Nuances of Body Language

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Last week, I was talking to a friend of mine, who works in a VC fund. In her work, she meets a lot of founders and leaders, listens to their ideas and presentations and decides whether to invest or not to.  During our catch-up, she mentioned something about how in addition to a lot of factors like ideas, numbers, etc; she and her colleagues look for body language while the person is talking about their idea/plan/company.

And that prompted me to share with you a great article on Body language by Harvard Business Review.

The reason for sharing this particular article was because we often get to hear generic statements on body language - You should have good body language, Use hand gestures, move your body etc but we rarely get to know what to use. But this article takes you through the psychology and meaning of different gestures and body language

For example, the very first story about Clinton’s body language and how he changed it is something I found quite intriguing.

Early in Bill Clinton’s political career, he would punctuate his speeches with big, wide gestures that made him appear untrustworthy. To help him keep his body language under control, his advisors taught him to imagine a box in front of his chest and belly and contain his hand movements within it. Since then, “the Clinton box” has become a popular term in the field.

Non-verbal communication won’t necessarily make or break you as a leader, but it might help you achieve more successful outcomes.

Intriguing, right? Read the full article here.

HBR gives access to only a limited number of free articles. So don’t close the tab if you want to revisit it.

Another interesting tidbit from my conversation with my friend is that I told her that because of her I had to prepone my meetings and she smiled and said that she is hearing the word prepone after a long time. It took me a moment to realise that my friend has just shifted back from the US and ‘prepone’ is a word in Indian English - and what a beautiful and logical word it is! But next time if you find yourself talking to someone in US or UK - don’t be surprised if they get confused when you ask them to prepone your meeting.

Have you encountered such a situation where a word that you use quite often made someone else confused because the word is not at all used in their version of English?

Till next week!


Shubham Gupta
Co-founder, BBR