How to Spot a Lair in the Workplace

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Whilst in conversation with someone at work, have you ever had a feeling that they are not being truthful? For example, you may have been discussing the approach to take with a new project that seems obvious but they may be resisting without being clear on their view point.

Here are four key aspects of body language you can look out for when interacting with a potential liar amongst your work colleagues:

 

1. Hostility

If someone talks with their fist clenched it is a sign of anger or hostility.

2. Nervousness

If you encounter somebody who taps or drums their fingers on a surface, they are showing feelings of nervousness or anxiety.

3. Disagreement

Arms crossed across the chest is a display of defense and protection from an outside source, or may simply indicate that they disagree with what is being said.

4. Not Interested

Of course body language can also let you know if someone is not interested in what you are saying. A hard look or glare can signal louder than actual words.

Can you detect a liar in the workplace?

Body language can help you detect lies! You don’t need to launch a full scale investigation to determine if somebody is being dishonest with you. All you need is some basic understanding in the art of body language to spot someone who is not being honest with you. The simplest way to detect lies is to simply look for signs of discomfort, anxiety, and nervousness.

The inability to look directly into your eyes, fidgeting fingers, shuffling feet, sudden crossing of the arms or legs, glancing around the room, and forced smiles are the most common
clues that someone is lying to you.

Often the volume of a persons voice will become softer than usual when lying, but during a defensive state of mind, they will usually raise their voice. You may also notice speech errors, such as mispronunciation, stuttering, stammering or that they talk faster than normal.

Now, I don’t want to you get paranoid that everyone is lying to you just because they don’t look at you or because they happen to cross their arms when you are talking to them.

The meanings and interpretations of body language are not always true and definitive. Body language involves many gestures and movements that all have to be considered when you are
attempting to interpret your work peers inner thoughts.

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Back to Basics with Body Language

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Body language is a term for communication using body movements or gestures instead of, or in addition to, sounds, verbal language or other communication. It forms part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of human communication that are not verbal language.

This includes the most subtle of movements that many people are not aware of, including winking and slight movement of the eyebrows. In addition body language can also incorporate the use of facial expressions.

One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest. This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person’s arms are cold which would be clarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is friendly, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright unfriendliness.

Consistent eye contact can indicate that a person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. It can also mean that the other person doesn’t trust the speaker enough to “take his eyes off” the speaker. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. On the other hand, individuals with anxiety are often unable to make eye contact without discomfort. Or if while making direct eye contact a person is fiddling with something, even while directly looking at you, it could indicate the attention is elsewhere.

Disbelief is often indicated by averted gaze, or by touching the ear or scratching the chin. So is eyestrain, or itchiness. When a person is not being convinced by what someone is saying, the attention invariably wanders, and the eyes will stare away for an extended period.

Boredom is indicated by the head tilting to one side, or by the eyes looking straight at the speaker but becoming slightly unfocused. A head tilt may also indicate a sore neck, and unfocused eyes may indicate ocular problems in the listener.

Interest can be indicated through posture or extended eye contact.

Hi I am Piyush Bhatia the Founder and CEO of BM English Speaking Institute Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India. Come and learn English with us. Along with English training we also, enhance people’s confidence, public speaking, presentations, business English, grammar practice email drafting and group discussion skills.

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Body Language – A Secret to Success

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Building Rapport with People in Business

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: We must have heard of this ever since our school days.

We use our vocal chords to talk, but our facial expressions communicate our inner feelings.

Understanding the body language is an intricate and yet practical skill. By consciously observing what others are trying to say, we can begin to deal with issues at work, home or anyplace, before they become problems.

At work it is the boss who is all powerful. When you observe his body language, you notice how he strives to appear large, powerful and always in control. His status manifests itself ingeniously. On the other hand, individuals who feel vulnerable may appear tense, clasp their hands in front of them, slouch in their chairs, and exhibit typical self manipulative behaviors, to show they are stressed.

A superior who enjoys greater powers generally tends to talk more and interrupt others. Sometimes their body language can also flash some weakness that betrays what they are actually feeling. Does your boss smile as he applauds one of your ideas? How can you tell if the smile is genuine? Paul Ekman, a clinical Psychologist has been researching on facial expressions and deceit, for the last thirty years. He has identified around 18 kinds of smiles and most of them are deceptive according to him. A genuine smile he says will in anxious. These signals need attention.

How do we get the signals straight?

First tune into your own body language. For a whole day observe your gestures when you talk and move, sit or stand. Too stiff a posture indicates rigidity. Observe at the small things you do when you are tense. Are you fiddling with the pen or twirling your hair. Please control that, because it undermines what you want to say.

Get the handshake right. Let it be firm, strong but not with excessive pressure.

Maintain Eye contact. Direct eye contact is the best way to put forward your ideas. It means you are serious about business. If you are uncomfortable, for a brief moment shift the focus between eyes and chin.

How aware are you of your body language?

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