There’s a new television show that you may have seen called “Lie to Me”. The premise of the show is that there are police investigators who are trying to determine what happened in different cases based on how suspects and witnesses react in certain situations in responding to different questions. The investigators look closely at facial expressions, eye movement, body language, and other non-verbal factors to really determine what the individual is saying beyond what their words convey.
Occasionally after a customer service training session where we describe body language, expressions, and tone of voice, a participant will come up to me and say that this stuff seems just like that TV show “Lie to Me”. They find it very interesting what we’re conveying because they have seen this show.
Now what the investigators are doing in the television show is something that we should be doing on an ongoing basis in our business and personal lives.
They are not focusing purely on what the other person is saying, but they are also focusing on how they are saying it. They are looking at the eyes, the arm and hand movement, the facial expressions, body posture and positioning, and the directional positioning of the body during the discussion. We need to be looking at these factors when we converse with others. Because others are conversing with us in many ways beyond the words they are conveying, and if we truly want to understand others, then we truly need to look at all different manners in which they are communicating with this.
So the next time you’re communicating with somebody face-to-face, watch their eyes closely, look at their body positioning and movement, notice their facial expressions, view when they look down or to the side or up, notice the hand movements, and begin to try to understand what they are conveying with those signals. You’ll find yourself being a more keen observer of the other, and you’ll also find yourself becoming much more adept at handling the conversation in an effective manner.
Don’t let them lie to you. Make sure you know what they are really saying beyond their words.