Have you ever wondered what your customers are thinking? The ability to read minds has been a pursuit of mankind for eternity. To date we still cannot read another human’s mind, but we can have a reasonable incite into the implications of customers thoughts by studying some simple rules regarding their body language.
Body language has been around a long time. You can tell a lot about someone by observing his or her hand gestures, general body movements, voice intonation, modulation and inflection, when answering poignant questions, the content of what they are saying and facial movements. Many people have succeeded in controlling their hands, words and body language to make it hard to accurately read them. Interviews are a perfect example where an individual is self-conscious and presents an unnatural façade.
There is one feature that we cannot control; it’s our eye movement. When we are asked to visualize a blue elephant, we look up to the right. We are creating a vision of something we haven’t seen. Contrarily when we are asked to visualize our last vacation we look up to the left to recall that vacation as a past event. When asked to visualize a stranger speaking in a Donald Duck accent, we look sideways to the right. We are creating the sound in our mind. When asked to recall our favorite music, we look sideways to the left. When asked to imagine the feeling of touching silk, we will look down to the left and when asked to create an emotion we have never experienced before, we will look down to the right.
Visual, kinesthetic and emotional questions create different eye movement effects. When we combine eye movement with the dilation and constriction of the person’s pupils, with their body language, hand movement, voice content, modulation and intonation, we get a fairly accurate picture of the real situation that the person is attempting to use a façade to disguise.
Throughout history, we have been preoccupied with the eye and its effect on human behavior. We have all used such phrases as “She looked daggers at him,” “She has big baby eyes,” “He has shifty eyes,” “She has inviting eyes,” “He had that gleam in his eye” or “He gave me the ‘Evil Eye.’” When we use these phrases we unwittingly refer to the size of the person’s pupils and to his or her gaze behavior. The eyes may well give the most revealing and accurate of all human communication signals because they are a focal point on the body and the pupils work independently.