Are you using your palms as effectively as you could in the workplace? If you’re not certain, think about the 2 following situations.
Truth Telling and Palms:
Con artists use the open palm position to trick you into believing their scheme. However, if you understand body language you will be able to pick up other nonverbal clues that indicate the con-man/women is not telling the truth. However, in a work environment where you work with trustworthy, credible people, when someone speaks with their palms in the face up position, you tend to believe them.
I remember a situation where I was working with an executive on his communication skills with staff. His 360 indicated that staff did not trust him. He had a tendency to sit back in his chair and cross his arms. Needless to say, there was not a lot of two- way communication going on. I suggested he lean forward as he was talking and use his hands in the palm up position. He agreed to try and on the next two occasions when he could have used the new body language, he didn’t and our follow up conversation revealed that he “just didn’t think about it.” Finally in the third meeting, he used the new body language and you could visually “see” a different, more empowered expression on the face of the person to whom he was talking. I noticed, the executive noticed and he finally got how powerful his body language was!
Keep in mind that if you talk with your palms open/face up, it signals to the other person to tell the truth, too. If they become defensive by crossing legs or arms, you know they may not want to tell the truth. The same applies to you!
What About Palm in Palm Behind Your Back?
Many people in authority, or those who want to feel dominant or confident, walk this way. However, keep in mind that you may lose points with the other party because they are wondering what’s behind your back? As my research has indicated, it’s a defensive position. When I see someone with hands behind their back and rolling back and forth on their heels, I pick this up as a dominant clue, however, if they’re not rocking on their heels, I always wonder what’s behind their back. So I’m not focusing on what they are saying, I’m trying to figure out what’s behind their back. This does nothing to build relationships.
Your body language is always telling on you. Just make certain that what it’s saying is what you want it to say!