If you could see me now, you’d see that my head is slightly tilted and my hands are clasped, and I’ve got a pleasant smile going with a gaze that’s gently focusing on you. You couldn’t hate me if you tried! With my head tilt exposing my neck just so, your unconscious limbic system is yelling, “Oooooh, la, la. This guy makes me feel so comfortable!”
Non-verbal communication is as powerful a tool as language itself, whether it comes to creating immediate rapport, maximizing your influence or reading other people to discover their true intentions. That’s what Joe Navarro learned how to do during his 25 years in the FBI interrogating suspected criminals, spies and terrorists.
As one of the original founding members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, Navarro mastered his ability to read non-verbal body language. When he retired in 2003, he discovered his expertise and skills could be taught and benefit everyone from professional poker players to executives who wanted an extra edge. Since then, he has authored numerous books including the now-classic, What Everybody Is Saying.
In our interview Navarro shared his incredible insights. Here’s a small sampling:
They Might Lie, But Their Limbic System Tells The Truth
“Our needs, feelings, thoughts, emotions, and intentions are processed elegantly by the brain’s limbic system. It doesn’t have to think, it just reacts to the world in real time and our bodies show how we feel. Someone gives us bad news and our lips compress; the bus leaves without us and we are clenching our jaws and rubbing our necks. We are asked to work another weekend and the orbits of our eyes narrow as our chin lowers. These are discomfort displays that our limbic brain has perfected over millions of years, whether we are in China or Chile.” Continue reading