Join Chris Croft for an in-depth discussion in this video Highlighting their unspoken signals (body language), part of Learning to Be Assertive.
- A great little technique for handling aggressive body language is I notice, I interpret, am I right? Now the key here is we're only talking about aggressive body language. These people are probably not saying anything particularly. There's just something in their body language that showing that they're not happy with you. And we want to pick them up on this and find out what the problem is, but in a non-aggressive way. So we're clarifying. An example this might be in a meeting maybe when you mention the production department, somebody else in the meeting rolls their eyes or keeps looking at their colleague and you feel that's unacceptable and you want to pick them up on it.
So you can calmly say, "Dave, I notice that every time 'I mention the production department, you go... 'and I interpret that to mean 'that you're not with us in some way. Am I right?" Now this could be done during the meeting or it could be done one-to-one afterwards. You can pick them up and say, "During the meeting I just had a feeling each time 'I said this, I noticed this 'and I just interpret it as this; am I right?" It's non-aggressive. It's just clarifying. What are they going to do when you say this? Well, they've really only got two options.
They can either say, "No sorry, 'I didn't mean anything by it." Some people just have unfortunate body language. But the other thing is, they may say, "Well yeah, actually 'I do think that the production department are not 'doing their job properly; been late on the last three jobs" or whatever, "And this is what I want". So we can have a decent conversation about what the problem is. We flushed it out. So what we're doing here is we're clarifying with this little technique. So have you had any recent examples when you could have used this? Were there some situations that came up in meetings or just to one-to-one perhaps where the person's body language was a little bit aggressive? Or, are there any people who tend to use subtly aggressive body language that you can try this out on? I'd like you just to think about that.
How could you apply this technique?
- Identifying your current mindset
- Avoiding the passive-aggressive trap
- Reducing negative emotions
- Handling everyday putdowns
- Learning to disagree by questioning
- Knowing the most effective words to use