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JUST ANOTHER MINDREADER…
"Nathan"

 

JUST ANOTHER MINDREADER…
By Nathan Hancock

Continued from front page

Have you ever wanted to read other people’s thoughts? Maybe you are a business student looking for that unique edge to help launch yourself into the competitive world of markets, stocks and accounts. Or perhaps you are simply interested in the way we, humans, interact.

When former commission salesman, Allan Pease, first heard about ‘body language’ at an American seminar in 1971, he became so excited about it that he wanted to learn more. Today, the Australian entrepreneur is Chairman of Pease Training Corporation, a sales training and communications company based in Sydney. He lectures extensively around the world and his books, films and training programs are used by organizations everywhere to train their staff and members in the skills of handling people.

The speaker of that seminar nearly three decades ago, was Professor Ray Birdwhistell (the University of Louisville). Professor Birdwhistell explained that more human communication took place by the use of gestures, postures, position and distances than by any other method.

“A well trained person should be able to tell what movement a man is making by listening to his voice,” writes Pease, author of ‘Body Language- how to read others’ thoughts by their gestures,’ which sold over one million copies in 30 languages. “In like manner, Professor Birdwhistell learned to tell what language a person was speaking, simply by watching his gestures.”

Body Language examines aspects of non-verbal communication in a wide variety of everyday life. It discusses techniques that show you how to interpret gestures correctly and thus to ‘read’ the underlying thoughts or emotions.

“What people say is often very different from what they think or feel; but how do you tell?” writes Pease. “The answer lies in the study of body language. A person’s gestures are very accurate indicators of his or her attitudes, thoughts, desires or emotions.”

Although studies on body language have been ongoing since the late nineteenth century, researchers in more recent times have noted and recorded almost one million non-verbal cues and signals.

American researches have also found that the total impact of a message is about 55% non-verbal, 38% vocal (including tone of voice, inflection and other sounds) and just 7% verbal (words only). The verbal component of a face-to-face conversation is less than 35% and that over 65% of communication is done non-verbally.

“Most researchers generally agree that the verbal channel is used primarily for conveying information, while the non-verbal channel is used for negotiating interpersonal attitudes and in some cases, is used as a substitute for verbal messages,” writes Pease.

BODY LANGUAGE FACTS:

-Women are generally more perceptive than men. Women have an innate ability to pick-up and decipher non-verbal signals, as well as having an accurate eye for small detail. However, female intuition is more evident in women who have brought up children.

-Research shows that non-verbal signals carry about five times as much impact as the verbal channel. Sigmund Freud once noted that while a patient was verbally expressing happiness with her marriage, she was unconsciously slipping her wedding ring on and off.

-Basic facial gestures are inborn. German scientist Eibl-Eibesfeldt found that the smiling expressions of children born deaf and blind occur independently of learning or copying. Research has also found that each culture uses the same basic facial gestures to show emotion.

-The evolutionary origin of some gestures can be traced to our primitive animal past. Baring the teeth is derived from the act of attacking and is still used by modern man in the form of a sneer and other such hostile gestures, even though he will not attack with his teeth. Smiling was originally a threat gesture, but today it is done in conjunction with non-threatening gestures to show pleasure.

-Is it possible to fake your own body language? Allan Pease says no. The face is used more often than any part of the body to cover up lies. We use smiles, nods and winks in an attempt to cover up, but unfortunately for us, our body signals give us away. There is, however, a way to control our body signals to some degree, but that requires plenty of practice- that is, lying.

“The ‘Body Language’ book was originally intended as a working manual for salespeople, sales managers and executives and, in the ten years it has taken to research and compile, it has been expanded in such a way that any person, regardless of his/her vocation or position in life, can use it to obtain a better understanding of life’s most complex event, a face-to-face encounter with another person,” writes Pease.

For more information on books and seminars by Allan Pease, you can enquire through: Contact Pease Training Corporation, Box 350, Avalon Beach, and N.S.W, 2107.


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Page Last Updated: 9/1/2002
C 2002 L Munro