x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Listening to body language is as important as the conversation

The best-selling author Allan Pease wants to share his deep understanding of non-verbal communication.

The best-selling body language author Allan Pease. Courtesy Allan Pease
The best-selling body language author Allan Pease. Courtesy Allan Pease

The best-selling author Allan Pease is running a communication workshop in the UAE on Thursday. He gives us an insight into his profession.

It's all in the wiring

Delegates will understand how important the first four minutes of meeting a person are. Making a powerful, lasting first impression and making people feel comfortable and important around you means they are more likely to buy what you are selling or what you are proposing. Delegates will also understand how a man and a woman will hear the same information but interpret it differently and how science reveals that the wiring of the brain alters how a person perceives an idea.

Learn to magnetise

My top tip is being able to make people around you feel important, recognised and appreciated. By doing this, others will respond more positively towards you and what you are proposing. Part of making this work for you is formulating habits including being able to give and receive sincere compliments and listening effectively and asking powerful questions.

Let's get physical

Touching the mouth or face, looking away from the person you are talking to, tugging at your collar, putting your finger in or near you mouth are all telltale signs of dishonesty. Liars are also likely to use telltale phrases such as "to be perfectly honest" or "to tell you the truth" and "in all honesty". Importantly, never take just one signal and attach a meaning to it. A nose touch could just mean an itchy nose. Look for clusters of gestures - groups of at least three signals happening together.

Lost in translation

When you find yourself in a foreign country, the best strategy is to educate yourself about that country and its habits. It is very easy to offend people, so ask your host to show you the local ways of greeting, saying goodbye, offensive gestures and so on. The Arab culture has some very specific body language. For example, continuing to hold hands for a long time after an initial greeting is common with the Arab community.

When in Rome …

Educate yourself, read up on the culture, be aware of the gestures and what they mean, even if you are not comfortable using them yourself. Knowledge is power, so if you can meet foreigners on level ground, then your business dealings will be smoother and more productive. My best body language tip for doing business within the Arab community is eye contact. Match their eye contact: if they are staring at you quite intensely while you are talking, it can mean that you have their full attention. This is only for men - be careful not to hold eye contact for very long or stare when dealing with women, and do not offer your hand to a woman unless she offers hers first.

Allan Pease's workshop takes place on Thursday from 9am to 4pm at Le Meridien, Airport Road, Dubai. For more details, go to www.rightselection.com