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Let Me See Your Body Talk

Jan Hargrave

Michael Ruester #
MNGT 370 [2M]

Jan Hargrave is an internationally known master of all things body language. She is a
Southwest Louisiana native and has many critically acclaimed novels published about body
language and how one should present their selves in the business environment. She has also
appeared many of times on multiple popular talk shows. In Hargraves book titled Let Me See
Your Body Talk she explains the world of non-verbal communication in a detailed manner and
partially focuses on how to improve self-image in a business setting without having to speak a
word.
Let Me See Your Body Talk begins by explaining how important body language is in our
world today, and how greatly it can affect our lives. People often overlook non-verbal
communication when preparing for an interview, or even when having a casual meeting with
others. Jan explains that our personal space is something very valuable to most of us, and is
normally described as an imaginary bubble or shield we place around ourselves, usually three
feet from our bodies. When someone invades this personal space bubble we naturally tend to flee
the situation and get away from the person or thing that is invading our space. Space is also used
every day to indicate someones status. People show non-verbal signs of dominance and power
by taking up space, whether it be with their bodies or inanimate objects; while people who take
up the least amount of space, sometimes balling themselves up, show submission.
Hargrave also explains how touch can be used non-verbally to send messages to one
another. She tells us that the safe zone of an appropriate business oriented touch is from the
wrist to upper arm. An interesting point Hargrave made in the beginning of the book was the fact
that non-verbal communication is sometimes not enough by itself, and that we should tell others
verbally how we feel about them when we actually have those feelings for them, for tomorrow is
not promised and we could potentially lose someone we care about without being able to tell

them how we feel. This was a very deep message for me that hit home for me because of a recent
death of a friend, thus I have a real world situation to attach her message to. Hargrave then takes
her focus to the gender differences between men and women and the completely different ways
they interact non-verbally. Effective communication is vital between two different genders, in the
case of failing marriages and manager positions, ineffective communication between two
different genders was the reason for failing 50 and 60 percent of the time, respectfully. The main
differences between male and female speech talked about was the dominant tone of the male
voice and the emotional, soft spookiness of the female.
Another great topic Hargrave spoke on was the non-verbal communication differences
between different personalities. She explained four different temperament types, and then
presented a quiz to evaluate the reader on which temperament category they fell under. Sanguine,
Choleric, Phlegmatic, and Melancholy were the four categories for different human
temperaments. Sanguines and Cholerics are both extroverts, with Sanguines being more
emotional and outgoing. Phlegmatics and Melancholys are both introverted; Phlegmatics being
the more submissive and agreeable type. One way the majority of firms across the globe are
analyzing resumes and applications is by handwriting. In fact 85% of companies use handwriting
analysis in the United States alone. I always thought my handwriting was unique, but never
thought there would be a 1 in 64 trillion chance of another person on the planet having the same
handwriting as me. I was surprised to learn that small font and spacing in handwriting indicates
introversion, anxiety, and caution in a person; while writing big and spaced out points to
extraversion. Hargrave also says that handwriting analysis can even come down to the slant of a
persons handwriting. She says slants to the right indicate an uptight, conscientious person while
slants to the left show a more relaxed and easy going demeanor.

About halfway through the book Jan switches gears and focuses solely on non-verbal
communication in the business environment. With a large majority of our image coming from
body language, it is very important to project the correct image of yourself when being
interviewed, or talking to potential employers. Hargrave also stresses the importance of keeping
anxiety levels low in order to not only improve your self-image, but to also help interviewers
relax and feel more comfortable with you. Because people can have different personalities and
temperaments, it is important to pay close attention to their body language in order to adjust
yours accordingly. For example, when going into with an interview with a potential employer
who is a transactional leader, you would want to stay to the point and discuss solely business
objectives whereas going into an interview with a transformational leader one can be more
involved with improving themselves and the team through emotional support rather than
prioritizing only financial goals. More importantly, being aware of the different communication
styles of those who are foreign to the United States will avoid confusion, and possibly
unintentionally offending a business associate. Different countries operate different and it is very
important to remember especially when traveling abroad that using the common non-verbal cues
from America is most times ineffective and sometimes offensive when communicating with a
foreigner. Hargrave goes into extensive detail on the different cultural differences between
America and various other countries; with the most interesting fact I found being that many
Middle Eastern businessmen like to conduct meetings in a busy room sometimes filled with
competitors, and do not speak in private like us Americans do. Instead of going to a private
room to speak, Middle Eastern businessmen will simply lean closer to one another to talk.
Just like speaking with foreigners in a business setting, speaking with other American
businessman and woman involves a great deal of analyzing on the interviewer and interviewees

part. When trying to negotiate with business partners it is important to recognize certain signals
someone gives off non-verbally that indicates acceptance and rejection. Great examples of
someone being accepting of your negotiating are: the person leaning closer to you, turning their
head slightly so their ear is closer, calm and somewhat happy facial expressions, and a relaxed
posture. A few examples of rejection signals are: crossed arms and/or legs, tightly clinched fists,
general look of being uninterested, failing to make eye contact, and constantly checking their
watch/clock. The best ways to avoid rejection is through analyzing how the person works and
then tailoring your image to fit theirs. Most times making the person you are negotiating with
feel emotionally generous can help seal the deal. Another winning tactic is to mirror positive
signals given by the listener. Giving negative feedback signals almost always indicates that an
agreement will not be reached.
Another very important aspect of the business world is being able to present to your
employers, employees, and business associates. Even though one might use body language
perfectly during a presentation, the visual appearance of the presenter will always carry a heavy
weight with the deciding factors of the audience. Visual appearance not only pertains to the
persons clothes they wear, but the expression on their face, and the way they hold themselves
while speaking. Wearing the correct attire to a business presentation is critical, and sometimes
ones posture plays a more important role in the presentation than the actual information being
presented. Fidgeting with clothes, swaying back and forth, and pacing tend to annoy the
audience, instead of these negative motions it would be better to act more naturally by walking
towards the audience while emphasizing points and walking back to your home location after
delivering a question or making a point, letting the audience contemplate about what was just
said.

In conclusion, a book I once thought would never peak my interest and would be a
burden to read turned out to be an astounding wealth of knowledge that will forever be useful to
me in real world situations. Jan Hargrave touched base on just about every non-verbal
communication style; from courtship gestures to negotiating with aggressive enraptures. Most
importantly I have learned through this reading that being very aware of my surroundings and
self-image can greatly increase my odds of success and achieving goals not only on the clock
so to speak, but also out in everyday life with people other than business associates. Lastly, the
most profound statement Hargrave made in this book in my opinion was the importance of
making others aware of your appreciativeness towards them; not only in non-verbal ways of
communicating, but by taking the time to verbally tell them how much you appreciate them and
what they do for you.