Open Formation Gesture
- People in most English speaking countries stand with their bodies oriented to form an angle of 90 degrees during ordinary social intercourse.
- The two men in are displaying similar status by holding similar gestures and posture and the angle formed by their torsos indicates that an impersonal conversation is probably taking place. The formation of the triangle invites a third person of similar status to join the conversation. When a fourth person is accepted into the group a square will be formed and for a fifth person, either a circle or two triangles.
Closed Formation Gesture
- When intimacy or privacy is required by two people, the angle formed by their
torsos decreases from 90 degrees down to 0 degrees. A man wishing to attract a female
partner uses this ploy, as well as other courtship gestures, when he makes his play for
- To accept his approach, she need only orient her torso angle to 0 degrees and allow him to enter her territory.
Inclusion and Exclusion Techniques
Interviewing Two People
- Let us assume that you, person C, are going to interview or talk to persons A and B, and let us say that by either choice or circumstance you are sitting in a triangular position at a round table. Let us also assume that person A is very talkative and asks many questions and that person B remains silent throughout. When A asks you a question, how can you answer him and carry on a conversation without making B feel excluded? Use this simple but highly effective inclusion technique: when A asks a question, look at him as you begin to answer, then turn your head towards B, then back to A, then to B again until you make your final
statement, looking at A (who asked the question) again as you finish your sentence. This technique lets B feel involved in the conversation and is particularly useful if you need to have B on side with you.
Foot Pointing Gesture
- The foot indicates the direction in which a person would like to go, but they are also used to point at people who are interesting or attractive. Imagine that you are at a social function and you notice a group of three men and one very attractive woman (Figure 146). The conversation seems to be dominated by the men and the woman is just listening.
- You will also notice that she is giving a sideways glance to the man who is using the thumbs-in-belt gesture.