Learn to read body language. You’ll have a better idea of what someone is really telling you…
- When someone smiles, look at his/her face—real smiles crinkle the eyes.
- A tilted head and wide-open eyes suggest a willingness to listen.
- Someone who is biting his lips may feel he is being criticized.
- People cross their legs when they feel defensive and cross their arms when they want to be convinced.
- Leaning back shows friendliness—or feeling in control.
Helpful when meeting someone new:
Establish rapport by mirroring some of his signals, such as leaning forward or smiling. Or use the same body positions.
Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, PhD, is a jury consultant and coauthor of Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior-—Anytime, Anyplace.