Imagine you are sitting on the plane or train and there is a lengthy article in the newspaper about Al Qaeda. It actually looks fresh and interesting with lots of photos.
Sitting next to you is a man who looks as if he is Arab and you think perhaps a Muslim. Maybe various feelings go through your body and for any of a dozen “reasons” you turn the page to a seemingly more benign story on the next page.
You get “a feeling.” That feeling is transmitted and your perception of the person sitting next to you is received. That perception could easily be incorrect because it is after all a gut reaction but you “feel it.”
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue came out last week. You get it there at the office. Your boss is coming for a visit. Prior to the visit you look around the office, straighten up and either pop the copy of SI in a drawer or at the bottom of the magazine pile on the coffee table or at your desk….but it was out in plain sight not minutes before.
Certainly concerned about how someone perceives you.
Think back to the last time you bought a “men’s magazine” like FHM or Playboy. You picked it up and then realized that you can’t walk up to the counter with JUST the recent Playboy so you have to pick up a couple of other magazines or books or food products on the way as well. As soon as the magazine is sufficiently “buried” you go check out and hope the woman scans the magazine quickly and doesn’t “judge you” too harshly.
You get a feeling, before, during and after the scanning. It’s odd because it shouldn’t “matter,” but it does. You perceive judgment in advance and in process….we hate being judged negatively.
Each of these scenarios happen just about every day to people in the United States. Granted, no one in Europe or the U.K. is going to fully “get this” American phenomenon, but it is very real on this side of the water.
Your body language and mine send intense messages in these seemingly meaningless situations…and absolutely nothing good or bad has actually occured.
You become more stiff. Your eyes don’t absorb an environment. They dart. You stand straighter and look more at attention. Your breathing becomes shallower and quicker and your fingers become cool and moist.
The same is true for plenty of harmless situations.
But the damage is done and people are reading you in a very unfair and unfriendly way. Their radar has detected something. They are not comfortable with it.
This is exactly the point where body awareness becomes significant. You don’t need to think about reading other people’s body language, you need to be certain you are course correcting your own!
Why Does This Happen?
The reasons are many, the emotions connected with content, whether religious material, men’s magazines, romance novels, books that hammer on the other political party….these are all things that Americans are culturally indoctrinated to be “sensitive” about.
And these seemingly bizarre experiences are generated by thoughts and feelings of being overly concerned about what others opinions are, of you. “Political correctness” gone wild…, if you will.
What’s fascinating is that these nonverbal patterns of feeling and your reactions change your income, happiness and way of life.
These thoughts and feelings literally change your behavior and they change your decisions as to what content you are going to be looking at in any moment. And that will change everything else you do.
Further, you decide on what movies to go see, what to watch on TV, what car you will buy …also based upon YOUR PERCEPTION of the person’s opinion that is sitting next to you, or near you, or even that person over there that is busy with another project.
How do you send a more confident, stronger, more certain impression?
Self awareness is the starting point. In most of these politically sensitive situations where others may or may not have a perception about you, where others really may not even notice you, it’s important that you are confident and calm….feeling more comfortable so when faced with situations that are truly significant, you are better prepared for THEM.
What’s the Problem With All This?
Your perceptions of others perceptions is like taking a picture in the dark without a flash. You really haven’t got a clue as to whether you are on track or not.
And this is a key problem with trying to be overly “sensitive” or “politically corect.” It’s one reason that those who aren’t politically correct often appear so calm, comfortable, confident and certain. It’s because they’ve become virtually immune to possible perceptions of others in the environment.
Usually, but not always for the better.
The problem with all of this is that the force of influence of others in the environment combined with your own personal concerns about what others think of you reduces your field of possible information and entertainment sources. The field gets smaller and you see two things.
1) A world that you are being shaped into instead of the world as it is.
2) A world that is based on others political, religious, values instead of behaving in a natural and normal way.
And all of that is “exposed” in your own body language and nonverbal communication….to others….to yourself.
I’m going to use picking stocks as a metaphor for everything we do in life and business, but as you will see the concepts map over to….everything else.
So, before we come to stock picking and portfolio selection, let’s briefly look at your office.
Think in terms of NON-verbal communication…
The Right and Left Brain
If you’re like most right-handed people, the left side of your desk is a mess and the right side is clean. (I know you’re wondering how I can see your desk.)
In fact, about half of right-handed people who have that mess on their desk have a stash of emails and letters that are six months old that still need to be dealt with eventually…. and they aren’t on the right side of the desk.
How can I know that?
It turns out (to overgeneralize) that the left brain which is a bit more linear, computational and logical is activated more intensely when you look to the right. Rule of thumb: Left brain doesn’t like disorder.
The right side of the brain is more the home to emotions, feelings, autobiography. It doesn’t care about disorder, it cares about the woman at the cash register scanning the Playboy at Barnes and Noble. (Just reading that makes you a little anxious, true?)
When right-handed people look for an extended period of say, one minute, to their left, they begin to feel uneasy and experience anxiety and feelings of fear.
Now imagine that you have two prospectuses (Descriptions of stocks you can buy) sitting on the coffee table.
One is to the right and one is to the left.
To over generalize you will tend to look at the prospectus on your right (because information coming in the right eye filters more to the left brain and the left eye to the right brain) will receive a more analytical analysis on your part. The prospectus on your left is more likely to receive an emotional and usually negative (because most strong emotions are negative) bias.
You’ll be more likely to pick the stock that is featured in the prospectus on the right because you simply didn’t feel good about the one on the left.
Now, let’s complicate the universe.
Will you go broke because of nonverbal communication?!
Authority, Body Language, and Influence
Your superior comes in and sits down opposite you. She drops five prospectuses directly onto the table in front of you.
She has a bias toward retail while you have been strongly interested in cheap precious metals stocks. She looks at precious metals stocks almost as if they aren’t stocks. (She doesn’t like them.) What looks and feels better in a portfolio to the firm’s customers, WMT or GOLD? GOLD is “scary” and WMT is “safe.”
She is in control of your salary and bonuses and asks for your opinion on the stocks she’s just laid out in front of you.
Fact is because of your awareness of her biases, you tend to lean toward what she likes for your portfolio. Her agreement and your perception of her thinking you to be intelligent and “making right decisions” is more important (fear) than picking what you think the right stock is. You pull out Macy’s and suggest that stock.
“That’s what I was thinking, too.”
Relieved, you go back to your desk and buy the XAU or HUI for your own account.
Your superior has completely influenced your decision.
Now imagine that you don’t work on the street for the brokerage house. You’re just like me out here in the real world.
You’re screening stocks and come across CVX. (Chevron Oil)
Friendships and Biases
Sitting next to you is your rightfully concerned environmentalist friend.
You’re explaining how to buy stocks.
“Low PE, good earnings, blah blah blah.”
“Chevron,” you tell him.
“Oh, oil company.”
And immediately you feel uncomfortable. Your friend is evaluating you as a polluter of the environment and the source of global warming and ultimately the destruction of the planet.
So you skip past CVX and move to a less “sensitive” stock.
Will you always cave based on body language cues and perceptions?
All of this Nonverbal Communication, both intrapersonal and interpersonal completely changes your investment strategy.
Almost certainly, it will cost you money.
But you made all of these decisions based upon your perception of what others think of you. Their judgments of you change your decisions.
What’s so funny/sad is that the ramifications of perceptions of both others beliefs and your actual perceptions of their body language can shift your entire life. It can change your level of wealth, whether you continue working for the company and even your personal psychology.
Next time out, I’ll show you the cues that drive these perceptions as well as how and where you position others in that room will change your portfolio as well.
All of this is the The Secret Language of Influence that no one thinks about, but affects us all.
Kevin Hogan is author of the book, Secret Language of Business.
How Can You Always Tell When Someone is Lying to YOU?
BODY LANGUAGE: Decoding, Interpreting & Mastering Non-Verbal Communication
with body language expert Kevin Hogan
The Advanced Home Study Course in Analyzing Nonverbal Communication!
When you discover the secrets of body language, you can be the one who:
- Never gets lied to
- Knows when they are attracted to you
- Knows when they are uncomfortable
- Is in control 100% of the time!
The exact same nonverbal communication that gets people to buy from you are the same ones that get them to buy you. Whether you want to master body language to make the sale or get the girl (or guy) this program reveals all the secret codes hidden for so long! Absolutely no one has all of this information. Period. My proprietary research (which you are going to receive!) brings you to the cutting edge of having people fall in love with you in literally a matter of seconds.
You are going to discover what really gets the sale, the promotion, and what seals or kills the deal.
Between 60% and 75% of all of your communication is nonverbal. Are you attracting or repelling people around you? Are you making every sale you could be? How are people reading you?
In the first four seconds people will make judgments about you:
- I will or will not buy from this person.
- I will or will not like this person.
- I find this person kind, or not.
- I find this person intelligent or not.
And now for the most amazing part of the course: 6 CDs and Video are INTERACTIVE with our secret website filled with photographs to analyze!
You move through a catalog of photographs and nuance by nuance analyze the small lines, wrinkles, facial expressions, hand and body placement. All these details are explained to you by body language expert, Kevin Hogan.
The first two introductory CDs are geared toward helping you make an incredible impression in those first four seconds. This advanced portion of the home study course is all about the other person! Now you can discover whether they are lying or not. You can find out the cues of annoyance, covering hidden feelings, and whether they like you or not.
You are going to learn to read people in virtually an instant. Kevin will introduce you to what he does when The New York Post, First for Women, Cosmopolitan, Playboy, The Star, Maxim, Success, Selling Power and the rest of the media call!
Over the past two years we’ve collected over 100 pictures of celebrities that he has analyzed for the media. Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Angelina Jolie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, The Sex and the City girls, Drew Barrymore, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Beyonce Knowles, Liz Hurley, Pamela Anderson, Stephen Spielberg, and dozens more.
As you progress through the course, you will become proficient at reading and analyzing body language! And of course, I’m giving you the keys to my password-protected secret website with over 100 photos of the stars ready to analyze!
This is a complete seminar in reading, decoding and interpreting body language from the source. Nothing is missing and YOU have access!
You will receive my complete analysis of EVERY PHOTOGRAPH on Six (6) Digital Audio CDs. Your Secret Password to the Hidden Website for the Interactive Photo Gallery will come with your package.