Most of the time, body language speaks louder than words. When you’re in an important meeting or chatting with someone at a networking event, knowing what certain expressions mean will help you decide what you’re next move is.
Here are some tactics for reading people’s body language:
1. If someone’s voice goes up or down in vocal range, they’re likely interested
Your vocal range shows your interest, without your control. With women, their voices will reach a bit higher if they’re interested whereas men drop theirs an octave.
2. If they mirror your body language, the conversation is probably going well
When two people are getting along, their movements and postures will mirror each other’s and this is because, when we feel a connection, we automatically mirror the other person.
3. There are common signs that the person you’re speaking to may be feeling defensive
• Facial expressions are minimal
• Body is physically turned away from you
• Arms are crossed in front of the body
• Eyes maintain little contact
If you notice any of these tell-tale signs, this could mean that the person may not want to listen to you.
4. Don’t get confused between lying and nervousness
There are typical signs to whether a person is lying to you or not. For example, if their eyes maintain little or no eye contact, hand or fingers are placed in front of his or her mouth, the person goes red in the face or neck or maybe their voice changes in pitch.
These are all signs that the person you’re talking to may be lying to you. However, everyone is different and if you do spot one of these common non-verbal signs of lying, don’t necessarily jump to conclusions, as the person may be just nervous.
5. Reaching an agreement
To try and reach an agreement, parties send out early engagement signals such as smiling, nodding, open gestures, etc., when they begin a negotiation. The positive result is usually the same, whether the body language was a strategic decision or was made as an unconscious reaction.
Everyone is different and one size definitely doesn’t fit all so remember that some signs and signals made by certain people could have a different meaning to what you would normally think, but by further questioning and getting to know the person better, you will learn more about what their signals mean!