Nonverbal Communication Skills for Greater Understanding

Running Time: 1:14



Bill Acheson

About the Trainer – Bill Acheson Bill Acheson is an expert in nonverbal communication skills. Since 1985, he has taught communication at the University of Pittsburgh. With a high-energy, fast paced style, plus tons of practical content, Bill consistently gets the outstanding ratings from audience participants. As an in-demand speaker, he uses his knowledge of nonverbal communication, also known as body language, to teach professionals how to project themselves with greater impact and... Read More

Nonverbal communication. Body language. The management of time, space, appearance, posture, gesture, voice, eye contact, facial expression, breathing, touch, and smell. Is smell important in your professional life? Bank on it. We interviewed 600 professional women. Our question in a business setting, how do you know when a man cheats on his wife? The top seven answers, nonverbal communication. Ladies and gentleman I’m going to share with you the top two. Are you ready? Seventy-four percent of our female respondents “smell.” I do not trust a man who wears too much cologne or aftershave. You’re seen as untrustworthy. Number two and I apologize because I guarantee in an audience this big several of you guys are going down in flames on this one. I do not trust a man who… We’re going to look at the business world. We’re going to look at the simple act of meeting another individual. You see when you and I meet for the first time nonverbal communication or body language is 10 times more powerful than what you say. Let’s go there. You and I meet for the first time. The rules are different for men and women so pay attention, you want to get this right. In fact not only are the rules different, the rules are precisely the opposite. When meeting a male here are the rules: You never stand squared-shouldered face to face with a male. What are the odds gentleman that you and I would stand in the lobby 18-inches apart and have a communication square-shouldered and face to face? Slim. In fact if you have a height advantage that’s an intimidation move. What we’re going to learn is this that men are comfortable working at angles. If you’re a woman the opposite rule applies. Listen closely. Always in a first meeting particularly if you are a male, stand directly opposite that female. You never move into the side. You don’t go into that personal space bubble that exists two feet around every human being. For a female, and think of it this way, I asked a 63-year-old real estate professional, “Rose why a direct frontal approach?” Her answer spells it out clearly. She looks me in the eyes and says, “Bill come on. I need to see your hands at all times.” She’s not kidding. Women listen with their eyes and if you move close to a woman you’re violating her personal space. That is shared only by intimates. She prefers to have you directly opposite her at the boardroom table not on an angle. I’m working in a sales situation… Those are the four steps associated with a handshake. What I want to do is I want to share with you that a handshake is a remarkably powerful thing if you know what to look for and the message is not always conscious. Let’s look at five styles of handshake and I will share with you three bits of information before we go into that analysis. All handshakes in every culture in the world are about personal power. When I shake your hand I will be making a comment regarding relative power; my perception of power versus yours. Number two, in this culture in particular in the United States of America there are no gender distinctions in a handshake. There is a feminine handshake but I do not recommend using it. It will cost you credibility points. Number three, please consider the following: I think it’s important to note that when you go for a handshake it’s probably a lot more important to gather information about the person you’re meeting than to disseminate information; send information about yourself. I’m going to share with you how to read handshakes. There are five basic styles. Let’s go to work. First handshake – vertical one hander… Let’s take a look at three things that you must project to initiate and maintain a long running professional relationship and it doesn’t matter if you’re in a professional setting or a social setting. There are skills we need to determine and there are things we like of the people with whom we associate. Number one, we’re going to look at trustworthiness. Now how do you project trustworthiness? Before we go too far let me suggest a little twist. You cannot project trustworthiness verbally.