like a discomfort behavior (e.g., displeasure, unhappiness, stress,
anxiety, tension). Most of the time you will be able to place observed behaviors
in one of these two domains (comfort vs. discomfort).
16 WHAT EVERY B O D Y I S S AY I N G
BOX 6: A NOSE FOR TROUBLE
Among the most important nonverbal clues to a person’s thoughts are
changes in body language that constitute intention cues.These are behaviors
that reveal what a person is about to do and provide the competent
observer with extra time to prepare for the anticipated action before
it takes place.
One personal example of how critical it is to watch for changes in
people’s behavior—particularly when the changes involve intention cues—
involves an attempted robbery of a store where I worked. In this particularsituation, I noticed a man standing near the cash register at the checkout
counter, a behavior that caught my attention because he seemed to have
no reason to be there; he wasn’t waiting in line and he hadn’t purchased
any items. Moreover, the entire time he stood there, his eyes were fixed
on the cash register.
If he had just remained quietly where he was, I eventually would have
lost interest inhim and focused my attention elsewhere. However, while I
was still observing him, his behavior changed. Specifically, his nostrils starting
flaring (nasal wing dilation), which was a giveaway that he was oxygenating
in advance of taking some action. I guessed what that action was going
to be about a second before it occurred. And a second was all I had to
sound a warning. I yelled to thecashier, “Watch out!” as three things happened
at once: (a) the clerk finished ringing up a sale, causing the cash
drawer to open; (b) the man near the register lunged forward, plunging his
hand into the drawer to grab some cash; and (c) alerted by my shouted
warning, the cashier grabbed the man’s hand and twisted it, causing the
would-be robber to drop the money and run out of the store. Had Inot spotted
his intention cue, I am sure the thief would have succeeded in his efforts.
Incidentally, the cashier was my father, who was running a small
hardware store in Miami back in 1974. I was his summer hire.
MASTERING THE SECRETS OF NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION 17
Commandment 10: When observing others, be subtle about it.
Using nonverbal behavior requires you to observe people carefully anddecode their nonverbal behaviors accurately. However, one thing you
don’t want to do when observing others is to make your intentions obvious.
Many individuals tend to stare at people when they first try to spot
nonverbal cues. Such intrusive observation is not advisable. Your ideal
goal is to observe others without their knowing it, in other words, unobtrusively.
Work at perfecting yourobservational skills, and you will reach a
point where your efforts will be both successful and subtle. It’s all a matter
of practice and persistence.
You have now been introduced to your part of our partnership, the
ten commandments you need to follow to decode nonverbal communication
successfully. The question now becomes “What nonverbal behaviors
should I be looking for, and what importantinformation do they reveal?”
This is where I come in.
Identifying Important Nonverbal Behaviors
and Their Meanings
Consider this. The human body is capable of giving off literally thousands
of nonverbal “signals” or messages. Which ones are most important
and how do you decode them? The problem is that it could take a
lifetime of painstaking observation, evaluation, and validation toidentify
and interpret important nonverbal communications accurately. Fortunately,
with the help of some very gifted researchers and my practical
experience as an FBI expert on nonverbal behavior, we can take a more
direct approach to get you on your way. I have already identified those
nonverbal behaviors that are most important, so you can put this unique
knowledge to immediate use. We have...
Ler documento completo
Por favor, assinar para o acesso.