Consciously Reading Body Language, what’s the point for leaders?

reading body language, Body Language training, soft skills, leadership skills, non verbal communicationWhy care about consciously reading body language?

As a leader, reading and interpreting other people’s body language plus understanding and adjusting your own sounds kind of cool, but is this trendy form of leadership and soft skill training really that important? How can it make a difference?

By taking a conscious look around and observing how preoccupied and unaware many fellow humans seem today will give you an obvious answer. Yet is that answer the healthiest, most sustainable or most profitable one for you and your future?

The support available to suppress, avoid and even ignore reading body language keeps growing.

In fact, how often do you routinely ignore it when someone loses focus on what you are saying? Coupled with all your daily distractions, it is of little wonder we are so forgiving when someone becomes distant and loses focus. Yet, does our ignoring this type of behavior in ourselves and others make us we feel healthier, safer and more fulfilled as leaders, or does it create the opposite effect?

Think about the drastic increases in:

  • Technological distractions such as TV, Smart Gadgets, Phones, Social Media, Print and radio to name a few.
  • Medications available for headaches, upset stomachs and stress
  • Anti-depressant drugs prescribed to younger and younger patients
  • ”Exciting” computer games, reality TV shows and other forms of entertainment to help us disappear into a more ”safer”, comfortable area of reality
  • Junk food void of anything nutritional yet littered with harmful toxins ”to improve the flavor”.

In each of these cases how much body language awareness

is required by you to ”go along to get along” with these distractions, compared to actually thinking for yourself or consciously and responsibly leading by example? What if all these diversions have succeeded in diffusing our attention away from what our bodies are saying (and in some cases screaming) to the world?

Could this be part of the reason we have so many managers out there who successfully pass themselves off as leaders? What if a growing problem with management is that it has become a mostly an intellectual exercise with no responsibility assumed for any emotional damage inflicted? One where most the important decisions can now be and often are handled more efficiently by computer?

What if leaders are aware of this need for reason and intelligence, yet also choose to consciously mix this cold and calculating process up with warm, heartfelt emotion? What if they see their task as serving, inspiring and “moving” others with feeling so that they willingly choose to follow? Could it be that a leader who is worthwhile following also relies heavily on common sense and a moral compass allowing a better night’s sleep? This whole process of leading others may get easier with more conscious and deliberate use of our body language.

Even though more and more of us seem to be waking up to how much of our personal freedom and sovereignty have slowly been removed from our grasp, very few seem to have reflected over how much their unconscious body language has contributed. For instance, how much time, effort and consciousness have you recently demonstrated to the world when you, lets say:


  • Arrived late to something special because you had to ”Like” just one more Facebook comment?
  • Took a decision based upon some ridiculous policy, knowing full well that it made no common sense? That it was actually counterproductive to your values and that it would probably end up hurting others around you?
  • Went to work sick because, for instance, you did not want to appear weak or (fill in the blank) and ended up spreading your cold to others?
  • Lost that bet that you ”can’t eat just one”… Again?
  • Took a pain-killer instead of consciously addressing the source of the pain and dealing with it once and for all?


You may have been able to intellectually justify each case

as well as many others. Yet if you consciously reflect over the incident, how did your decision make you feel about yourself and how did it affect those around you? Did you go closer towards or further away from your values and your desired future? We all constantly do this and for now it is politely accepted or often just ignored. But how much longer can we afford responsible leaders to be unconscious to this type of behavior?

Understanding the body’s language is the first step

in gaining control over the incredible vehicle that is home to your life and all the wonderful possibilities it offers. Just as a nimble sports car will respond quicker to all threats and opportunities in the road, so will your body when you know how to listen to it and learn how it works. Yet just as with any car, if you are not paying attention to its operation, you endanger not only yourself but others around you.

Also, be aware that there are many others out there who will gladly drive you around if you consciously or not suppress, avoid or off-load that important driving responsibility. Surprisingly for some, these people may not have your best interests in mind… Switching drivers can happen with both conscious permission as well as unconscious ignorance. Sometimes it happens so slowly that you do not even notice it. Sometimes you consciously ignore the process altogether, preferring to deal with it later.

Maybe the difference between living freely and enjoying what other people tell you is freedom has much to do with your conscious efforts to read and understand body language. As long as you choose to ignore it you may never know the difference nor understand your part in the consequences. Can we afford leaders like this any longer?


About The Author


I am fascinated with what makes us humans ”tick”, especially when it comes to how we consciously communicate and express ourselves with our body language. My business background is in international sales and sales management, selling everything from automobile tires in Houston, Tx, to retail banking delivery systems in 20 countries. I have graduated from CoachU’s 3 year Coach Training program, been certified as an Extended DISC consultant and become a Certified International Body Harmony Teacher with over 20 years of ”hands-on” experience in bodywork. This rich and varied background combined with over 20 years of being an entrepreneur has blessed me with insights and experiences I never would have noticed in the corporate world. Mainstream business now seems to be waking up to the riches available from more conscious and responsible business practices. Expanding Understanding’s Sensational Soft Skills Toolbox , the books I have written and training I have developed now provide savvy decision makers and their colleagues measurable results and a more restful night's sleep. These tools provide an edge in consciously understanding, deliberately using and profiting from the most powerful communication tool available, our bodies. I look forward to meeting you on this path to mastery in non verbal communication.

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