Reading Body Language for Success at Work
Reading non-verbal communication is a success tool that improves relationships with clients, family, friends, dates and a mate.
Discover how The PERCEIVE SYSTEM helps you read body language in the workplace as you read highlights of a book by Anne Beall. H.F.
Studies show that 60 to 90 percent of communication is nonverbal. And it’s not easily controlled. Our body language
often conveys things we don’t realize. That’s why Anne Beall developed the PERCEIVE system.
She details it in her book, “Reading the Hidden Communications Around You: A Guide to Reading Body Language in the
Workplace.” And she was a platform speaker at last fall’s National Sales Symposium (NSS), helping advisors better understand their clients.
The PERCEIVE System
Beall believes that to truly understand clients, advisors have to learn to read their body language. The PERCEIVE system
focuses on these components:
This is how closely people sit or stand next to you. They’ll position themselves closer if they like you, want
to get to know you, and are comfortable with you.
Facial expressions are triggered automatically. Unfortunately, humans are pretty good at masking their
emotions. That’s why it’s important to look at the whole face. For example, a real smile involves the eyes. If you don’t see
wrinkles at the corners, it’s a fake.
Similar to proximity, orientation is how people position themselves when interacting with you.
Remember, they’re more likely to face you directly if they like you or are interested in you.
Touching conveys a desire to connect with another human being. Watch the hand that’s not involved with a
handshake. Does it hang uncomfortably at the person’s side or is it extend warmly toward you?
We tend to look longer at people we like and spend less time looking at those we dislike or don’t care to get to
know. So pay attention to the frequency and amount of time your clients spend looking at you and be aware when they
start to look away.
We use gestures to help us illustrate what we mean. Watch the gestures people make when
speaking with you. Their words are important, but the gestures will tell the real story.
A person’s voice also reveals a great deal. Emotion comes through in tone and rapidity of speech.
For example, stress can manifest itself by raised pitch. Silent pauses or stuttering can indicate anxiety.
And repetition or long pauses may mean the person is trying to think of an answer or
struggling to get their emotions in check.
Existences of Adaptors
These are the small fidgety behaviors that indicate boredom or stress. Be aware if people are
touching their face, playing with their hair or focusing on an object like a pen or ring.
To improve your ability to read nonverbal communication, Beall recommends working on
one part of PERCEIVE at a time.
“Start by spending more time watching,” she said. “Look for situations where you can’t hear
the conversation, like turning off the sound while watching TV.
Continually observe people and then test your observations.”
As you begin to master these new skills, you’re certain to see the benefits.
“Salespeople who can read body language have the potential to make more money,” Beall said
“Dating singles and committed couples who read and respond to body language of their date or mate
have the potential to improve interactions, increase intimacy and have more fun in their relationship,” says Hadley Finch.
Creating happy, sexy love, health and wealth that lasts,