In our recent blog series on how to navigate your firm’s politics successfully (part 1, part 2, part 3), we talked about the need to learn to read non-verbal body language. Very often it is a person’s body language, which will give the greatest clues to their state of mind. The skill of reading non-verbal body language can be used in all sorts of situations. For example:
- In business development meetings – does the client seem willing to proceed?
- In 1:2:1s with members of your team – do they seem enthusiastic and open to the opportunities you are giving them?
- With clients – is the meeting progressing positively?
Here are 9 non-verbal signals that not all is going well:
- changes in body posture, especially turning away
- crossed arms
- withdrawal of eye contact
- doodling on the note pad
- looking out the window
- drumming fingers
- glancing at the clock or their watch.
If you sense that a meeting is not going well then,
pause, take a breath, and ask how people are feeling
What non-verbal body language clues do you look out for and why?