Xiii) Not Reading Social Signals (Body Language) Correctly

The social signs are the non-verbal cues like tone of voice, gestures, expressions, proximity to others (how much you face people that you are talking to, how close you stand to them, how much you let them talk, etc), etc. In communications, these are more significant than the words we use (see non-verbal signals in Volume 3)

This re-enforces the importance of face-to-face communications and its impact on productivity, ie

"...face time with colleagues is vital, as much as 2.5 times as important to success as additional access to information. ... "we think we can increase productivity by 10% at no cost just by rearranging the environment to promote more employee interaction..."

Alex Pentland, 2010


"...the most successful people are more energetic. They talk more, but they also listen more. They spend more face-to-face time with others. They pick up cues from others, draw people out, and get them to be more outgoing. It's not just what they project that makes them charismatic; it's what they elicit. The more of these energetic, positive people you put on a team, the better the team's performance..."

Alex Pentland, 2010

As language was developed around 50,000 years ago, we have used communication signals for millennia. This helps explain why they are so powerful.

We are social creatures. Thus when communicating we look for signals, eg are they honest, are they enthusiastic, do they know what they are talking about, etc ?


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