything... Becoming in tune to body language requires you to free your mind and explore your body movements.

The first few seconds is all you have to impress a complete stranger. Before you utter a single word, an impression has already been make by someone which can literally last a lifetime. Take a moment and think about how many times you have walked right past a person, not even picking your head up because you instinctively sensed from somewhere deep inside of you that you had no interest in this person. Perhaps this encounter was from a distance of 30 feet away, how could you possibly tell from such a distance whether or not this person was someone you would be interested in meeting?


How many people do you sum up and judge at a glance? The truth is: first impressions are the most important component of an interaction. Becoming fully aware of how we look (how our hair, our clothes, our grooming even our shape) has a powerful effect on how others perceive us and can make the difference between being ignored (non-person), being accepted, and being absolutely great. Recognizing that others will make several assumptions about you based solely on your initial conduct, you may choose to elect the assumptions which will be made about you.

What image are you projecting? Are you sending a professional image to the business world? Doing so can give you the edge when it comes to your career. Your first impression becomes a statement of who you are. Become self aware. Self Perception is a big part of communication. It's how we see ourselves and how we allow others to see us. Our self esteem and perceived image can have a major effect on our communication. It determines our self worth and the worth of what we have to say to others. Truth be told, if you believe that you have nothing of significance to say, why would others think you do? They won’t and not only that, they will instinctively recognize your insecurity.

Intention vs Perception
2008-01-06

11 Things They See in Your Body Language that Turn Them Off to You and Your Message Immediately

1. Toupee

What does wearing a toupee say to a person? So many of us with hair, both men and women, accuse toupee wearers of being not only insecure but also lacking self esteem. The balding man who succumbs to societies mandate for a full crop of hair lives in constant state of fear and anxiety over the possibility of being discovered. Is it fair, No. How many of us color our hair? I know plenty of women who wear girdles to make themselves shaplier. Women all over are getting breast implants, people in general have liposurgery, rhinoplasty, facelifts, botox injections, chemical peels, collagen injections, laser resurfacing and a ton of other procedures I will leave out. The truth is we all want to look better. However, the bottom line here is the perception we derive from individuals wearing a toupee. It is unfortunate that there is such a bias towards toupees when the wearer just wants to improve his appearance. Yet, this is the place we are at. The perception of insecurity and low self esteem is an extension of our feelings of pity for the toupee wearer. Sometimes, for the gentler of our species, it is actually difficult to speak to someone wearing a bad toupee. Please, realize although I am not speaking for the entire man made world, statistically speaking balding individuals are seen as braver, stronger, more powerful, and completely secure when you are willing to throw caution (and hair stubs) to the wind and shave your head.

2. Woman who wear too much perfume

We all want to smell nice and perfumes and colognes give us that sexy feeling. However, walk into a typical work environment and there is a cosmic battle for supremacy in the aroma arena. You are immediately assaulted by the stauch smell over strong scents which usually enter the room before the wearer and linger long after they have gone. how does this happen? Scents waft up the nasal cavity all the way to the olfactory bulb .

In addition, scent works as a primer or trigger. What do I mean by that? Well, the olfactory bulb analyzes the smell and then sends a message to another part of the brain where it is given a specific meaning or perception. Something unique. So that the recognition of a scent can carry a memory of a happy or sad event and trigger an emotion. Chanel No. 5 may trigger happiness in one individual and sadness in another. Lets realize the significance of scent in the workplace. What if for example, you are a female applying for a job with a male interviewer. You are wearing your favorite scent, lets say Princess by Vera Wang, you handle the interview flawlessly, you answer every question appropriately and your references are impecabble. In essence, this job was made just for you. What happens though if the interviewer’s wife wears Princess and she just asked him for a divorce. What do you think is going to happen the minute he smells your perfume? Do you think you are going to get the job? He may not even realize why he suddenly dislikes you, all he knows is you are not a good fit for this position. Could it go the other way? Absolutely. The interviewer might catch a whiff of Princess and suddenly recall a magical evening or a wonderful childhood memory. However, why take a chance? Why not go with what you know is going to represent you in your best light? YOU!

3. Poor/limp handshake

The handshake is important. It makes up a significant portion of the first impression. What does a limp or careless handshake say about a person? Usually it will say an individual is weak and has poor self esteem. This can quickly be interpreted subconsciously as a big negative. If you cannot even shake hands properly, how can you possibly be a good business partner, employee, etc. A poor handshake automatically leads to feelings of awkwardness and unease. This is one of your first opportunities to exhibit confidence and professionalism. First and foremost - can you do the business handshake? A handshake is a critical opportunity to establish rapport and show confidence. You can develop an immediate form of intimacy from the touching of hands. However, there are several significant variations that you need to be aware of to set the proper tone. The handshake should be done as soon as you introduce yourself to someone. To properly shake someone's hand, lean forward, extend the right hand vertically and simultaneously introduce yourself. How you grip the hand is also significant. You are looking for the "middle of the road" type grip which can suggest self confidence and enthusiasm. In addition, make sure your hand stays vertical. It can be seen as overassertive to clamp your hand down onto someone else's with your palm down. On the flip side, allowing your hand to be palm up when going to shake hands can be a sign of submission. Offer a full palm to palm handshake. To ensure you maintain control of the handshake, move to left side as the person approaches and extend your arm horizontally. The person who stands to the left of the handshake has the ability to dominate with the palm down if he/she so chooses.

Also, Keep your hands as dry as possible. Sweaty palms speak volumes about nervousness. Try to carry around a napkin to keep your palms dry. Also, cold hands are sometimes caused by nervousness so if you suffer from cold hands make sure you (discreetly) rub them together briskly before shaking hands with someone. A friend of mine who happens to suffer from cold hands will always shake hands with a verbal message “cold hands, warm heart”.

How long should the handshake last? The handshake should not last more than 2-3 pumps up and down which is approximately 2-3 seconds.

4. Avoid Eye Contact

Eye contact is crucial to establishing rapport trust and demonstrating sincerity. Eye contact shows an individual that you are interested in them. That what they have to say is meaningful to you. Usually we associate shiftiness and deceit with lack of eye contact. People who do not maintain eye contact are usually regarded as having something to hide or perhaps lying. Avoidance of eye contact can demonstrate a short attention span, it screams lack of interest. If you are unable to maintain eye contact others will automatically assume a lack of confidence. Eye contact is so significant is the United States, that it is a sign of great disrespect to not offer it to our conversant. Check out your own eye contact. Ask others if they have noticed whether you maintain eye contact part of the time, most of the time or all of the time. Once you have an answer, if you need to, practice. Videotape yourself giving a talk and watch the video. Notice when you seem to move your eyes away and then, once again, practice. Although sometimes it can be uncomfortable maintaining eye contact, it is essential that you learn this skill to help build rapport and gain confidence. Of course, cultural differences must be considered when defining appropriate eye contact. Keep in mind, some cultures regard direct eye contact as threatening, rude, disrespectful or impolite.

5. Poor Voice Quality

The sounds we make are quite telling of our current mood and can provide precious clues and insights during sales, negotiations, job interviews, and just about anything else you can think of. Here are some clues:

Pitch: Slight pitch fluctuation during conversation is normal. However, a monotone pitch throughout an entire conversation can be a strong indicator of boredom or indifference. A high pitch would indicate excitement, nervousness and sometimes lying whereas a low pitch might be indicative of anger.

Volume: Volume can sometimes be an indicator of anger as well, however, some people just tend to talk very loud. Speaking loud is considered disruptive and sometimes crude. Individuals who speak at very low volumes are sometimes thought of as insecure and shy. As an aside to volume, silence can sometimes be the “loudest” indicator of mood. Silence (when not necessary) sends a very strong message of how you are feeling internally.

Articulation and Pronunciation: You simply must know how to articulate properly if you are to be seen as a persuasive or intelligent individual. Skimming and combining words, example: djeet? ( translation: Did you eat?) Speaks volumes about a person. Incorrect pronunciation usually has a stigma of ignorance and incompetence attached.

Rhythm: The rhythmic pattern of your voice allows you to sound either unprepared or thoughtful. How? Well, sometimes pregnant pauses (when done properly) are perceived as thought provoking as well as thoughtful. Irregular patterns, however, might also been seen as uncertainty and insecurity when combined with other nonverbal cues such as wide eyes, nervous body language, high pitched voice, etc.

6. Fidgeting, tapping and jingling

Why do we fidget? Could it be that recent studies show that fidgeting can help to increase weight loss because it is comparable to a mini-exercise program? Probably not, as a matter of fact, most of the time people do not even realize they are fidgeting. In addition to weight loss, there are many reasons for fidgeting. Fidgeting is sometimes your bodies response to discomfort or being in the same position for too long. I think of it as the body boredom fidget. Pressure starts somewhere in your body and the subconscious mind reacts. You change your position and remain steady for a few moments but the pressure starts all over. Once again, you begin to shift. Consciously, you do not realize you are doing this, however, subconsciously you recognize you are uncomfortable and your body reacts. This is a normal fidget and is not annoying or insulting. However, the fidgeting that some do such as constant movement, drumming of the fingers, rocking, swaying, toe tapping, jingling whatever is in your pocket at the moment, jazzing the leg, biting the nails, touching the skin, and moving around restlessly, that is usually an indication of nervousness, impatience and mental boredom. It can be construed as a lack of confidence, control and competence. Be self aware of each of your movements. Recognize that each movement says something about you and your state of mind at any moment. Keeping disciplined gestures with the upper and lower body demonstrates that you are in control.

7. Talking too much

Someone who does not know when to stop talking can drive a person batty and can also lead to misinterpretation. Sometimes we are so excited to share something with someone that we miss the fact that their eyes have glazed over due to boredom, indifference or simple overload. Their body might be standing there but when you finally take a moment to look into their eyes, you see they are way gone. Sometimes we go on and on because we don’t believe our conversant is understanding exactly what we are trying to tell them or we believe that they are truly interested in all the minute details of our story. Generally, this is because although we had good intentions, we spoke too long and did not give our conversant the time needed to process what we said. The majority of the time, people who talk too much are considered self-absorbed, narcissistic, oblivious or “all about me” types of people. Incidentally, most people who talk too much do not think they are perceived as talking too much. This is a terrible stigma to have and once designated, can be tough to get rid of. Remember the key components to effective communication – a conversation is about sharing with someone not monopolizing their time.

8. Superior gestures

Don’t get me wrong. Superior gestures have their place. However, in certain situations, demonstrating superior body language can do more harm than good. What are the telltale signs of someone who believes they are superior? Have you ever seen someone lean back in a chair with their arms folded behind their head and their legs extended out. What about the individual who does not recognize your personal zone, not because they are unaware of it, but because they do not respect it. Superiority is also demonstrated by the individual who steeples their fingers together while you speak to them or while they speak to you. An individual who holds their hands behind their back while speaking to you is exposing their vulnerable front while establishing their audacity and courage. Some people will let their thumbs express superiority; using the thumbs indicates you feel in control of yourself and are filled with confidence.

9. Shifting and moving around

It is interesting to note that shifting from one foot to another is indicative of high levels of anxiety. This could be related to untruthfulness or plain nervousness. The same inference occurs when you cross and uncross your legs or you cross the right over the left and then change to the left over the right. Why do we shift from side to side? It could be as simple as your legs get tired from staying in one position. Or, you could be worried that your spouse has found a questionable email on your computer and you are still unsure as to what the outcome will be. Either way, when another is watching you, they are perceiving that shifting as uneasiness which leads people to question your capabilities as well as their trust in your competence.

10. Biting your …

Biting your anything can indicate anxiety, nervousness, deception and a whole host of other negative displays. Biting your lip during an interview can reek havoc for a candidate as the interviewer would question whether the candidate was indeed nervous or perhaps covering up a lie on their resume. Biting the lips can also indicate a lack of confidence or embarrassment - Have you ever noticed someone biting their lips and tilting their head down when they have done something foolish? Of course, some people just bite their lips when they are concentrating, however, it is tough to discern the “why” so it is better to keep the lips full and relaxed. Biting your fingernails indicates boredom, nervousness and fear, plus it is a very dirty and disgusting habit akin to cannibalism . Lastly, chewing on a pencap, pencil, straw, toothpick, necklaces, or the flesh of the inner cheek, all indicate insecurity.!

11. leaning into a person before they are ready

We all enjoy our own personal bubble in which we maintain our sanity. This bubble gives us an opportunity to observe people from a distance which is comfortable for us. Normally, our bubbles extend further out in the front than they do on the sides. This is mostly because we are more vulnerable in the front of our bodies. This can be dangerous in any situation because you immediately do irreparable damage to your image with your conversant and it is difficult to get them back on your side once this deed is done. Leaning into a person too early earmarks you as a space intruder who will be thought of as strange and unaware of social norms. Leaning into a person also indicates submission and is seen as being overly needy which is an immediate turn off to opposite sex and same sex individuals.

World Hello
2008-01-06

It's Time We Talked to Strangers

Ignore your mother's advice-say hello and make someone's day
How to say hello in sign language.
A downward salute is 'hello' in sign language

Some 300 people who have listed their aspirations on the website www.43things.com see talking more to strangers as a prime goal. World Hello Day at the end of the month offers a good opportunity for all of us to give it a go.

On the day you are encouraged to say hello to at least ten people. You could fill your quota by sending out a generic text or e-mail. However, body language expert Tonya Reiman stresses that 60-90% of communication is non-verbal. "It is impossible to experience true communication without the benefits of nonverbal communication," she said.

The aim of the festival is to spread peace and good will and so a genuine face-to-face greeting is what the day is all about.

Effective Listening
2008-01-06

    
"We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak." - Epictetus
Effective listening

Keeping your eyes and ears open and your mouth closed: keys to effective listening.

Are you a good listener? I am sure most of you said an emphatic YES! But the truth of the matter is only a small percentage of you actually are. True listening is a learned skill. Are there natural communicators? Absolutely, a small percentage of us instinctively recognize the rewards of listening and do so wholeheartedly. The rest of us? Well, we are mostly just paying enough attention to be able to put our thoughts (ya know, what really matters to us) together for the comeback remark.

Most people do not recognize that they are fighting for airtime. We all love to hear ourselves talk and usually don’t care much what the other has to say unless it involves US!

Over the next few weeks I will be delving into effective listening - I hope during this period you will be printing out these e-mails and keeping them for reference.

What are the components of effective listening? Effective listening means you are listening with your ears and with your eyes to all three components of the speaker’s message: words, tones and body language/nonverbal communication. We all know how to do this. We auditorily listen to the words spoken by the conversant and process thoughts accordingly. We then auditorily listen to the different pitch, volume, tone and rhythm of the words spoken and determine if there is perhaps a hidden message behind the words. Finally, we visually listen with our eyes and decide if what their body is telling us is congruent with their words, tones, pitch, rhythm and volume.

For instance - suppose someone looks you in the face smiling and emphatically states "What a great day". You would tend to believe them. Words + tone+body language = congruency. However, suppose you hear a sarcastic "what a great day" accompanied by folded arms and an rolling of the eyes. What do you suppose happens? The body language and tone overrides the words and you automatically recognize the mixed message. Which piece of the message are we more likely to believe - the words or the body language? If you said body language you are correct.

Body language is primal to us. It is instinctive. There is much debate as to when humans actually began talking but what we do know was that before there was spoken language there was gestures. Gestures and grunts were our main mode of communication and our ability to read nonverbal communication is greatly overlooked.

Often, an individual will communicate their message nonverbally in order to save face or avoid a direct confrontation. So what is our first lesson? In order to fully "listen" and understand a conversant’s message it is mandatory to tune into the verbals and nonverbals of their message. This means watching their body language (if possible) and listening for the pitch, rate, tone, volume and rhythm of their words. This is the process we must go through each time we receive a message in order to correctly decode and interpret the content.

The brand new program "Decoding Body Language" based on the "Can you hear your body talking" Seminar will be released in a few weeks. Be sure to check back if you would like to learn how to read body language easily and effectively.  click here for information

Is That Smile Real or Fake?
2008-01-06

History of the smile:
It appears that the smile can be traced back to the primate's grimace or fear grin. The evolution seems to be as follows: The submissive grin, used to show "I am afraid," came to suggest that "I am harmless--and therefore friendly--as well" (Morris 1994).

Why do we smile? Simple, a smile shows that you are friendly, relaxed and open. A smile tells others that you are happy. Most of the time, happiness is infectious so others like to be around happy people. People tend to have a natural smile response to your smile making them feel just as good as you. Take a look at the opposite sex when they are smiling. Notice how much friendlier and inviting a smile makes them. They don�t have to have a perfect smile either. People tend to respond to the act of smiling rather than the perfection of the smile. The act of smiling triggers good feelings.

What is a real smile?

A real smile shows in the zygomaticus muscles which pulls the corners of the mouth upward. The muscles surrounding the eyes, orbicularis oculi, begin to squint which causes crows feet to occur at the edges. Also, the eyebrows and the skin between the upper eyelid and the eyebrow come down very slightly. A genuine smile is usually more symmetrical than a fake smile and does not last as long.

A fake smile uses the risorius mucles which pull the lips horizontally apart. The zygomaticus muscles are only used a little bit, to pull the corners of the mouth up slightly. A genuine smile elicits a sense of well-being and enjoyment in the viewer. A fake smile won't produce the same response

In the United States, the best way to judge a real smile from a forced smile is to look at the crinkles in the eyes.

Did you know that there are differences in the expression of emotions on each side of the body?



 Take a look at the above faces. Which face looks happier? The answer is below:

 

Most right handed and some left handed people will say that the face on the right looks happier. The right lip, which is controlled by the left brain, is curled upward. What happens is that the right brain, which controls the left side of the face, has a bigger role controlling emotional expression.

 Try this experiment: Take five minutes and look at a picture of the Mona Lisa and then email me and let me know if you think she is smiling. Those of you who do email me back, I will be more than happy to tell you what the general population thinks and why you might think the way you do.

Remember to make someone's day. Smile at a stranger, a friend, a loved one or a co-worker. You can raise the spirits of others by simply looking into their eyes and giving an encouraging smile. You can change a persons entire attitude for a day with this simple gesture.

SMILE:

It costs nothing, but gives much.

You are enriched when both receiving it and offering it to someone else.

It takes only a moment, but its memory can last a lifetime.

None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor that he cannot be made richer by it.

It brings happiness to the home, promotes good will in business and is the cornerstone of friendship.

It perks up the weary, brings cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and is nature's best antidote for trouble.

It is so valuable, and yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, for it is worthless until it is given away.

If you see someone without one of their own, then send them one of yours: for no one needs a smile so much as he who has none to give.

Author unknown

For more information on how you can bring Tonya Reiman to your company to present one of her popular seminars email or simply call: 631-366-5701.

Presuppositions of Awareness
2008-01-06

Did you know that there were a few words in the English Language that could really make a difference in your ability to persuade. These words are called presuppositions. The subtle use of presuppositions can have an enormous impact when you use them in your writing and your speaking. Now, needless to say, they have to be used intelligently. You never want to sound silly or amateurish.

What exactly is a presupposition? Presupposition: the act of presupposing; a supposition made prior to having knowledge (as for the purpose of argument)

Do you want to do it again? (Presupposition: You have done it already, at least once.) Assumptions are the basis of presupposition.
Presuppositions of Awareness

We utilize presuppositions of awareness to direct another’s attention to what we would like them to focus on. Words like aware, notice, sense, realize, consider, think/thought and any sensory word (see, hear, feel) are all presuppositions of awareness.

How does this work? Easy. You decide what decision action or belief you want to induce in someone and then you introduce the idea with presuppositions such as:

Do you need to walk around the backyard again before you sign the contract?

It is assumed that you are going to sign the contract.

Here are some additional examples:

Are you aware of how powerful your subconscious mind is? Once I give you these techniques, you can apply them to your business and personal relationships and start seeing changes right away.

Once you begin to notice the weight coming off, you will feel much better about yourself.

As we get closer to the new house you'll start to realize what a great neighborhood it is in. With all the lushness of the area, It just feels like home.

Now that you have seen yourself in this new car, the only question left is which color; red or blue.


Of course, it needs to be stressed that this must conclude with a win/win situation. The purpose of this is not to attempt to fool someone but rather to guide them with the effective use of information. This can easily break rapport if used in a way that doesn't support the other person’s best interests.

Personal Journey - Marathon 2004
2008-01-06

The Time of My Life

In November, I ran the NYC marathon - 26.2 miles. Marathon morning was great and the temperature was heading up to about 60 degrees.

Boom the cannon goes off.

I hear the roar of the crowds Go Tonya - looking great - On the front of my shirt The words One more mile are printed and right above that my name. Talk about inspirational. These people don’t even know me yet they push me. It’s like having 100,000 coaches rooting for me; my own personal cheering section.

As I near mile 8 I see the 512 foot tall Williamsburg savings bank. I feel my heart start to race and pure excitement is setting in. At this moment I feel I can conquer anything. There are a lot of people lined up on the side of the road waving, clapping, encouraging all of us. When suddenly I see a giant pink sign - GO TONYA GO - WE LOVE MOMMY!!! YOU CAN DO IT MOMMY!!! It’s my husband. He missed me at mile 2 and took a quick train ride to mile 8. Well now I am emotionally centered and once again TONYA the conqueror.

Mile 13 marks the Pulaski bridge and at this point I am feeling very good - slightly tired but still exuberant. Now I am dancing in the street, waving and yelling.

Mile 15 almost kills me as the Queensboro bridge is a real wake-up call to the muscles and remember I still have 11 ½ miles to go. There are no people here (except a few jumpers) and everyone is struggling up this bridge. It is a 3/4 of a mile steady climb but when you crest the bridge all you hear is the thunderous roar of the crowds as I take my first step onto the island of manhattan.

Mile 16 brings you to crowds you would not believe. I instantly see my pink sign hubby and I am on top of the world. The highlight of the race so far. There are bars lining both sides of the streets slightly inebriated, ok drunk, people just waiting to make you feel like a winner. People are handing me food, oranges, cookies, gin & tonics - I wanted to break into a full run - just feed off the energy.

The law of marathoning says that the second half of the marathon really begins at mile 20. There are only 6 more miles to go but they are equally as challenging if not more so than the first 20. At this point in the run, most people hit the infamous wall - The depletion of your available energy - the limit of your physical endurance - a sledgehammer to your knees. On mile 20 a man yells out "Hey TONYA, buck up - smile - only 2% of the population will ever run a marathon, you are part of an elite group". Silently I think to myself "that is because the other 98% of the population is much smarter than the 2% running this race.

CRASH I hit the wall. I am heading over the Willis Avenue bridge in the Bronx and I am physically exhausted, mentally spent - contemplating walking and suddenly, my lifeline beckons - the cell phone rang I answer it and on the other end is my baby girl Stephanie. Hi mommy, Im watching the marathon on tv and I am waiting to see you. Mommy, I’m so proud of you - next time I want to run the marathon with you - I love you. Suddenly it all becomes clear- This is my goal, my opportunity, my mountain to climb. My 8 year old is proud of me. I am a marathoner I am a marathoner I can keep this up for 6 more miles as tears start streaming down my face. I decide at that point to dedicate each mile to someone important in my life, someone who has helped me in my life - perhaps someone who helped me meet a challenge, face a goal, achieve my destiny, just acknowledge them during this incredibly amazing journey.

Mile 22, Central Park, my finishing point, looms ahead. The gentle uphill climb feels like a MOUNTAIN but I remember my baby Stephanie, my 8 year is proud of me.

At Mile 23 I read a sign"If Phillippides had died at mile 20 you’d be finished by now." Suddenly, I see my pink sign again and my husband reaches out to kiss me. My mind is focusing on simply putting one foot in front of the other. And I can see the look of concern on his face - he smiles at me and tells me how amazing I am and how proud he is of me. At this point, running is simply no longer automatic, it is now taking real effort and concentration.

Somewhere between mile 23 and 24 the numbness in my legs is replaced with genuine pain, pain in my thighs, pain in my toes, pain in my back.

There is a very thin line between the bravery of continuing and the pure stupidity of it. Did I pass that line I wonder?

At mile 24 I enter Central park. It is hard to fathom just two more miles. I should be celebrating, "Only two more miles!" But the hell continues and the hills throughout central park are as painful as my second childbirth (And man was that bad!) At this point I can hardly see the crowd let alone hear them.

The 25th mile is a mile of crying, not sobbing - just a constant stream of tears running down my face- tears of joy, anticipation, sadness I don’t really know. I just can’t control it.

The last mile comes and the final 385 yards to the finish line is uphill. As I cross onto the red carpet I instinctively raise my hands in victory with a big smile. I have finished! The crowds, the excitement and the drama of what I have just done overwhelms me and when they put my finishers medal around my neck I am smile from ear to ear because my Stephanie helped me break through my wall.

I start to think of the camaraderie of this race - not only its participants but also with the crowds and the special people in your life. I silently realize how every mile marker after 21, each mile that I dedicated to a special person in my life, became a real triumph - a victory that I will never forget. I wonder silently if I would have finished were it not for this camaraderie. Actually, they are not only crowds, not only special people in my life - they too are participants, teammates, grabbing me by the metaphysical arms and pulling me over the finish line; a bonding like no other. As we walk to the car I am overwhelmed by the people on the street still greeting me with praise. And then I realize it is NOT 26.2 miles of pain. At most it's 6 - 8 miles of pain maybe 2 hours of pain but I now have a lifetime to savor the accomplishment."

We are all participants in the marathon of life. Opportunity awaits those with determination. Sometimes we need help but we always have the chance to seize the moment .

How to Get The Answer You Always Want - Yes
2008-01-06

New York Newsday - October 10, 2005 How to get the answer you always want -- yes Written By Kimberly Winston

One thing in life is just as certain as death and taxes - someone, somewhere, sometime will ask you for a favor. Probably more than one. And it is just as sure that you will need to ask a favor of someone, too. "Will you help me move?" "Will you feed my cat?" "Will you water my plants?" "Will you loan me five bucks?" "Will you do me a favor and help me, please?" You might not like asking for favors, but if you want "yes" to be the reply, the way you phrase the request is crucial, etiquette experts say. "That is absolutely the most important thing," says Samantha von Sperling, a Manhattan-based image consultant with Long Island clients. "And you generally only get one chance, so make it count." To do that, von Sperling suggests vastly overstating the importance of the favor before you ask it. "Preface the question as if it were 10 times more important than what you are eventually going to ask," she says. "Say, 'May I ask of you this enormous favor,' or, 'I know this is tremendous, but it would mean the world to me.' And then you ask can I have $5 for taxi fare, and they are like, is that it? And they will say, 'Oh, I can do that.'" Research suggests providing a reason for the favor brings a better chance for a "yes," too. Ellen Langer, a Harvard University social psychologist, had students ask people waiting for a copier at a public library, "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I am in a rush?" Ninety-four percent responded with a yes. But when "because I am in a rush" was dropped, only 60 percent complied. M. Joann Wright, a psychology professor at Hofstra University, says the results illustrate the effectiveness of "assertive communication," in which the asker considers not only his needs - to use the copier - but also the need of the askee to know why he or she is being asked. "It helps them feel more connected to the favor, more like they are going to provide you much-needed help," Wright says. "It really changes the rationale in people's minds, to have that explanation." Body language, too, can help with a positive response. When asking a favor, Tonya Reiman, a Smithtown-based teacher of communication skills, suggests making direct eye contact by aligning your right eye to their right eye. She also recommends mirroring the other person's body language and voice pattern. If they are smiling, you smile; if they are speaking softly, you speak softly. "If you can do that, you will gain rapport," Reiman says. "You will relax the other person and come across as likable." Helping people decide That likability may be more crucial to getting a favor done than anything else. "People like to help people who are good and genuine people," Reiman says. That is why some very big people will do some very big favors - help before or after a medical procedure, or co-sign a loan, or lend a large sum of money. These favors should only be asked of someone you know intimately. The better they know you - and how much you truly need the favor - the more likely they are to say yes and not to feel imposed upon. Then there are the unreturnable favors - the donation of a kidney or other organ, the use of one's body as a surrogate mother. Those kinds of favors can only be asked of one's closest, dearest friends and family. And while they are difficult - if not impossible - to return in kind, there are ways to show appreciation and gratitude for such acts of selflessness. "Do some homework," says Cheryl Lee, director of the Etiquette and Protocol Centre of Long Island in Elmont. "You may offer services, a donation to a favorite charity, or a gift of some kind. It may even be in the form of passing the good deed along to someone else in the future." Same rules in business In business favors, many of the same rules apply - but they are magnified. That's because the stakes are generally higher than in a personal favor. Such favors may include the loan of business equipment, the sharing of business contacts and the use of business expertise. In other words, business favors are almost always about one five-letter word - money. Rule No. 1, says Mercedes Alfaro, director and president of First Impression Management, a business etiquette consulting firm with a center in Manhattan, is be prepared for a "no." "When you make the request, be sure to give them a way out," to reduce the risk of embarrassing yourself or your associate - usually detrimental to good business relationships, she says. And if they do say no, remember, it's business. "Try to avoid taking it personally." Also off limits is asking business associates personal favors, like watching your kids or picking up your dry cleaning. Ditto on the loan of money or equipment. "A sage rule is to avoid asking favors that involve the loan of anything important to the individual you are asking, or the introduction to people for any kind of personal advancement," Alfaro says. And if someone does you a favor, remember: "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours," isn't about porcupines with itchy skin. It is fitting that you acknowledge the favor with a big, fat thank you. That means a handwritten note - no e-mail - or sending flowers, a gift certificate or some other thoughtful acknowledgment. It also means you return the favor with an equal or slightly bigger favor. So, if someone feeds your cat for the weekend, you feed their dog. If someone waters your plants, you mow their lawn. And throw in a box of doughnuts while you're at it. "Otherwise... it makes you look coarse and unrefined and ungrateful and rude. And that is horrible." This Story ran in New York Newsday, October 10th, 2005.

TRUST TRIGGERS
2013-01-31

Trust Triggers Trust Triggers to Make You a Yes Instead of a No

In the time that it took you to read the word "Trust" in the above sentence, you would have decided if you trusted me or not. Trust happens in 1/10 of a second. Within that tiny window you decide whether the person you see if a YES or no!

Everybody needs to be accepted by others at many different levels in life. This is how we fit together and work together as a society. To begin, there is general acceptance. This type of acceptance is primarily provided by strangers; random people encountered on a daily basis while walking down the street, getting your morning coffee, or eating dinner in a crowded restaurant. This type of general acceptance is the average encounter you have many times a day so you are not as likely to manage it.

The next level of acceptance would be the acceptance offered by associates, or the group of people encountered on a daily basis, but who aren't necessarily considered friends. These are people with whom small talk is made, a little bit of personal information is known, and there is a general, mutual likability. This level of acceptance is more difficult to obtain than general acceptance, but not by much. This level generally requires a level of interest, a general level of trust, and common courtesy.

Working relationships require a higher level of acceptance, especially for a boss/subordinate relationship. To be accepted by a boss or into a company, it's essential for one to meet certain criteria. When hiring, companies and supervisors are literally labeling candidates as "yeses," or "nos." They are determining a certain level of acceptance based on trust, likability, workability, and skill. This level of acceptance is on a professional level, but based highly on personal skills and attributes. This higher level of acceptance is the difference between the job of your dreams and working at Taco Bell, but hey, we all like burritos right?

A much deeper level of acceptance is reserved for friendships. This acceptance requires a major amount of trust, enjoyment of time spent together, common interests, and mutual respect. This level of acceptance requires work from both parties involved, and usually takes a significant amount of time to develop, and although this level of acceptance may be difficult to fully obtain, it's one of the most satisfying levels of acceptance and offers f benefits to both parties involved.

The deepest level of acceptance one can obtain is that of love and partnership. This level of acceptance requires one hundred percent trust from both partners, a deep desire to be with one another, mutual interest, and the willingness to work to develop and maintain this intimacy. Although this is the most difficult level of relationship to obtain, it's the most rewarding and provides the most satisfaction.

If one has a difficult time maintaining any of these levels of acceptance, they are often deemed (perhaps unjustly) a social outcast. They have a difficult time developing meaningful, long-lasting relationships, and they generally rate themselves as more unhappy than people who obtain these levels of acceptance. Some of these people even argue that they make the choice to avoid meaningful relationships. But is it possible they really want to be a social pariah? Some people don't yet know the social cues and body language associated with being a "yes." We can always learn!

Trust Triggers and Body Language

Body language is the conscious or unconscious non-verbal expression of our thoughts, attitudes, and feelings. A large percentage of information is transmitted through body language, so what the body is saying is obviously more important than what is coming out of the mouth. Staggering, I know! So, when a hottie is spotted on the dance floor, an interview is landed for the dream job, or new potential clients are met, both the words and the movements must be congruent or it will not work out as anticipated or desired. Now that the importance of body language is known, and sufficient pressure has been applied, it is time to learn the trust triggers, or small body language cues, to be considered a "yes" instead of a "no:"

? Smile affectionately. Not a nervous, insincere smile, which will creep people out, but a real, affectionate smile. Nothing is more inviting in any situation than a sincere, infectious smile. In addition, smiling sets off positive feelings in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the seat of positive emotions, so when you smile, you literally become happier. Also, because we are all gifted with mirror neurons, our monkey see monkey do neurons, they also feel happy. ? Lean in more closely to listen when somebody is speaking. This demonstrates a sincere level of interest as well as a confident and dominant personality. Keeping this in mind, do not invade peoples' personal space. Look for cues that you might be too close such as folding of the arms, leaning away, sudden avoidance of eye contact, etc. The idea is to portray sincerity and interest so self awareness is KEY. ? The brain is a fascinating enigma -- it is broken up into two hemispheres which communicate with eachother by way of a thick band of nerve fibers referred to as the corpus collosum. I wont bore you with details, but you can think of the corpus collosum as a giant computer cable that connects two very powerful computers, the left hemisphere and the right hemisphere. The left hemisphere is typically where intellect is processed -- think of it as the court reporter, simply getting down what was said. The right hemisphere is typically where emotions are processed, so the right brain becomes the translator and recognizes tone, innendos and deeper meanings like sarcasm. Knowing this information, speak to the correct side of the brain; if you are trying to talk to and want to engage some cerebrally, speak to their right side (which will automatically be processed in the left cerebral brain). If you want to engage them emotionally, speak to their left side (which is automatically processed in the right emotional brain) ? Relax the arms to the sides. ? Touch the person's arm with whom you're speaking as touch sends electricity through the entire body and also denotes confidence and playfulness. Of course, be careful with touch as it is important to feel out the appropriateness of the situation before physically engaging them. A slap on the back to the CEO is probably not a good idea, but flirting at a party or nightclub is an appropriate time to lightly touch an arm. Don't get too touchy. Make it natural and comfortable.

Keeping these "do" factors and body language cues in mind, let's consider the "don'ts:"

? Avoid a withdrawn posture. Nothing says, "avoid me," or "I don't believe in myself" like slumped shoulders. Stand up straight with square shoulders to present a positive, confident self-image. ? Don't break eye contact too often but don't stalker stare either. Eyes should not dart around the room, or stray from your target for too long during a conversation. When the eyes wander while somebody is speaking, trust and confidence is questioned. ? Avoid an insincere smile. Smiles that aren't genuine can sometimes be construed as bored or contemptuous. ? Don't fold the arms or furrow the brow. Both gestures come across as defensive. ? Avoid standing with hands on the hips unless you are mirroring your target or trying to make a power statement. Flash back to childhood. How do children know when they're in trouble? When mom has her hands on her hips. ? Don't lean away or move away from the recipient. This makes the speaker feel like they are being avoided.

If we learn to communicate with our bodies as well as our words, we can be persuasive, eloquent, authentic communicators. When the art is perfected, we become the ultimate "yes."

Body Language
2013-01-31

Body Language 2008-08-20

Body Language

What does your body to say to others?

I have learned to depend more on what people do than what they say in response to a direct question, to pay close attention to that which cannot be consciously manipulated, and to look for patterns rather than content. --Edward T. Hall

Do you know? Most people believe that their body language does not reveal their innermost secrets! THEY ARE WRONG! Now, although each of us is unique, there are certain tendencies that we share. For instance, around the world, happiness is displayed with a smile :) and sadness usually with a frown :( These facial descriptions stem from hard wired impulses - signals sent directly from the brain to the facial muscles. Because of this, there is not much of an opportunity for individuals to alter their expression,

Each and every facial expression, even the smallest, reflects something about you and how you are feeling at any given moment. The language of the body not only supplements what we say but usually dominates our conversation with small gestures, eye movements, facial expressions and postural changes. For the most part, we know this language, many of us just don't know how to properly "speak" it. How many times have you audiologically heard one thing but visually "heard" another. How many times have you intuitively felt something was not in sync with the words and the body language?

Nonverbal communication /body language has been studied for years in the fields of psychology, anthropology, linguistics and sociology and the findings are amazing.

Proxemics Did you know there is a specific spatial region for different settings? This is known as Proxemics, the study of the effects of spatial distance between persons interacting with each other, and of their orientation toward each other (Dorlands Medical Dictionary). Proxemics, derived from the Latin term Proximus meaning nearest; closer to any point of reference is how people communicate non-verbally through the use of territory and spatial relationships. Personal space, together with social perception, leads to an interesting dynamic in how space and its uses affect our behavior.

In mastering non-verbal communication, a person needs to be aware of the significance of specific body movements. Sometimes signals are distorted to the point where the initial intention or sentiment is not conveyed. When this happens, there is often a disruption of space which usually results in a breakdown of communication. One way to avoid this intrusion of territory and space is to identify the roles of the people in the relationship. There are four boundaries that most people recognize: intimate, personal, social-consultant, and public.

Intimate space is considered 0-1 1/2 feet. This is the zone in which people are usually touching or can easily touch. Personal space extends from 1 1/2 to 4 feet. This is within arms length. Usually the handshaking zone. Social space generally extends from 4-10 feet. Most commonly this is experienced in everyday encounters or at business meetings. Public space extends from 10 feet outwards. A familiar example would be a speaker in front of an audience at a rally. Try it out sometime. Next time you are in a public place, take note of the zones around you and others. Notice, for instance, if you come very close to an acquaintance, do they recoil? Stand closer than normal to someone in a grocery store; what happens?

Some examples of body language that can SPEAK volumes.

What your body language says about you From the moment you meet with a person, he/she forms an impression about you. Why? Because even when we are silent, we communicate.

Our movements, clothing and gestures all say something about us.

Realize that during our conversations, especially the first minute, only 7% of the first impression we give is via words. The remaining 93% will be based upon paralanguage; pitch, amplitude, rate, and voice quality of speech as well as body language.

So what skills can we bring to the table even if we are a nervous wreck?

Make an entrance Walk into a room briskly and with purpose holding your head up high. For drama, pause momentarily at the door before entering.

Stance If you are to remain standing, stand erect with excellent posture. If you are to be seated, sit up straight never slouch backwards. Leaning slightly inward when having a conversation will allow you to appear interested.

Windows of the soul We all know eye contact is crucial - but too much of anything is no good. Gazing can be nice but outright staring can be insulting.

Try visualizing a triangle on the other person's face. Keeping the eyes and nose in this triangle you will always have the appropriate eye contact.

Smiling Smile - when genuine, most of us can have a GREAT smile. We can identify a smile more easily than any other expression, even from a distance of up to 300 feet. Physiologically, a smile tells our brains that we are safe, and that we can relax. When we smile at others, it sends a message of trust and sincerity. Thus, we?re seen as open and approachable.

The Greeting Some people shake hands when they first meet. a firm and friendly handshake is the best. Never use a wimpy handshake which can suggest a weak character. Some choose to kiss hello. Most women kiss once softly on the right cheek when greeting you hello or goodbye. Never kiss hello if you are not comfortable with it. There is nothing worse than being smacked in the face with hard lips from someone who is uncomfortable. Women will greet the men usually with a nod or handshake the first meeting then on subsequent meetings will sometimes kiss men on the cheek. Some do not actually kiss instead they touch cheeks and kiss into the air. Most people greet with a handshake However, it really boils down to what is more comfortable for you.

Gestures to add comfort These should be open - try involving others in what you are saying. Keep palms up and open to suggest honesty and avoid pointing. Try mirroring (copying) some gestures of the person you are speaking to. Copying is a way for us to tell others that we are like them and that we are comfortable with them.

Dress to impress Though not strictly body language, dress is a vital component in creating the overall image you project.The clothes you wear should complement you, not overpower you.

Look out for all the signs Finally and probably most significantly, don't forget an interaction is a two-way street. Remember to read body language. If upon speaking your listener folds their arms, you may have said something they disagree with, so it may be pointless continuing your line of argument, even if the other person may be verbally agreeing with you.

Realize that every second counts. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure that you spend some time working on your body language. It can make the difference between building a relationship or shutting a door.

Body Language in the workplace
2013-01-31

NOTHING

How To Bond Instantly
2013-02-01

How to bond instantly with anyone

The process of human bonding often takes place between friends or family members but is not limited to these interpersonal relationships. Human bonding can extend to sports teams, work colleagues, or any group of people. Bonding is different from liking and involves a mutual and interactive process. Bonding with someone means that you have gone through the process of attachment to that person. The best bonds are often between family, close friends, romantic partners, or parents and children. The human bond is characterized by emotions such as trust and affection. The bond can take place between any two people and is categorized by a relationship being established. For men, it often means establishing relationships in male-only activities and for women it refers to forming close, personal relationships with other females. If you can create an instant connection, that is the most powerful connection. Studies indicate that those relationships which are created instantly end up much more meaningful than those which were created slowly. This is in part because people believe that such fast connections were meant to be, that they were the will of a god or that they were fate. Learning how to instantly bond with anyone is one of the most profitable skills because of this. Initiating chemistry is based on discovering some commonalities and them expounding upon those commonalities. This can be sharing a person them so that the other party reciprocates and shares something person. When this happens, rapport and trust is built. However, before you do this you must make the other party comfortable. There are three major behavioral facts which can help you make anyone instantly comfortable. The first is the shared space factor. People are subconsciously more comfortable with someone who occupies the same space because it leaves the impression that the two of you are part of a club or share something that others do not. This is a careful process because it means you must balance the feeling of comfort with entrapment. The last thing you want is to make the other person feel cornered. Any area can be turned into an intimate area. If, for instance, you are in a break room you can share something of interest to you rather than a fact with your boss to create an intimate space. The second behavioral fact is the survivor factor. The most prime moments for bonding are when a party is suffering through a situation which is challenging. The more difficult the challenge, the better the bond will become. These situations signal to the brain that it is time for survival mode, which means that the person next to you is in this with you. This tactic is one used in college orientations and boot camps and is why people who suffer through annoying lines at the store are the people with whom we bond. If you see someone struggling or enduring a chaotic situation as simple as moving, you can create an instant and strong attachment by offering to help. The third factor is the proximity factor. Bonding instantly with anyone is not just dependent upon your ability to smooth talk to them. You can quickly tell how open another person is by making eye contact and remaining in their sites. If you are frequently a presence in their line of sight you increase the chances of instantly bonding with a person. This is why people who frequent the same locations and bump into each other often can create stronger, instant bonds once they begin talking. After you have stayed in the person?s line of sight, whether it be for the duration of a party or a month at work while passing down the halls, you can create an instant bond. Keeping eye contact shows that you are interested and eventually, after you have shared something personal and created trust, you can advance toward touching. A simple and light touch can create an even stronger bond if you use it at the appropriate times such as after the person has shown interest, shows increased interest, and rapport has been developed. Once trust is created, you can instantly bond with anyone. People are naturally hesitant to trust new people in new situations which might be foreign to them. A lack of knowledge or understanding, such as not knowing how a team will work or how to play a game, will make people feel insecure and unsafe. These lead them to be defensive which means they are less likely to be instantly safe and trustworthy around new people and instead need time to transition from defensive to offensive. If you can break that barrier immediately by staying in their line of vision, then approaching them and creating a smaller space, and using a shared challenge in the course, you can bond instantly. One such situation might be to bond over your shared personal anxiety about the difficulty of the class, being new to a job, or being afraid that you might fail the project at which you are beginning. Social isolation will lead to stress. This stress is associated with an increase of activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It is this axis which controls the release of cortisol. If you undergo a positive social interaction increased amounts of oxytocin are released which leads to instant bonding, which then increases the natural levels of vasopressin and oxytocin to reduce any stress-related hormones. Oxytocin is casually referred to as the ?cuddle chemical? because of its role is facilitating attachment and trust. The likelihood of bonding can be increased when oxytocin interacts with the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Historically, knowing how to bond instantly with anyone was attributed to feelings of love which superseded physical attraction. It is also thought that an immediate human bond is simply reactive substances in chemical equations.

Neurologically, when you instantly bond with another person, there are certain hormones which are released including oxytocin and vasopressin. These hormones relate to reproductive and prosocial behavior. During events such as maternal bonding, large amounts of these hormones are released.

Body Language - Male Facial Features
2013-02-03

Male Facial Features ? Each Characteristic Tells of Man?s Survival How Evolution has Chiseled the Masculine Face

What?s in a face? Or more aptly, what?s on a face? A man?s facial features (and the expressions they create) tell his observers about his personality, his mood, his past experiences, his level of aggression, and most astonishingly, of his ancestors? struggles to survive the harsh environmental challenges from which they?ve come.

Human beings have survived because of their ability to adapt ? to change in response to environmental shifts (related to climate, food, clashes with other peoples, etc.). This is why we?re maintaining the endangered species list, instead of taking up room on it.

Changes in the human body, and most notably, the masculine face, did not happen over night, but rather, over millions of years. Take one look at a model of early man, and it?s easy to see the facial shift. Congratulations evolution. Early man might not have had it goin? on in the good looks department, but modern man?let?s just say that evolution is every mug?s friend.

Lighten up, it?s Just an Expression

Don?t you hate it when your wife or girlfriend analyzes your facial expression to determine your ?inner feelings?? Do you hate it even more when they?re right? Before you curse your facial expression for giving away your disinterest or your sexy thoughts, consider this: Your mere survival rests, at least in part, on the shoulders of facial expression.

When your features (eyebrows, nose, lips, etc.) perform maneuvers more strategic than the secret weapon from the back page of the playbook, they are sending messages that your ancestors used to avoid being pummeled into the dirt.

As humans evolved, bundles of muscle fibers grew and branched away from the broad muscle bands of the face. Facial expressions were necessary for indicating things like fear, dominance, surrender, and lust. Because early man didn?t have the speaking ability of today?s sportscaster, he relied heavily (as did his survival) on communications with both the enemy and his collection of honeys.

Look at the faces of other primates. A chimpanzee (a member of our subfamily, 94 percent genetically similar to us, and our closest earthly relative) has a collection of about 10 facial expressions. In stark contrast, the human face has 7 categories of facial expression, with many variations and degrees contained within each. Paul Ekman, a professor of psychology at the University of California, has collected photos of more than 100,000 human expressions (accomplished with the use of 43 human facial expression muscles). When these expressions took root in human history, they communicated much more than grunts or whistles ever could.

So, remember guys, next time your expression gives away your inner feelings, you can thank evolution. You can also thank evolution for your ability to talk your way around it.

Driving Force Options Behind Brawny Faces

There?s no doubt that men?s faces have changed since they first stood up, used a tool, and built a fire. But there are some differences in opinion about the driving forces behind those changes. Here they are, in order of time-line proposition.

Option #1: Natural Selection

Charles Darwin?s baby, Natural Selection, maintains that a species? features survive because those features aid in the survival of the species. For example, big-nosed people might survive more easily in a hot, dry climate than small-nosed people (because of the bigger nose?s better cooling and humidifying ability). This translates into big-nosed people living longer and more hardily, allowing them more time and energy to sow their love seeds. This would hypothetically result in the birth of many big-nosed babies and the extinction or endangerment of the button-nose variety. In this case, big noses are results of natural selection (nature, not the bearers of the noses, selects the trait as desirable).

Option #2: Sexual Selection

Another Charles Darwin offspring, Sexual Selection, upholds the theory that men?s faces look the way they do because women chose them. Jared Diamond, a UCLA Physiologist, dubbed this model the ?Survival of the Sexiest.? To use the nose example again, let?s assume that a tribe of early men and women included both big-nosed and small-nosed men. If the women, while sewing animal hides together with bone needles and sinew thread, determined that men with big snouts were the Brad Pitts of the tribe, they would be more likely to mate with those larged-nosed men. More big-nose babies would be born, and button-nose varieties would soon cease to exist. Of course, a man with a small nose would eventually get some action from a desperate cavewoman, accounting for a few under-endowed offspring here and there; but the majority of babies would be born with ample noses. In this case, big noses are products of sexual selection (people determine the traits that they wish to pass on). Note that the trait might be chosen because the women either know consciously or subconsciously that the big-nosed offspring will survive more easily. In this way, sexual selection complements natural selection.

Option #3: Genetic Drift

A newer, and less widely-accepted, explanation for male facial appearance is Genetic Drift. Put simply, this theory revolves around chance. If the male members of an early tribe lived in a moderate climate, and had an equal distribution of small noses and big noses, and all kinds of noses were considered to be equally attractive, the appearance of big noses in offspring would be entirely random. If small noses were to die out from that tribe, resulting in all members having big schnozes, it would be purely accidental (or coincidental that the big-nosed men also happened to be the most debonair). In other words, genetic drift relies on random partner choices and the inadvertent elimination of certain genetic alleles in a population.

I believe that all three theories have a place in the evolution and diversification of the male face. As we move on, we?ll discuss each individual feature?s evolution, and you can make an assessment for yourself ? about which of your brawny features are products of natural selection, sexual selection, and genetic drift. Be prepared ? you?ll be spending much more time in front of the mirror.

The Feature Film (of the Male Face)

It is widely believed that male and female faces started out similarly?that both resembled bigger versions of babies? faces. But as males had to ?suck it up? and weather the harshness of the wilderness (hunting wild game, surviving extreme cold and heat, and dealing with factors such as wind, sweat, and exhaustion), the masculine face gradually departed from its feminine pedigree. The men with the features that aided in survival did just that ? survived.

In turn, women were likely drawn to the traits that proved beneficial to the hunter and fighter; they wanted their children to bear those same traits, for survival.

Early man did not change behaviors to account for his face?s strengths and weaknesses, but rather, early man?s face changed to allow him to do what was necessary for the survival of himself and his family: The male face became more intimidating for protection, and more functional for dealing with the elements.

Now, for the part you?ve been waiting for. Here?s a breakdown of each of your facial features, and their evolutionary tales.

Head Hair

The hair on the head, in many ways, seems to be hidden under the helmet of history. Modern-day strands of hair are structurally identical to those of ancient men (though the mullet has thankfully been phased out), so there has been no reason for the structure of human hair to change. It?s obviously served its purpose well. Here are a few conjectures as to that purpose:

Some scientists theorize that head hair came with the primate evolution from cold-blooded creatures; that cranial hair remained, while bodily hair shortened to accommodate for both the self-heating and cranial-heat-escape qualities of endothermic humans. Humans were once hairier, as evidenced by the left-over gene that causes congenital hypertrichosis lanuginosa, which doesn?t establish boundaries for long hair to the head, but rather allows for growth of thick hair over the entire body.

Cousin to this thinking is the idea that head hair protected man?s head (the seat of his most important organ ? his brain), from the burning sun. Men without long head hair may have died from complications of infected burns.

Others speculate that hair on the head was necessary for the camouflage during hunting. It allowed the head and neck (a common attack point for wild animals) to hide amid surrounding brush. Men with plentiful head hair survived to produce hairy-headed offspring.

Another hypothesis says that long head hair is a product of sexual selection; that long, healthy hair on the heads of men meant they were well-fed and free from disease for at least a few years prior to the ?hair encounter?. It?s possible that ancient men with genetically short head hair (terminal growth hair) were perceived as ill, and just didn?t get as much action. Thinning, non-male-pattern-baldness hair is still a modern-day signal of disease or malnutrition.

And, believe it or not, male pattern baldness, along with a modern man?s natural M-shaped hairline, was attractive to early females. Why? Because women of the past held distaste for immature men. They looked for maturity in social circles, a lowered propensity for risk-taking and aggression, and a look that spoke of a man?s nurturing mindset. Males with full heads of hair, even if older than other balding men, were considered to be immature and not ready for communal life. Hence, ancient women chose men with receding hairlines, passing those genes on to their sons and keeping hair restoration clinics around today?s world in business.

But how about the different types of hair? Anthropologists cite natural selection for different hair textures. For instance, afro-hair of the Homo erectus of Africa was springy and airy, with fewer follicles per square inch than most types. This allowed for good air circulation over the scalp. This type of hair was also less affected by moisture, which helped it to maintain its air-conditioning qualities, despite the sweatiness of its owner.

Later in human evolution, straight hair made its debut in Nordic regions. Straight hair had better insulating qualities, because it better covered the ears and neck. It allowed for better ultraviolet light penetration, which in turn produced Vitamin D in the scalp, promoting better health. Additionally, some speculate the straight hair ends could absorb light reflected from the surface of snow, delivering additional benefit to the scalp through the shaft of the hair.

No matter the hair type or the hair line, it?s important to recognize that the hair on your head is a result of adaptations to your ancestors? environments. And even more exciting is the speculation that the hair on your head is a product of what your female ancestors found to be sexy. I knew you?d like that one.

Eyebrows

Rain and sweat didn?t run into the Neanderthal?s (and other early Homo species?) eyes very readily. Why? Because he barely had a forehead.

Early skull samples show us that ancient man?s forehead sloped back from the tops of the eyes to the back of the skull (much like that of a chimp?s). As the front region of the brain began to enlarge, the forehead moved up and out, until it became what it is today.

That change spelled trouble for the hunting and fighting man. As sweat, dirt, and environmental debris fell from his newly upright forehead, his vision was distorted, giving his contemporaries with eyebrows an advantage. A man with eyebrows to divert dirt and sweat could focus on his prey or his opponent more clearly. He could remain still without moving to rub his eyes. He reduced his risk of being attacked while plucking dirt from his eye.

Note the direction of the hairs in your eyebrows. They have evolved to channel moisture over and around your eyes. A man?s eyebrows are bushier, lower and straighter than a woman?s because they needed to be. These qualities, along with a heavier brow bone, protected males? eyes from the elements while hunting and protecting his family.

Another evolutionary reason for the adaptation of the eyebrow is expression. Anger, surprise, sadness, happiness, and other emotions are easily conveyed with the use of the eyebrows. When two men encountered one another long ago, an eyebrow signal (visible due to the contrast in color to the face) could mean the difference between, ?I come in peace,? and ?I?ve come for blood.? A man without adequate eyebrows could be attacked, thanks to his failure to communicate neutrality.

Ears

Though male and female external ears differ little, individual distinctiveness is prominent. It?s been said that every person?s outer ear is as unique as a fingerprint.

The outer ear is consider to be vestigial. Our primate ancestors were able to move their ears to zero in on far-off sounds, but since our heads grew to be able to move on horizontal planes, the need for this function was eliminated. This explains why some men can still wiggle their ears ? the muscle that once moved ears in different directions remains functional in a few of us. Charles Darwin also cited the bumps on the outer ridges of some men?s ears as the remnants of the pointed ears of primate ancestors.

Forensic anthropologists do recognize a difference in the mastoid processes of males and females. This boney protrusion that acts as point of connection for muscles lies behind (and bit back from) the ear lobe. It?s believed to be larger in men because his hunting lifestyle required larger muscle mass, hence a bigger bone to anchor those muscles to.

So, though it seems that men and women seem to hear different things, our outer ears differ little on the evolutionary scale.

Eyes

All eyes are believed to come from one simple eye, 540 million years ago. In our own eyes, we can see remnants of a third eyelid (like many reptiles have). It?s the plica semilunaris, and it?s the small fold of tissue visible in the inner corner of the eye.

The evolution of our eyes took only a few million years (a short time on the evolutionary scale), possibly because there was a bit of a race going on between predators and prey (we belonged to both groups). Simply put, the one who could see the best would win. Those with better eyesight (color, depth, etc.) survived long enough to spread plenty of man seed.

When humans lost their body hair (as discussed in Head Hair, above), those who maintained their eyelashes had a better survival rate. Eyelashes serve three functions that can be attributed to their preservation: The fractioning of sunlight (like little sun visors for the eye); the keeping of dust and other debris from the eye; and the helping with the blink reflex (if an object comes in contact with the eyelashes, the eye will close quickly, protecting it from trauma).

The whites of our eyes are more prominent than in most animals because of their signaling ability. From a distance, the visible whites make it easier for others to determine in which direction our gaze is pointed. In ancient days, staring at an enemy might bring different consequences than staring at a friend ? hence, the man who was most definitely NOT staring down a member of an enemy tribe remained to walk the Earth and spread the love.

Eye shape was likely determined by environmental factors (natural selection). Peoples from cold climates, like Eskimos, Chinese, Japanese, and Mongoloids display an eye fold as a result of a fatty layer under the upper lid. This almond-shaped eye opening provided better subzero protection and additional safeguards against snow and ice, so it contributed to the survival of these peoples.

The origin of eye color is a bit foggier. Because darker, brown, eyes have more melanin in their irises, they absorb light and provide better protection from the effects of harsh sunlight. That could explain, through natural selection, why the majority of eyes in the world are brown. Light colored eyes, like gray, green, and blue, are more susceptible to macular degeneration, melanoma, and cataracts. This fact could have made the survival rate high for brown-eyed people. Today, test subjects choose brown eyes as the ?safest? and most trustworthy eyes. Could people long ago have believed the same thing (sexual selection)?

A man?s eyes seem smaller, more sunken, narrower, closer set, and deeper set than a woman?s, not because of the nature of his eyes, but because of the nature of his surrounding features. Men?s features changed to protect his precious eyes, without which he could not hunt, fight, run from predators, or look for pretty women.

Nose

When evolution conducted a shrinking of primates? muzzles, our nature identified a larger reliance on sight than smell, accounting for the shrinkage of our nose. Our ?muzzle? shrunk, leaving only our nasal bone and cartilage. If our eyesight hadn?t raced to catch up with that of prey and predators, who ?nose,? we could be sporting some mighty muzzles today (hear the cosmetic surgeons sigh). We simply don?t need to smell prey or danger anymore.

Compared to the noses of the great apes, men?s are the largest, but the least sensitive to smell. Anthropologists believe that this is due to human noses? second evolutionary purpose. Noses not only smell, but they warm air to 95 degrees and raise its humidity to 95 percent ? just the way human lungs like it. Additionally, as air is pushed back out of the nose, the lining absorbs necessary heat and moisture from the exiting air.

The different shapes of noses evidently appeared in conjunction with environmental demands. High noses with arched bridges allow more surface area for air to be humidified in arid climates (as seen in Arab races). Flat noses worked better in frigid environments (like Asian and Eskimo peoples) because the tip of the nose wasn?t sticking out there, just asking for Jack Frost to bite.

Men?s nostrils evolved, on average, to be larger than women?s because of their vocations. Hunting and running from saber-tooth tigers required higher hemoglobin counts and higher metabolic rates to support the additional oxygen needed for building muscle mass and lungs. Those men who could breathe well enough to run the fastest survived longer. Men?s larger noses also helped to cool the body during strenuous activity.

In general, today?s man?s nose is more down-turned, wider, longer, and more humped at the bridge that the average female nose. All of these nose traits evolved to help men with their brawny duties millions of years ago.

Cheeks

Man?s cheeks aren?t what they used to be. And that has a lot to do with his diet.

One of our distant, ancient ancestors, Robustus, was know for his humongous cheeks. These had developed in response to his diet of rough, fibrous vegetation. Since then, diets have moved to raw meat, then cooked meat, then nachos and chicken wings. In short, the upper jaw no longer needs to support the muscle or the girth required for pulverizing food that we would now consider fit for horses.

Men?s cheeks are generally more chiseled and sunken than a woman?s. The cheekbones themselves are set higher, with higher arches on the lower sides of the bones. This can be attributed to a few different factors. A less rounded, baby-like cheek sends a message of strength and possible aggression. This could have aided early man in his relations with enemies and the protection of his family, and his own life. Men also lack the estrogen levels needed for the depositing of fat responsible for the more bulbous cheeks of women.

So in short, a man?s burly cheekbones either spoke to his enemies, or his sweeties (stay back, or come hither), or they could have served dual purposes?you decide.

Lips

Human lips are significantly everted, even when compared to other primates. That?s why they chap. They don?t have the protection that the rest of our skin does ? they are actually parts of our mucous membranes, turned outward.

The functionality of the human lips likely evolved from the need to nurse and grasp objects ? it was just easier with more sensitive and maneuverable lips. Furthermore, the contrast in color provided a tool for early man to communicate. The darker shade of the lips made it easy to see facial expressions involving the mouth from a distance.

Men?s lips are thinner than women?s, particularly the top lip. I could speculate that ancient hunters? lips were better protected when the mucous membrane was more hidden within the mouth, but the truth is that a man?s lips are small only in comparison to women?s. There?s an evolutionary purpose to women?s fuller lips, but you?ll have to read the female face article for that juicy tidbit.

Mouth

The mouth is not only important for eating, but also for communication, yawning, smiling, kissing, and emotional billboarding. Before early men stood upright, the mouth was used for gathering food, manipulating simple tools and weapons, and for carrying things from one place to the next. When Homo went erectus, he freed the mouth for doing what it does today: eating, loving, and communicating.

The human mouth is smaller that it once was, thanks to its diminished responsibilities. Its food is easier to eat, and its work more white-collar. A man?s mouth is a bit wider than the average woman?s, likely due to the widening of his skull during puberty and his larger teeth.

The Interface from Past to Present

Our faces are our presentations to the world. They tell others about our intentions, our experiences, and our ancestry. Our faces, though new and ever-changing, are relics of our past survival?trophies that claim our species as the last surviving type of man.

Evolutionists and Anthropologists speculate that in future centuries, men?s faces will further evolve toward more youthful, feminine appearances, with less hair and smaller teeth (men simply don?t need to sleep outdoors and eat woodland salads anymore). Eyes and ears may grow larger to absorb the types of information that we are most often exposed to (television and magazines have replaced sniffing for prey and mates). Thanks to our efforts to regular the temperatures and humidity in which we spend the majority of our time, noses are likely to shrink (air conditioning and heating equals little need for noses to regulate air quality).

Of course, you and I will never see these changes. Evolutionary shifts are relatively indiscernible, unless viewed over a timeline. But for now, know that every one of your features served a purpose in your ancestors? survival. As for what those brawny features are doing for you today?well, that?s another article.