How to make shapes and influence people

HR vies to establish itself as a strategic force in business, Personnel Today
offers a pictorial guide* to negotiating, to help improve your chances of
selling your proposals to the board

Being able to read body language can tell you more about your boss and
colleagues than words ever can. Your own body language may give away more than
you realise: if you seem too relaxed it will seem as if you lack a professional
approach, or alternatively, that you are trying too hard to bluff about how in
control you are. An alert posture will maximise your concentration – sit up
straight, let your shoulders relax and keep out of sight and away from possible
distractions such as pens.

Take a tour around the poses on the right to find out what’s been going on
in your life, then take part in our caption competition on the right to win a
copy of the book, Body Language at Work.

Posture 1 Not What I Want

the hands means either frustration or a negative attitude towards an offer that
has just been made.

Posture 2 I Know My Game

direct gaze, hands resting calmly on lap, head slightly to one side in mild
challenge: all suggest supreme confidence.

Posture 3 Mustn’t Lose It

the back of the neck suggests that someone is trying to control negative
feelings about an offer made or a position reached.

Posture 4 Better Take It Seriously

he’s slowly stroking his chin, his stance suggests your ideas are being
carefully considered.

Posture 5 Wasting My Time

he rests his head on one thumb, which is hidden by his hand, it suggests that
you are being boring and the negotiation could be going downhill fast.

Caption competition

you guess what this posture signifies? We have 10 copies of Body Language at
Work to give away for the wittiest captions.
Answers to

* Abridged from Body Language at Work: read the signs and make the right
, by Peter Clayton, which is available now from



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