Do you want to be bulletproof at work, secure in your relationship, and content in your own skin? If so, it’s more important than ever to be aware of what your body is saying to the outside world. Unfortunately, most of what you’ve heard from other body language experts is wrong, and, as a result, your actions may be hurting, not helping, you.
With sass and a keen eye, media favorite Janine Driver teaches you the skills she used every day to stay alive during her fifteen years as a body-language expert at the ATF. Janine’s 7-day plan and her 7-second solutions teach you dozens of body language fixes to turn any interpersonal situation to your advantage. She reveals methods here that other experts refuse to share with the public, and she debunks major myths other experts swear are fact:
Giving more eye contact is key when you’re trying to impress someone. Not necessarily true. It’s actually more important where you point your belly button. This small body shift communicates true interest more powerfully than constant eye contact.
The “steeple” hand gesture will give you the upper hand during negotiations and business meetings. Wrong. Driver has seen this overbearing gesture backfire more often than not. Instead, she suggests two new steeples that give you power without making you seem overly aggressive: the Basketball Steeple and the A-OK Two-Fingered Steeple.
Happy people command power and attention by smiling just before they meet new people. Studies have shown that people who do this are viewed as Beta Leaders. Alpha leaders smile once they shake your hand and hear your name.
At a time when every advantage counts—and first impressions matter more than ever—this is the book to help you really get your message across.
|Product dimensions:||5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The New Body Language: What I'll Tell You That Other Experts Won't
"If language was given to men to conceal their thoughts, then gesture's purpose was to disclose them."–John Napier (1550 – 1617), Hands
One afternoon, after a deadly shoot-out at a Richmond, California, hamburger stand, a young woman was found cowering under a car. The woman turned out to be a terrified cousin of the recently deceased. She told the investigator she’d greeted her cousin with a quick, “Hey, cuz,” at the hamburger stand and started to walk around the building to go to the bathroom. Then she’d heard a loud noise and immediately dove under a car for refuge. Did you see the shooter? the investigator wondered. No, she said, I’m sorry, but I didn’t see who shot my cousin.
The investigator suspected that there was more to the story, so he brought in J. J. Newberry, Truth Wizard. (No, really—that’s actually his title. A Truth Wizard is a person who’s been scientifically proven to detect lies accurately at least 80 percent of the time. As the number one human lie detector in the world, J. J.’s rate is over 90 percent.)
The stakes were high. The suspect, One-Eyed Marvin, was a known drug dealer who’d been terrorizing the area with drive-by shootings, pipe bombings, and targeted hits on competing cocaine dealers—and their children, innocent bystanders, or anyone unfortunate enough to witness his crimes.
J. J. walked into the interview room very deliberately. He gave the young woman a firm handshake, then faced her directly but with a laid-back demeanor. He started with some small talk, to make her feel at ease. While he maintained an open pose, he asked a lot of questions, listening with his ears and, even more important, with his eyes.
After establishing rapport, J. J. asked the young woman to explain what happened the night of the incident. She repeated the same story she had told the first investigator:
“I said hello to my cousin who was at the hamburger stand and walked toward the corner of the building to go the bathroom. I heard a loud sound. I dove under a car to hide. And that’s where the police found me, just ask them.”
J. J. didn’t interrupt her or finish her sentences. He simply let her speak. When she was done, J. J. used a friendly but curious voice. “I’ve been to that hamburger stand,” he said. “And there’s no bathroom behind there.”
“No, I went back there to squat down,” she replied. “Everyone does it.”
J. J. had, of course, already known that people went behind that building to do their business; he wanted to see if she would tell him the truth. J. J. was analyzing her baseline behavior: her tone of voice, rhythm of speaking, hand gestures, stance, and posture. Any time that she deviated from her normal behavior, he could ask her specific open-ended questions to get her to reveal the truth. At that point J. J. asked her an odd question: “Did you sense a pending fear of danger?”
“What?” she asked, confused.
J. J. repeated the question. “When you saw your cousin at the hamburger stand, did you sense a pending fear of danger?”
She confidently responded, “No, not at all.”
J. J. stood up. “Okay, that’s all I wanted to know.” But while making his way out of the room, J. J. abruptly pounded his fist on the desk behind the young woman. She immediately whipped her head around, toward the sound, to see what was going on.
Just as Colombo himself would have done, J. J. looked right at her and said, “See what you just did? You turned your head toward the sound to see if you were in any kind of danger. Everyone who hears an unexpected burst of sound instinctively looks to see where it’s coming from, in order to know if they are in imminent danger. Then they determine where to run.”
He looked her even more directly in the eye. “And just as you turned to look at me, you looked toward your cousin when he was shot, and you saw the shooter, didn’t you?”
Immediately the young woman burst into tears. “Yes . . . yes, I did,” she whimpered. “One-Eyed Marvin killed my cousin . . . with a machine gun.”
J. J. moved toward her and immediately hugged his new witness. “It’s okay. I know you’re afraid, but it’s okay. We’ll take care of you. Just tell us the truth.”
J. J. Newberry’s primary secret ingredient during that interview, and every interview he does, is confidence. He has tapped so thoroughly into his innate body language skills that he knows how to establish rapport with anyone. When you have that kind of easy, comfortable rapport with people, they let down their guard. You can see how they really think, how they really react, so you can adjust your body language to their unconscious preferences. Just like that, they’ll start to trust you automatically.
J. J. uses this process to convince people to just tell the truth. You can use this process in much the same way—to get to the bottom of any story, to stay in control of any situation, even to influence people to do what you’d like them to do. You’ll start with your own instincts and strengthen them with the strategies in this book. You’ll develop an entire repertoire of skills to respond to any situation and subtly retain the upper hand, no matter which way things go.
What you will not do is memorize a series of positions and gestures. The New Body Language is so much richer than that.
7 Myths of the Old Body Language
Now, what would have happened had J. J. gone into that interrogation room like a car salesman at the end of the fiscal year, eager to make the next sale? Maybe his mug plastered with a fake grin, manic energy level, overly firm handshake, intense eye contact, speaking quickly, maybe even steepling his hands (a notorious hand gesture for “powerful people”)?
I’ll tell you what would have happened: he would have looked desperate and insincere, and most likely would have destroyed his credibility.
While all of these signals are on the Old Body Language list of powerful or influential signals, none of them would help him in this situation. J. J. knew he would be better served if he telegraphed empathy and self-confidence by using relaxed facial expressions, little body movement, fewer gestures, and a slower and lower manner of speaking. Yet during job interviews, sales negotiations, and first dates from Los Angeles to New York City, would-be successful leaders make this colossal mistake every day. Flipping through a compendium of body language, they’ve mixed up their own little concoction of “success” signals: a wide stance here, a dash of power gestures there, a brief touch here, and a full cup of eye contact there. But what they don’t realize is that the clustering of too many power gestures at once, or even one wrong move used at the wrong time, will likely harm, if not ruin, your chances for your desired outcome.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you thought you knew something about body language but somehow you sabotaged your success, either with subconscious messages you sent to others or by misinterpreting another person’s signals?
If so, you’re not alone. That’s one of the primary reasons I wrote this book—to help people learn how to integrate their interpretation and execution of body language signals, so they all come together in a seamless, natural, fluid way, without resorting to any of the awkward robotics of the Old Body Language. The “insert signal A into situation B” approach is not effective—this myth gets a lot of press but, unfortunately, it’s not true. And it’s only one of several Old Body Language myths.
Myth #1: Reading body language signals can help you read minds. If you’ve watched TV lately, or opened up a celebrity magazine in the last five years, you’ve no doubt been bombarded with split-second body language analysis of political figures, pop stars, even little kids. Listening to these analyses, you might be convinced there are absolute meanings behind every move we make—that all you have to do is simply learn to interpret a handful of body language signals and you, too, can be a mind reader.
This makes my bullsh*t detector go insane. I have a rule that anytime I do a body language analysis of a photograph, I have to see a minimum of twenty other images of the person. That’s the only way I can see if his behavior is unusual and telling or if it is entirely normal for him. I never say, “This body language signal means . . .” I always say, “It could be perceived as this.” Because every body language “rule” has exceptions.
Table of Contents
Introduction Without Saying a Word, You Say More Than You Think 1
1 The New Body Language: What I'll Tell You That Other Experts Won't 11
2 Day 1: Walk in Their Shoes 37
3 Day 2: Master the Belly Button Rule 65
4 Day 3: Work Your Naughty Bits and Other Lower Extremities 77
5 Day 4: Move to the Right Side 99
6 Day 5: Tune Up Your Power Gestures 115
7 Day 6: Put Your Best Face Forward 139
8 Day 7: The OWQ, Formula and Other Advanced Techniques 165
9 All Together, Now: A New Attitude 185
10 The Final Word: Finding Garcia 201
Bonus Text the Body Reader: 7-Second Fixes for Any Situation 204
Appendix Create Your Own Body Language Power Team 213
Selected References 215