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Space Invasion (FREE pdf)

Space Invasion (FREE pdf)

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Cross the boundaries at your own risk. By Carol Kinsey Goman. As a consultant and professional speaker, I often travel by myself and frequently dine alone. This affords me the opportunity to combine two of my favorite pastimes: eating great food and watching people. One night at dinner in an oceanside...
Cross the boundaries at your own risk. By Carol Kinsey Goman. As a consultant and professional speaker, I often travel by myself and frequently dine alone. This affords me the opportunity to combine two of my favorite pastimes: eating great food and watching people. One night at dinner in an oceanside...

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Published by: Smart People magazine (FREE ARTICLES) on Nov 17, 2009
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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05/24/2012

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COVER STORY 
 
SMART PEOPLE 
Space invasion
Cross the boundaries at your own risk
By Carol Kinsey GomanAs a consultant andprofessional speaker, Ioften travel by myself andfrequently dine alone.This affords me theopportunity to combinetwo of my favorite pastimes:eating great food andwatching people.One night at dinner inan oceanside resort, I noticeda man and a woman seatedacross the room. It was a beautiful image and it caughtmy attention.The couple sat insilhouette, framed by alarge picture window, whilethe setting sun turned the background shades of yellow,orange, magenta and deeppurple.Then I began to observethe couple’s body language.During the course of themeal, I watched the man leantoward the woman – and sawher respond by pulling awayfrom him.He leaned toward heragain – and again she pulledaway. The more the manleaned forward, the more hisdinner companion would tilt back.By dessert, he was almostsprawled across the table andshe was practically falling off her chair.I couldn’t hear aword they weresaying, but itwas perfectlyobviousthat
whatever
hewas proposing– she wasn’tsigning on!He would have beenmuch more successfulif he had (literally) backed off.Last month Iwas reminded of that episode asI sat at anotherrestaurantwatching twomen at the bar.This time Iwas close enoughto overhear theirconversation, so I knew thatone man was in sales and theother was a potential client.
By the time they’d finished
their drinks, I also knew thedeal was dead. And it wasn’tanything that was said. In themidst of a normal “getting-to-know-you” conversation, Iwatched the salesman moveso close to his prospect thatthe client began, very slowly,to inch away.This went on for some
time, but finally the client
could stand it no longer. Heexcused himself to makea phone call – and left therestaurant shortly afterward.
 
One of the easiestmistakes to make during anencounter with someone is tomisjudge how much space theother person needs.Anthropologist EdwardHall coined the word“proxemics” to describephenomena like territoriality
among office workers. Andit was he who first noted thefive zones in which people
feel most comfortable dealingwith one another. (It’s as if we’re standing inside aninvisible bubble that expandsor contracts depending on ourrelationships.)
 
The
intimate zone
(0-18inches) is reserved forfamily and loved ones.Within this zone weembrace, touch or whisper.This close contact isappropriate only for verypersonal relationships.
The
close
 
 personalzone
(1.5-2 feet) is the“bubble” most people in

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Brilliant!!! so true!!!
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