So you’ve finally got that contact you’ve been wanting to talk with alone away from the crowd at a networking event. You believe you’re saying all the right things but something’s not right; you can tell she’s not buying it.

We females are blessed with an ability to read body language much more acutely than men. It’s learned – babies don’t talk, you know! Today, this ability is still in us and if we practice it we can get better. Not just at reading it, but at changing the behaviour of others.

Here’s a practical series of tips on reading it and turning things to your advantage…

• Never apply great meaning to one element. For example, if someone has her arms folded, she might be cold as opposed to negative. So how do you find out which one she is? Look for goose bumps, shivering or ask. Body language experts look for clusters of behaviour to determine meaning.
• Okay, you’ve established she’s negative to whatever you’re saying. After all it is 38o. So, how do you turn this around? First of all – stop talking! Next, ask her some questions to get her talking and find out her needs.
• As she begins to speak, watch her stance. When it changes (and it will) leave about 15 seconds and slowly assume her stance. If she nods, you nod. If she shakes her head, you shake your head. If she changes her posture and feet position, you change yours. It’s mimicking and, subconsciously, it’s very hard to resist someone who is visually agreeing with everything you say.

The above is a very simple example. Reading body language is complex and part art, part science. If you’re keen to learn more, Google Allan Pease and see what you come up with. It’s enlightening stuff and gives you the ability to observe patterns and act in ways that can be extremely beneficial.

Enjoy Lisa & Jo