How to be a master body-language reader (and use your powers for good)

“Microexpressions”, explains Body-Language expert, Robert Phipps, “is a subconscious flash of emotion across the face, lasting no longer than a quarter of a second”. It sounds insignificant, but learning to decipher microexpressions can be the ultimate ability.

Being able to identify the nuances and tells of body-language can end up getting you that promotion you’ve been gunning for all this time. DesignTaxi have stitched together a handy ‘beginners guide to body-language’ which you can check out below.

In their words: “Negotiating for a promotion or a raise at work can be tricky at times. In addition to crafting a solid argument as to why you deserve this particular advancement, there are several nonverbal tricks you can use that will positively influence a person’s impression of you.”

They split the graphic into each part of the body, this is what we learned:

  • Utilise the face triangle: Eye contact and lip reading gives the impression that you’re listening really intensely. We all rely on the people we’re talking to to only be half-listening so they don’t notice mistakes. Hanging on every word is a power-play of sorts.
  • Good posture: If you’ve got the height advantage on your manager, you’re already out of the black. Stand tall and face forward to demonstrate confidence. Make it seem relaxed though, don’t puff your chest out and try to come off as dominant.
  • Mirroring: Mimic other people’s gestures to make you seem more relatable. Do it subtly and, I shouldn’t have to say, don’t do it at the same time as your manager. You’re trying to win their favour, no showcase your mime skills.
  • Unless arms and legs: Closed body-language is always a big no-no. Open yourself up both physically and the other person will read this as a sign to let their guard down. Standing stiff and defensive makes you seem like you’ve got ulterior motives.


Image credit: DesignTaxi