Monday, January 24, 2011

Negotiation Secret # 43: Crossed Arms with a Blocking Prop

Ashley Greene, one of the stars of the Twilight Movies, is seen here after leaving the E! studio.  She had just made an appearance on Chelsea Lately. Ms. Green demonstrates two common examples consistent with defensive, nervous and low-confidence behavior. Arm crossing covering the chest is a classic tell of these emotions, and with Ms. Greene's somewhat lower crossed arms shielding her upper abdomen, indicates these same feelings - although less so. Generally speaking - the higher the crossing, the more extreme these emotions.

In addition, when a purse, briefcase, book, etc. - a "prop" - is held in front of the body, it acts as a supplemental blocker and thus is indicative of, as well as fostering this low-confidence, nervous and defensive mindset. This does not mean that these emotions are prevalent parts of Ashley's personality. On the contrary, a fundamental premise of Body Language - is that what we see is indicative of what the real-time nature of a person's emotional tone is - objectively. Therefor, the moment to moment flux of the body and face are barometers for what is going on emotionally in a person's brain - at that moment. Thus there is simply no substitute for knowing the nuances of nonverbal communication, and being able to spot them, during conversations and negotiations. Those who lack this skill will suffer lost time, money and relationships.