Section C


A smile is a strong sign of a friendly and open attitude and a willingness to communicate. It is a positive, silent sign sent with the hope the other person will smile back. When you smile, you show you have noticed the person in a positive way. The other person considers it a compliment(敬意)and will usually feel good. The result? That person will usually smile back.

Smiling does not mean you have to put on a false face or pretend you are happy all of the time. When you see someone you know, or would like to make contact with, smile. You are showing an open attitude to conversation.

You might not realize a closed position is the cause of many conversational problems. A common closed position is sitting with your arms and legs crossed and your hand covering your mouth or chin(下巴). This is often called the "thinking pose(姿势)". Ask yourself this question: Are you going to interrupt someone who appears to be deep in thought? This position gives off "stay away" signs and prevents your main "sign sender" (your mouth) from being seen by others looking for inviting conversational signs. Without these inviting signs, others will most likely stay away from you and look for someone who appears to be ready for contact.

To improve this habitual way of standing or sitting, start by keeping your hands away from your mouth, and keep your arms uncrossed. Crossed arms may show a rigid state of mind, not especially inviting to outside contact. They can also show a lack of patience, displeasure, or judgment — any of which would prevent people from opening up.

The open body position is most effective when you place yourself within communicating distance of the other person — that is, within about five feet. Take care, however, not to enter someone's "personal space" by getting too close, too soon.

Leaning(靠)forward a little while a person is talking shows your interest and shows you are listening to what the person is saying. By doing this, you are saying: I hear what you're saying, and I'm interested — keep talking! This is usually a compliment that will encourage him to continue talking.

Often people will lean back with their hands over their mouth, chin, or behind their head in the "thinking" pose. This position gives off signs of judgment, doubt, and lack of interest from the listener. Since most people do not feel comfortable when they think they are being judged, this leaning-back position serves to prevent the speaker from continuing. It's far better to lean forward a little in a relaxed and natural way.

In many cultures the most common form of first contact between two people is a handshake. This is true when meeting members of the same or opposite sex — and not just in work, but in social situations, too. In nearly every situation, a warm and firm handshake is a safe and positive way of showing an open and friendly attitude toward the people you meet.

Be the first to extend your hand in greeting. Couple this with a friendly "Hello", a nice smile, and your name and you have made the first step to open the lines of communication between you and another person.

The strongest gestures are sent through the eyes. Direct eye contact shows you are listening to the other person, and that you want to know about her.

Eye contact should be natural, not forced or overdone. Have short periods of eye contact while you watch other parts of the person's face — especially the mouth. When the person smiles, be sure to smile back. But always make an effort to return your gaze(注视)to the person’s eyes as she speaks. It is common to look up, down, and all around when speaking to others, and not have eye contact at all times.

Too much eye contact, especially if it is forced, can work against you. If you stare at a person, or leer(斜视)in a suspicious(怀疑的)way, the other person may feel uncomfortable and even suspicious about your intent(意图). A fixed stare can seem like aggressive behavior if it is a challenge as to who will look away first.