Anyone whose lips are constantly pressed tightly together like the former US
President George W. Bush has a problem. Tension in the lip and jaw area is a
clear sign of strain, generally nervousness or strong emotion. Occasionally
however it also indicates intense intellectual activity and can be a sign that
something completely new has just occurred to your counterpart or that they
have changed their mind.
7. Turning the head
Anyone who suddenly turns their head to the side and looks away is most likely
no longer sure of their subject matter or has a completely different opinion
from you. Young children turn their heads away when they feel uncomfortable
around officious adults; managers do it too, and for exactly the same reasons.
8. The cold shoulder
If your counterpart turns away from you, something is not right. They push
their upper body forward to protect themselves and literally give you the “cold
shoulder“. A good salesperson always sits openly and straight facing the
customer, thereby signaling sympathy, confidence and a readiness to talk.
9. The pistol gesture
Hands clasped firmly together with both thumbs pointing upwards, the index
fingers stretched out in front and pointing at the other person; this is
someone who is unsure of themselves entering self-defense mode! Avoid this
gesture wherever possible as it is not well received by people who understand
10. Hand in front of the mouth
The other person has known for some time what they want to say and is waiting
impatiently to say it. In actual fact, they have already formed their opinion
and have not really been listening for a while now.
11. Holding the nose
Before an animal eats, it sniffs at its food. Anyone who holds their nose
whilst listening is critical and is looking to be convinced.