As the hostess of your party, two of your newest friends make their entrance into the crowded room. The woman is making eye contact with others but not stopping for conversations. The man with her is looking around with detachment. Is your party in for trouble?
(2) Not to worry. Just the typical male/female entrance. Women can walk across the room and by the time they reach the other side they know the relationships of everyone in the room and who’s with whom. The male is up to his ancestral primitive ways. Men, as hunters, are always searching for escapes and exits. He doesn’t have a clue as to what’s going on and just wants to know how to get out of here as quickly as possible without getting trapped. (That’s easy. Just locate where all the other males are standing.)
Posted in Body Language, Networking, Sales
- Tagged communications, meetings, men v. women, networking, party, People, Relationships, sales psychology, social function
You’re the vendor calling on the CEO of a small company. The reason for the sales call is to let the CEO know that you’re not going to cave on the negotiation point she wants.
As you’re ushered into her office, she’s standing beside her desk with both hands on her hips.
- Why is she standing this way?
- Is she intimidated, or is she trying to intimidate you?
- Will you ever see subordinates stand like this?
- Like a peacock spreading its feathers, she’s trying to appear larger and fend off any attacks.
- Could be both. If she feels she’s about to be ripped off, she’s trying to reestablish her dominance. And if she’s in a position of authority, she’ll stand this way to intimidate others.
- Rarely will subordinates confront their boss like this, unless they’re suddenly angered or suffer some sort of indignation.
You’re tired. You’re alone on the empty elevator. Leaning against the back wall, you cross your ankles to get comfortable, looking down at the ground.
- What are you going to do when your fist stop picks up two strangers?
- Two more stops fill the elevator with five more strangers. What are they all doing when the doors close?
- What is impossible to do when you walk onto an elevator with passengers?
- You will uncross your feet, keep you head up for the entire ride, and move so that all three of you are equidistant from each other.
- Assuming they’re all strangers, all will be facing forward looking at the indicator showing which floor is next.
- When talking with a friend you’re comfortable with, you’ll tilt your head. But when getting onto an elevator full of strangers, it is impossible to tilt your head.
You’ve completed your presentation before your client’s group and you’re taking questions. You notice the marketing director’s chin rests upon her thumb, her index finger points upwards, and she has a slight smile.
- Is she having positive or negative thoughts?
- What does her posture say?
- What should you do?
- Most people think this is a signal of interest. It’s not. She’s having negative or critical thoughts about you or your presentation. Even though she has a smile, the negative gestures outweigh the positives.
- Leaning away from you with her arm in front of her torso completes the cluster of negative signals that should warn you to do something.
- Get her involved immediately. Simply stating, “You seem to have some concerns. Would you mind telling me what you think?” will get her to change her body language and attitude.
What Do You See?
The “Figure 4 leg cross” is a seated position used mostly by American men. You’ve just made your presentation and the decision maker takes this position.
- What is his attitude?
- Should you challenge any negative comments he might make?
- Is he ready to make a decision?
- His attitude is competitive – “bring it on!”
- If he makes a point, he’s ready to argue for that point. Tread carefully.
- Don’t ask for a decision until both feet are flat on the ground.