“Leader – 7 More Body Language Signs To Quickly Improve Skills Faster” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“For a leader, being unable to read body language is like being blind. Regardless of the environment, they will miss something.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Click here to get the book!

Leader, being aware of body language can disclose hidden meanings essential to your success. UCLA research has shown that communication is only 7% of the words people use; 38% comes from tone of voice, and 55% comes from body language.

So, to become a more decisive leader, take heed and use the seven following body language signs. Each will expand your communication skills and make you a better leader.

1. Eye Contact

Eye contact can be daunting depending on when you seek to lead others, be led, or give that appearance.

  • When seeking to lead others, maintain a degree of eye contact to convey your sentiments; this will also depend on the person with whom you desire to lead; in some situations, that might entail a prolonged focus that turns into a stare. In other situations, it may appear as a gentle glance as you quickly shift your focus from one aspect of the person you are looking at to another.
  • To convey the appearance of being led, be demure  – eyes not focused on the person you wish to perceive as leading you. You can also affect this façade by having your head slightly bowed. That will enhance your persona of being led.

Eye contact can be perceived to be a powerful indicator of confidence and sincerity. A leader can also use it to project the persona they wish others to perceive. Use it to do so. 

2. Hand Gestures

Hand gestures illuminate one’s words and give a glimpse into that person’s thoughts. When leaders wish to appear dramatic, they may consider making exaggerated hand gestures. They should use smaller hand gestures when desiring to be perceived as solemn.

Another point a leader can observe about hand gestures is the degree to which people keep their hands close to their bodies when they speak; they should note when someone moves them further away, too.

When people feel threatened, they tend to keep their hands closer to their bodies. Conversely, when they feel less threatened, they display more expansive gestures, indicating their lack of fear.

3. Voice Tonality, Pitch, Inflection

People sometimes disclose unintended emotions through their voice tone, pitch, and inflection. By becoming attuned to that, a leader can hear someone’s inner emotions in their words.

Tone refers to the emotion or someone’s attitude when they speak, conveying feelings like anger, happiness, or sadness. It expresses emotions and intentions.

Voice Pitch refers to the highs and lows in someone’s voice. It can also indicate the emotional direction they are moving towards.

Inflections are variations in pitch, loudness, and tempo that can change the meaning of what someone says. They can signal questions, emphasize meaning, and highlight emotional nuances.

These elements convey meaning and emotion when people communicate. Be aware of them.

Top of Form

4. Raised Eyebrows

Raised eyebrows can indicate interest, concern, increased awareness, surprise, skepticism, or disbelief. When leaders observe this gesture, they should note the point at which it occurred in a conversation. The person making the display will be telegraphing their feelings about what the leader said and how they feel about it.

5. Micro-Expressions

There are seven micro-expressions people will react to when stimulated – micro-expressions last for less than one second. Leaders should be alert because the reaction occurs before someone’s brain prevents the display. Thus, the action is an unfiltered, genuine gesture.

The seven micro-expressions are fear, anger, disgust, surprise, contempt, sadness, and happiness. Being able to interpret micro-expressions will give a leader an advantage when dealing with people because it will heighten their abilities to detect deception and uncover hidden agendas.

6. Signs Of Stress

Several signs indicate someone is experiencing stress in their current environment – clinched jaw or fists, tightened neck, tugging at one’s collar, excessively touching oneself, fidgeting, and clasping hands tightly together. When a leader witnesses any of those body language displays, they should be mindful to note the cause of it.

If multiple actions are shown simultaneously or followed closely behind one another, the leader may consider changing the environment, tone, or topic of the conversation. Leaders should recognize that they need to control the environment when they see such signs before the situation becomes uncontrollable.

7. The Handshake

One’s handshake bears information about the person extending it. Thus, it sends a message before the person speaks, which can set the tone of a discussion.  

A weak handshake can be a sign that a person is shy, timid, or reserved. A firm handshake is associated with someone confident and strong. Both can be true or false. So, leaders should be cautious about stereotyping someone based on their handshake. Some individuals may use it to send a false flag about their abilities.

When a leader experiences someone’s handshake, they should note how long the person maintains it, who breaks it first, and the degree to which the other person pumps the leader’s hand. Observing that will give more insight into the type of person the leader has engaged.


A leader can gain insight about someone by observing their body language in many ways. I have outlined seven of the gestures to accomplish that.

To become a more successful leader, note when those body language gestures occur. And everything will be right with the world.

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://megaphone.link/CSN6318246585

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/negotiation-speaker/   and sign up at the bottom of the page

Scroll to Top