I spend a significant time traveling to client sites and events, often driving a fraction over the speed limit, choosing to flow with traffic rather than hold it up.
On a recent trip I was traveling along on a 2-lane road (1 lane in each direction) and as I entered a small town I noticed a police car was following along quite closely to the car behind me. Feeling that my speed was acceptable, I continued on my journey, and as the lanes expanded to allow passing, the police car quickly accelerated along beside me. As the car slowly began to overtake me I glanced in the direction of the driver, only to notice that the officer was waving his finger at me in his rear view mirror, as if to say “naughty naughty.”
Have you ever had others use gestures or body language that suggest something you are engaged in does not meet with their approval? In this circumstance I reacted by slowing my speed and I began to wonder what I may have done wrong. I even called my wife to gain her perspective on the event.
The reality is we often misinterpret the body language and gestures of others and in doing so we waste time; create doubt; and loose the momentum that took so long for us to build.
So the next time you receive “the naughty finger” or find yourself analyzing the body language or gestures of others, be direct and ask them if something is bothering them. You will save considerable time, and most often either reveal the objection which can then be addressed, or find you were over interpreting it’s existence.
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.