Body language at work

We are all very good at reading body language.     Is that a true statement?

People that own a pet will testify that animals communicate very well with their owners without words; this is a rapport that is built up over  time and regular contact.     Animals are very clever at telling their owners when it’s tea-time or time for walkies.   Should a stranger look after the same animal for some time, the animal will set about educating them in the niceties of cat or dog speak.

People that know each other very well can often read each other accurately.    This explains how our mothers always know when we are up to no good!

These are my thoughts on body language, which are based on my own experiences.     I think we are very good at noticing body language,  but not always so good at reading the signs correctly.    The reasons for this are often due to past experiences.

We each have our own highly individualistic set of experiences that have created values and beliefs that are unique;  the values and beliefs filter any evidence that is set before us and form the basis of our conclusions.     The beliefs,  in particular, may not be true or accurate, or at the very least may not be useful in every circumstance.

In many ways these filters are useful.    Life would be very difficult if we had to make every simple decision afresh; we use past experiences to make decisions effectively and often it is a good strategy.

The filters are not so great when they lead us to an incorrect conclusion.     How annoying is it when others misread our body language and intentions, based on their own prejudices?      Think how annoying it must be for others when we do the same thing.

Mind reading can be a dangerous sport!

Deborah Burdett