Sunday, May 6, 2007

Nonverbal Communication

I've been on vacation (aha, that's why no posts for so long!), but I keep my eyes open for interesting trial-related material. Yesterday I read an article about nonverbal communication in US Airways Magazine: "Body of Evidence" by Maryann Karinch (May 2007).

It offers tips from I Can Read You Like a Book: How to Spot the Messages and Emotions People Are Really Sending with Their Body Language, by Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch (Career Press, 2007).

Greg Hartley is a former Army interrogator who now applies his skills in the private sector as a consultant and author. He and Karinch also wrote How to Spot a Liar (Career Press 2005).

The first tip in the article is that the common wisdom that people who break eye contact are lying isn't wisdom at all. Hartley says that people commonly look up with a person is using visual memory -- breaking eye contact is normal, not a sign of deceipt.

Another observation: "When people recognize each other, their eyebrows flash. It's an involuntary and universal piece of body language."

The book has two customer reviews on Amazon: one person loved it, the other hated it. Since I've only seen the airline magazine article, I can't vouch for the book -- but I mention it here as something that might be helpful to trial lawyers who are trying to read witnesses and jurors, and also trying to communicate well themselves.

Note to readers: If you aren't one of the 48 people who have responded to the survey about this blog, please take a minute to offer your feedback. It will be very helpful! Thanks!

No comments: