The professional horseman easily recognizes the
silent language of horses: Ears
back, ears forward,
one ear forward - other ear back, droopy lower lip,
three legged stance, tail wringing, whites of eye
showing, flared nostrils, pawing, stomping, high head,
licking and chewing and so on. It's all body language
that horsemen rely upon to help understand what the
horse is thinking, his attitude and if he could be
Relying upon these non verbal cues from horses is
obviously a necessity for communication unless you
happen to be working with Mr. Ed or a similar talking
With our human contacts, verbiage is plentiful and
words are faster and more powerful in completing
effective communication. But, hold your horses for
one minute, are they?
The words people use may or may not be true at
telling the entire story.
Just as horse body language always tells the truth, so
does human body language. Sometimes you'll notice
that you get conflicting messages from the
used by a person and the body language that
accompanies the conversation.
If you are not a student in the study of human body
language, start studying. There are plenty of
books available and internet articles to self educate.
You will learn about body language cues:
- Crossed arms could indicate a defensive position
or idea resistance
- Eyes looking down and to the left can indicate lying
is taking place
- Ear tugging may mean indecisiveness
- Finger or toe tapping may mean boredom
- Smiling with the mouth but not the eyes may mean
- Hands on hips may mean aggressiveness or
- Open palm may indicate willingness
You'll be much better at communications when you
start consciously looking for cues from body language
as you instruct students, direct employees and
While reading body language is an inexact science
and partly an art, it's a skill that anyone can learn and
benefit from in all communication exchanges.
As we strain to hear and understand what a person is
saying, body language is a way to "see" what
someone is saying and compare the words
chosen with the emotional message of body
language. If the two
messages oppose each other, then your job is to dig
deeper to find the truth.