Social Media

Have you ever wondered why so many people misinterpret posts and comments on Facebook? Have you or someone you know ever got upset with what someone has said on Facebook only to find out later that that’s not what they actually meant? Well there’s a simple explanation as to why this happens.

Dr Albert Mehrabian conducted a study in 1967 and claimed that communication could be broken down into words, tonality and non-verbal movements or body language. Further, he claimed that words only made up approximately 7% of the communication process, 38% of communication was the tonality people used and the remaining 55% comes from body language.

So, it seems that what you don’t say conveys more information than the words you speak. When you only hear the spoken word, say over the phone, you are getting less than half the message, and when you read the written word, you are only receiving 7% of the message.
When someone writes a post on Facebook, or comments on somebody else’s post, how do you know what they really mean. They are only giving you a very small percentage of what they are really thinking. The rest is up to you to take that tiny bit of information and then create the rest of the story for yourself.

So, there you go. How are you expected to fully understand a message when only a small portion of it is being communicated? If you want the whole story, the true message that’s being conveyed, go to the source, the person who is telling the story. That way they will have the opportunity to converse fully with you and allow you to truly understand what they are trying to say.

If you would like to learn more, CLICK HERE, to schedule a conversation with Craig.


Responsive Phases of Deception

When you lie to someone there is a process that takes place within you, both mentally and physically. There are 3 responsive phases after deception has taken place. They are the Emotional Response, the Sympathetic Nervous Response and the Cognitive Response.

Phase 1 – The Emotional Response

When a lie is told, the deceiver recognises what they have done and they react emotionally (guilt, fear, stress, excitement). Depending on the severity of the lie, this response can vary from minor to extreme. If the deception is significant or the consequences of being detected are major, then the emotional charge attached to the lie will be increased. This is where being able to read micro expressions comes in very handy.

Phase 2 – The Sympathetic Nervous Response

This phase is the physical reaction to the emotional charge associated to the deception. The person’s nervous system will react in line with the “Fight or Flight” instinct. The body releases adrenaline which may manifest in body language signs or deception clues that can be detected. Some obvious examples include finger tapping, fidgeting, talking too quickly and rapid eye movement.

Phase 3 – Cognitive Response

This phase happens when the deceiver recognises their sympathetic nervous response. It is the conscious phase where they try to counter or disguise their deception clues they are exhibiting. For example, if a person lying to you recognises they are tapping their fingers, they may hide their hands by putting them in their pockets. Some signs are easy for the liar to recognise and then try to control, like fidgeting. Other signs, like pupil dilation, breathing and pulse rate are harder to monitor and recognise by the liar, and so, are harder to control. Don’t discount easy signs to recognise, but definitely focus on the harder ones.

As humans, we have a limit to what our brain can do. If you ask the deceiver a question, they have to use some of the power they are using to control the deception clues, to answer your question. This is where some of the “easier to recognise” body language signs will come through. Because of the limited brain power, the liar will either focus on answering the question and allow signs of deception to leak through, or focus on controlling their body language, making the verbal lie unconvincing or illogical. So, ask questions, lots of them. And quickly so they don’t have a lot of time to fabricate an answer.

If you would like to learn more, CLICK HERE, to schedule a conversation with Craig.


The body on body language

When reading body language, a person’s posture, and how they move, reveals how they feel about themselves. This in turn will determine how others will relate to them.


Some good examples are despair where the body collapses in as the muscles relax, just like a rag doll, passion and excitement when the muscles tighten and the body movements are forceful and concentrated, anger and frustration where the muscles are tightened but the body movements are intense like slamming your fists, finger pointing, and energised and excited as the body tends to use short, sharp movements.


There are 3 types of postures:

  • Standing – this position enables you to think and act quickly, move towards or away from a person or thing, and it’s considered a position of action and authority.
  • Sitting – this position is less energised, more relaxed and more social. I am purposely sitting down for the majority of this training so I can create a social atmosphere.
  • Lying Down – this position is submissive, very relaxed and is the best position for getting in touch with your feelings and thoughts.


When interacting with other people, a person’s posture will also be determined by what they think of the other person. When they are in the presence of someone of a higher status than themselves, their body will be symmetrical. Think of a soldier standing at attention when in the presence of an officer or a student standing in front of the school principal. Standing with your hands on your hips indicates you feel equal to or above the person you are interacting with. Bowing, even slightly, is a sign of respect. The Japanese use this posture more frequently than other cultures, however, even a slight nod of the head can be used as a sign of respect.


The lean of your body indicates whether your feelings are positive or negative. Leaning forward, towards someone, shows that you are interested and you like them. The more you lean in, the more you like them. You are sharing their personal space with them and showing the other person, you want to be close to them. If you are not interested in the person or conversation, you will tend to lean away from them.


If you would like to learn more, CLICK HERE, to schedule a conversation with Craig.


Mistake in reading body language

Most people believe that they know what all body language means. Unfortunately, they think that a gesture always means the same thing. The fact is that any one gesture could mean several things. You must look at the gesture along with other accompanying gestures, or clusters as well as in what context the gesture is being made.

When trying to read or understand someone’s body language, the more you understand the context in which it is taking place, the better you will be at understanding what it actually means. For example, when someone crosses their arms in front of them, it could be seen as a sign of defence, or putting a barrier between themselves and the other person. But if it is cold, they may be just trying to keep warm.

Likewise, if someone touches their nose while telling you something, they may be telling you an untruth. However, if you notice that they have been sniffing a bit, it is possible that they have the flu and are just wiping their nose. So be aware of what is going on in the surrounding environment as well as what the person is doing.

And take note of what other gestures are happening at the same time. It’s the combination of gestures that indicate what the person is really feeling. The accuracy with which you can read someone’s body language will be increased when you can start to observe multiple tells, or clusters of nonverbal behaviours. These signals work together like a jigsaw puzzle. The more pieces you have, the better your chances are of seeing the full picture.

For example, if someone crosses their arms, they may be defensive, or they may be cold. But if they cross their arms, purse their lips tight, break eye contact and turn one of their feet away from you, they are more than likely not happy with the situation.

So, don’t fall for the problem that most people do, thinking that a particular nonverbal behaviour can only mean one thing.

If you would like to learn more, CLICK HERE, to schedule a conversation with Craig.


Great impressions begin before you enter the room.

In business interactions, first impressions are crucial. Once someone mentally labels you, everything else you do will be viewed through that filter. If someone likes you, they’ll look for the best in you. If they don’t, they won’t.


Use your eye contact to increase your professional impact.

Too much eye contact can be seen as rude or hostile, and in a business context, it may also be perceived as a deliberate intent to dominate, intimidate, or make the other person feel at a disadvantage. Too little, on the other hand, can make you appear uneasy, insincere, or uninterested. Try to match the other person’s eye contact. They are comfortable using the amount they use, so they will feel comfortable with you if you do the same.


Create a bond through touch.

Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. You can, however, go beyond the handshake and create a lasting, positive impact by just by touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder while shaking their hand. Then at subsequent meetings you can reactivate that initial favorable impression by once again lightly touching your acquaintance’s arm.


To power up your thinking, talk with your hands.

Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca’s area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we’re talking, but also when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as you talk can actually power up your thinking.


To communicate more effectively, stop talking.

Stillness sends a message that you’re calm and confident. When you are giving a presentation, don’t be concerned with filling every moment with words. Every so often, pause. It might feel like you are waiting for an eternity, but it won’t seem long to your listeners.


To sound more dynamic, widen your stance

Your voice comes from your entire body, not just your mouth. Your body helps you become a more dynamic speaker when it is grounded — feet planted firmly on the floor, a hips-width apart, with your weight evenly distributed. A broad stance like this calms your nervous system, allows you to breathe with ease, and amplifies your voice.


If you would like to learn more, CLICK HERE, to schedule a conversation with Craig.