Remember, body actions and gestures are not an exact science, but they offer helpful hints. When you think about evaluating people, you must take into account not just the body, but the voice and eyes (the window to the soul). Certainly analyzing your customer will help you, but more importantly consider your own body language. Does your voice break in the middle of your pitch? Do you look nervous when you talk about price? Find below common body language patterns and their interpretation:
Steeple hands (fingertips touching to make a tent-like structure): Demonstrates confidence and support.
Wagging fingers: Disagreement and negative impression of what was said. Pointing fingers: Strong negative emotions, hostile and aggressive.
Pointing pen: Aggressive behavior and strength.
Hands on hips: A sense of confidence, strong belief and self-esteem.
Rubbing hands: In charge, in control and comfortable.
Lean back on hands behind head: Relaxation, comfort and pleasure.
Lean far back with arms crossed: Disagreement, lack of interest or frustration.
Chewing pencil (fingers): Nervous, excitement.
Hand over mouth: Hiding poor self-esteem or embarrassment.
Tapping pencil or fingers: Nervous or anxious.
Leaning forward: Interest, acceptance and agreement.
Edge of chair: About to take action and acceptance of ideas.
Tapping of feet: Impatience, boredom or uneasy.
Rubbing nose: Doubt of what has been said.
Arms crossed: Means show me or I’m listening. Sometimes a defensive position if coupled with leaning back.
Vertical handshake: Normal up-and-down handshake. Indicates equal footing or balance of self-esteem.
Palm-up handshake: Subservient relationship. Low self-esteem.
Palm-Down handshake: Indicates dominance, power, and strength. Hands direct to the chest: Implies honesty and integrity.