Body Language Awareness

. Explore your awareness of body language messages by completing this matching columns exercise in the 2 exercises!

Exercise 1 ‐ The left hand column contains a list of body language behaviours. Draw lines to connect each behaviour with its corresponding message.

Description of your body language

What your body language is saying to others!

1. Body facing to the front with an open posture

A. I am determined to take control

2. Using reciprocal body language and maintaining strong eye contact.

B. I do not believe you

3. Direct gaze and broad smile

C. I am alert and interested

4. Hands on hips and/or standing on toes

D. I agree with you

5. Indirect gaze with slight slumping of shoulders

E. I am not confident

6. Head slightly tilted and hand on chin with fore finger pointed upwards

F. I am confident

7. Averted gaze with touching of the ear by the hand

G. I need reassurance

8. Raised eyebrows and gesturing with open hand

H. I am stressing a point

9. One hand around the neck and other hand around the waist

I. I want to encourage you

10. Opening your hands while speaking

J. I am lacking confidence

11. Pen/pencil biting and indirect gaze

L. I want to be helpful

12. Supportive gestures, such as making eye contact and nodding while somebody is talking

K. I am emphasizing a point

13. Relaxed arms and legs

M. I am not willing to co‐operate

14. Making eye contact and leaning forward

N. I need reassurance

15. Head tilted forward, steely gaze and face cupped in hands

O. I am relaxed

16. Raised eyebrows and slight smile

P. I am appraising you unemotionally

17. Arms crossed defensively and leaning backwards

Q. I am considering the point you have made

18. Open, direct gaze with eyes and with fingers interconnected

R. I am not tense

19. Frown on forehead, leaning forward with elbows on knees and chin resting on clasped hands

S. I have your attention

Answers to above test on your awareness on body language:

1F, 2O, 3S, 4A, 5J, 6P, 7B, 8K, 9N, 10H, 11D, 12E, 13R, 14C, 15G, 16I, 17M, 18L & 19Q.

NB Options E, G, J & N are interchangeable

Exercise 2 ‐ In the left hand column is a description of elements of body language; write your "interpretation" in the right hand column

Description of your body language

What your body language is saying to others!

1. Leaning back with arms folded and legs crossed and an impassive expression on face


2. The head leaning forward with chin resting knuckles of hand and raised eye brows


3. Chin resting on open hand and legs crossed


4. Knitted brow, closed eyes and nose pinching


5. Leaning forward with frank, open expression on face and hands gently clasped


6. Indirect gaze and ear pulling


7. Indirect gaze and body turns away


8. Tilted head with raised eye brows and set mouth


9. Tense jaw with wide eyes


10. Tilting head towards speaker with open facial expression


11. Eyes lowered and fiddling with fingers or biro


12. Fist is clenched with lowered head and is glaring aggressively


13. Hand is pointing aggressively with a strong gaze


14. Hand is raised and gaze upwards


15. Arms are folded and gaze downwards


16. Slightly opened mouth and hand covering mouth


17. Open hands like a stop sign while maintaining eye contact and calm, measured voice


18. Turning your body away and glancing at your watch and/or holding your pen as though writing


Sample answers to above test on your awareness of body language:

1. (I disagree with you), 2. (I am interested), 3. (I have an open mind), 4. (I am confused and have doubts about what is being said), 5. (I am interested in what you are saying), 6. (I reject what you are saying), 7. (I am doubtful), 8. (I am bored and not interested), 9. (I am irritated), 10. (I am interested), 11 (I am not interested), 12 (I am angry and not happy), 13 (I want to argue with you), 14 (I want to say something), 15 (I am shying away from involvement), 16 (I don't believe you), 17 (I am trying to calm the proceedings down) & 18 (I don't want to be interrupted)

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