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Body Language
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A lot has been written about observing body language to deconstruct the total message being sent from another person, particularly when it's a matter of whether you should trust that person or not.

One of the most useful for me, over the years, has been to watch for a disconnect between the body language and the verbal communication. "I get what you're saying," the person says--but he's shaking his head.

"We're in this together," she asserts, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms over her chest.

The disconnect says that there's something else going on. It's always been useful to me to use those moments of conflicting signals as a cue to probe further. "What do you thing about [what I was saying]?" I ask.

Or, "What shall we do if one of use can't get to the meeting?" I inquire of my boss.

I find that watching for the disconnects helps me not to make the mistake of hearing what I want to hear, but attending to what the person wants to say -- or wants to hide.

I read a report recently that what you should look for is a constellation of nonverbal cues, the grouping indicating that the person does not mean what he is saying.

If he touches his hands AND touches his face AND crosses his arms over his chest AND leans back -- well, you're probably not being told the truth; there's a hidden agenda.

Oh what a tangled web we weave....

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