AlignMENt: 10 Key Body Language Indicators

By Patrick Donohue

July 19, 2013

AlignMENt:  10 Key Body Language Indicators

You have read the studies like I have about the importance of nonverbal communication. Most

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What are they really "saying"?

researchers estimate anywhere from 85-92% of communication happens nonverbally.  If this is true, then why are we such novices on knowing what different body language signals mean?

I have read a couple of books on body language and they are really fascinating (the best one is WHAT EVERY BODY IS SAYING by Joe Navarro).  There really is another realm as we interact with people, including our children.

So here are 10 cues to keep an eye on:

Touching self on arm or face - communicates anxiety or concern, pregnant mothers will instinctively touch their stomachs.

Arms cross in front – communicates anger, defiance or disinterest (unless someone is just cold).

Looking at watch – actually does mean the person is usually bored or ready to be done.

Arms spread wide in front of us – communicates confidence and security.

Upper lip curling up – communicates contempt or anger.

Saying “yes” while shaking no or visa versa – indicates deception or lying

Sitting with feet pointed towards nearest exit – indicates that the person wants to get out of the room.

Steepling hands in front of self – confidence and security.

Holding book, coffee cup or any object in front of self – communicates anxiety and the need to protect oneself.

Excessive touching of nose and covering of mouth – can be and indicator of deception and/or lying.

Obviously, these cues are not foolproof and need to be taken in context of a full interaction, but they are helpful to watch for.  As we interact with our children, if we can have a sense of what is going on before they have even spoken, that is helpful.

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