Body Language: The Tell-Tale Signs That Betray Us All

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It was one
of the most extraordinary cabarets of affection since Richard Gere
took out a full page newspaper advertisement claiming his marriage
to Cindy Crawford was rock solid. At last month’s Golden Globes,
George Clooney and his new paramour, Italian presenter Elisabetta
Canalis, were entwined like love-smitten teenagers. But whereas
Gere’s proclamation was followed rather swiftly by a divorce announcement,
Clooney and Canalis are set to stay the course. That’s if you believe
their body language.

This "silent"
language never lies, according to James Borg, a leading expert in
the subject and author of a best-selling "how to" book.

genuinely in love," he says. "The way they are smiling,
the look in the eyes, and the nature of their proximity all give
them away." Borg makes it his business to read the unconscious
movements and postures of others. In his world, the curve of a smile,
the blink of an eye, the position of the hands or feet are all of
great significance.

all constantly judged on first impressions," says Borg. "People
are making snap decisions as to whether they trust us, like us,
want to work with us, or have an affair with us. But words alone
don’t provide the whole picture. More than 90 per cent of meaning
in any interaction is derived from non-verbal clues – the manner
in which our body ‘talks’ and the way that we say things –
and a mere seven per cent from the words that are actually spoken.
The overwhelming meaning of a message, when communicating with others,
comes from an unconscious display of the ‘silent’ language; which
either reinforces or detracts from the words being used," he

you need to sell an idea, get your point across or understand what
other people really think, it is at the root of all communication.
Get it right, and all sorts of communication will become a breeze."

President Obama,
a master of modern communication, is a big fan, and cited Borg’s
best-selling book, Persuasion:
the Art of Influencing People
when he was questioned on
the campaign trail about which book he would take into the White
House, should he win the election.

"The President
is very skilled in body language," says Borg. "He has
excellent eye contact, which is a sign of honesty and sincerity,
and is why he came across so well in the campaign. His standard
style is to look ahead which shows he is confident, direct and knows
what he is talking about.

But body language
is not a new concept. It has been studied by psychologists and neuropsychologists
since the Fifties and is now, according to Borg, so refined as to
be called a science.

an understanding of body language is indispensable in our modern
lives," says Borg. "Every day, we constantly have to interpret
what another person’s body language is telling us – as well
as controlling our own to create the right impression. Although
we are perfectly able to select appropriate gestures and actions
to transmit a message, our body also sends out signals outside our
conscious awareness – in other words, without our permission.

the rest of the article

3, 2010

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