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Movements of Feet and Legs
Welcome dear participants, in the prior modules we have looked at the interpretations of ourhands and fingers.In the current module we would look at the interpretations which are communicated byour feet and by the positioning of legs in our formal communication with others.The interpretations of various aspects of our kinesics signals are rather generalizedeven though many of these perceptions have got a scientific backing down.Researchers have told us that our legs and feet are more honest in communication in comparisonto other body parts of us.This finding was first of all put forward by Paul Ekman and William Friesen, who suggestedthat when a person dies, then it is normally revealed by the lower part of his body andthe lower part of the liers body communicates more signals in comparison to the upper bodyportions.This idea first of all was put forward by Paul Ekman and William Friesen who suggestedthat if a person is lying, then the maximum kinetic signals are received from the legsand feet; in comparison to other body parts which are in the upper portion of the body.This finding was later on supported by various other researchers and particularly I wouldlike to quote the findings by Stalter.Stalter has commented that in comparison to our legs and feet, our facial expressionsas well as our hands and even our fingers have a better and more conscious control.Partially it is there because during most of our interactions people tend to focus onour face and sometimes on our hands; our brain transmits a signals of freezing or runningthese instincts are visible in our legs.For example, if you are following a person only rather treacherous path; then if theother person who is walking in front of us stumbles or he stops we would immediatelystop without consciously thinking about the reason behind it.So, these instinctive signals are communicated with a help of our legs and the positioningof the feet.In professional situations also in dyadic and in interpersonal situations we find thatthese perceptions are dominantly present and shared by cross cultural situations.As our facial expressions reveal our feelings; our legs and position of the feet also communicatesour feelings.And Stalter has pointed out that certain feelings and emotional attitudes are better communicatedwith the help of our positioning of legs and feet.And the list includes anxiety, anticipation, welcome, exclusion, interest as well as retreat.I would like to refer to a very interesting article by Karen Stollznow.In this 2017 article she has analyzed six different leg positions which were sent toher by a reader.We find that the analysis is pretty interesting and also very close to our common perceptions.The person who has opted for the position named as A, suggest an attitude or visualthinking, the person would prefer that these problems can be washed away.The second person with the position B is rather a dreamer who happens to have a vivid imagination.The person who has opted for the third position C is rather picky and choosy in terms of personalchoices; for example, the type of shoes, the type of clothes, the perfumes one wears etceterathe person would be rather choosy about it.The person who is opted for the forth position named as D would find it difficult to acceptcriticism in an open and constructive manner.Normally, we find that people who opt for this sitting posture jump to their defenseimmediately instead of listening to the criticism and are always in a hurry either to defendtheir actions or to try to wriggle out of that position by changing the conversationpatterns.The person who has opted for the E position comes across as a person who is very stubbornand persistent and at the same time is not hurried.He or she would be a person who has invested a lot of time in self improvement; in lookingas better as possible in performing as better as possible, performing in as better a wayas possible.And therefore, the person is not a hurried person the person would wait and put in alot of effort.However, at the same time if it is supported by the rest of the clustering of our kinesicspostures it can also indicate a certain sense of insecurity and lack of self confidence.Even though we understand that while we sit; then we normally are looking for a positionwhich is comfortable to us and at the same time we are conscious not to violate the socialand cultural norms.However, the sitting positions also communicates certain messages which are likely to be motivatedby our unconscious desires and perceptions.We can for instance look at the open and close sitting situations.A person who is sitting with open legs normally comes across as a person who is opted fora relaxed position and is comfortable in a given situation.On the other hand a person who has opted for a cross leg position comes across as a closedand reticent person.At the same time, the tension which is exhibited through the positioning of the knees etceteraalso discloses a lot about the anxiety level a person might be feeling.Often it may happen that when we opt for a particular posture, we ourselves may not beaware of transmitting these messages, but the other person who is looking at us is notimpervious to these subtle suggestions.Let us look at some commonly found postures and what do they signify in professional circumstances.A very common posture which we come across is that of a crossed leg situation.Interpretations of this commonly come across position depend on whether the legs are outstretched and relaxed or they are crossed at the ankles or they are crossed at the kneesor how much tension is perceptible in their knees or in the ankle process.If the legs are outstretched and the ankles are loosely crossed, it usually signals thatthe person is at ease and his opted for a comfortable position.In the work place, we often find people opting for this posture because it happens to bea comfortable one.However, if the cross is rigid it communicates the tension and anxiety which a person isfacing at that time.The tension and anxiety which is visible in these crosses can be either protective ornegative, but nonetheless it exhibits a desire to shield oneself from a particular personor to shield oneself in a given situation.In the second photograph, we find that the leg cross is duplicated by the arms crossed;it shows that the individual is not only defensive, but is also emotionally withdrawn and therefore,is almost unreceptive to surroundings.During professional interactions, we find that people who have opted for this positiondo not openly participate in the dialogue.The sentences they use a rather short encrypt and they are always in a hurry to reject theproposals because often they tend to overlook the details.And therefore, it is advisable to relax the atmosphere so that the people can uncrossthe body postures and be more receptive in their attitudes.In addition to suggesting a relax position, as well as a position with suggest a tensionthe normal interpretation of the foot clock or the ankle lock is that the person displaysa defensive attitude.It has been supported by Allan Pease also who has commented that, in his more than threedecades of interviewing and selling two people, it has been noted that when it interviewinglocks his ankle he is mentally biting his lips.Researchers tell us almost in a conclusive fashion that it is the tension in the lockwhich suggest whether a person is relatively relaxed or is holding back a negative emotion.The negative emotion may not necessarily be anger or a strong dislike towards other; itmay also be a mild feeling of uncertainty or nervousness or a normal situation of apprehensionand fear which people normally face at the time of interviews etcetera.However, if the feet are also withdrawn under the chair; it suggest that the person hasa withdrawn attitude.Most of us tend to unconscious the lock our ankles and feet whenever we are interactingwith a person who is either senior to us or we find ourselves in a situation when we feelthat we have to be rather on the defensive attitude.In the ankle lock, we also find certain gender differences.Amongst men we find that the ankle lock is often combined with clenched fists; whichare resting on the knees.And often the hands are tightly gripping either the knees or arms of the chair; dependingon the tension which a person is feeling in a given situation.On the other hand, we find that the women normally opt for slightly different postureeven though their ankles are locked, they come across as more restful, more formal;however, the communication of the ankle lock are similar despite these gender differencesof opting for certain postures.In this slide we would look at two postures which are also same in the workplace.The first is known as the European leg cross, in which we find that the person is sittingcomfortably, dripping one leg over the other; it is always the dominant leg which crossesover the other.Normally people opt for a relax position, a leaned back posture which indicates thatthe person is in control, has a positive association with the place.And at the same time is rather culture and wants to come across as an intellectual person,in general wants to indicate that the person is in offensive.In comparison to that the next posture which is known as a numerical 4 posture suggeststhat the person is argumentative and opinionated.This person has a certain lack of respect for the opinions of other people, also hascertain stubbornness and would not be open to the suggestions of other people.And would persistently hold his or her own opinion despite having same and certain shortcomingsin it.Numerical 4 is normally the posture which people are advised to avoid during formalsituations.In this slide, we can look at two photographs which are the variations of numerical 4 postureand they are also relatively common particularly in semi formal dialogues; even at the workplace.In this figure four leg clamp situations, we find that both hands are clamped on theleg and one leg is resting horizontally over the other.This person comes across is a stubborn and tough minded person; a person who is not ina mood to negotiate yet in the given situation feels strangely relaxed and wants to stayin this situation for a little while.Since the clamping of the leg with our hands suggest that we want to stay in this positionfor certain time.Most of the dialogue is not going to serve much purpose during any sales related presentationsor in any interaction, if the person has opted for this type of an attitude most of whatwe are going to say would further encourage the person to clamp his or her attitude ina force full manner and the no would soon be verbalized.And therefore, it becomes important to think of his certain other strategy to think forcertain type of a diversion so that this clamped position can be undone and the person canbe relaxed in body language.And very soon we may feel that the relaxed body posture would also be sending certainsignals to the brain and a different approach can be taken up in this situation.Certain other positions which we can take up is the leg twine and the parallel legs;as well as the connotations if a person is stroking his or her leg.The leg twine is normally opted by those women who are relatively shy; amongst men it isnormally not same in the workplace.Parallel legs is something which is normally seen in women, but it is also same in menalso.The parallel leg position is normally related with a feminine posture, but nonetheless itcan be found in men also.Amongst women it is considered to be a feminine and positive posture; this is a posture whichwomen in the grooming classes are taught to opt for.It also suggest a certain level of confidence and attractiveness; however, in men it isnormally associated with something effeminate.During the dialogue if a person is a stroking his leg while sitting, it normally is consideredto be a pacifying action.If it is repeatedly done; it showcases the tension of a person; however, in women itis often associated with a flirtatious gesture and it should be avoided.The first is the maharaja posture or the Lincolnesque posture which suggest a confidence as wellas a dominant nature.It is a confident way of sitting on a particular chair where arms are resting peacefully withoutany tension and feet are also planted firmly on the floor.If we find two people opting for the same position and facing each other the dialogueis confident and yet it moves in a positive direction.The second posture is known as instant by posture; it is taken up by a person who hasa positive attitude, has agreed to whatever is being discussed and wants to move on withit.This is the posture of a person who is willing to accept the proposal for example, wheredo I signed now to move on further.If this is also associated with a gesture of absentmindedly stroking the chin; thenit is an indication that the person has agreed to the proposal and the sales can be pitchedin.Certain other postures which are seen in the semi formal situations; for example in theworkplace where the colleagues or team members have been working for a very long time together;they spread and stretched out legs while sitting suggest the non acceptance as a response tosomething which is happened earlier.It is also a posture which suggest a total relaxation; however, during discussions ifthis posture has been taken up, it suggests that the person is not accepting somethingwhich is happened earlier.It depends on how far the upper part of the body is leaned back and this leaning backsuggests the distance the person is trying to keep to some event or to some person.If we look at the second posture; in which a person is sitting with a leg over the armof the chair.We normally may feel that the person is looking as a relaxed open an informal one, on theother hand we feel that the actual emotions are just the opposite.The person shows not only a noted in difference, but also a definite hostility to other people.It also communicates a dominant position or a superior position and therefore, it maybe difficult to relate to this person who is sitting in this posture.The third posture can be taken up as an extension of the second one; it is neither informalnor cooperative.In fact, the back of the chair has been taken up as a shield in a group situation.The shield maybe targeting the other people or the topic which is under discussion andit also retains the connotations of the second posture.An understanding of the positive and negative connotations of posture helps us to avoida negative communication with the help of our postures and at the same time decode thetrue intentions of the other person in a group interaction.The way we position our feet also reflects our feelings towards other people to whomwe happen to be talking to at the moment.If we hold and open and positive attitude towards other people, our feet our head andtorso points to the same person in a single clue and this position gives us an understandingof the attitude of other people towards us and vice versa.On the other hand, if the instance is negative or there is certain diffidence in the attitudeit is also perceptible because the feet and torso would be positioned in different directions;this idea is interestingly shown in the given video.Feet language; feet are those honest part of the person because we are not always awareof what our feet are doing.Ankles hooked around the chair legs shows the person is nervous or trying to controlhim or herself; I find myself doing this at dinner a lot.If a person has the heel of one foot on the ground with the toes pointed to the sky; heor she is happy or admiring themselves; this usually happens in a mirror.If a foot is tapping and there is no music; that means, the person is nervous or wantsto go; go to restaurants much.A person sitting with legs stretched out stooped in ankles crossed is feeling relaxed or confident.When a person has their legs crossed and foot shaking they are bored; bored there is noother way to describe it.If the feet get jiggly and do a little dance the person is happy or excited or both.If someone’s body is turned towards you, but one or both feet are not the person doesnot want to be with you; one or both feet point at something the person is interestedin.So, when their foot is pointed away from you; you might want to look where their foot ispointed because they are most likely it is in the general vicinity of what they are interestedin or where they want to go.If one foot starts twitching or kicking; it shows the person is unhappy, if the feet areset wide apart the person is feeling strong and sometimes also angry; roar!I am good never mind.People usually cross a leg towards someone they like or are comfortable with and it alsoworks the opposite way; if you are sitting beside somebody that you are not comfortablewith; it is pretty likely you are going to cross your leg away from them.And then there is the issue where you are sitting between two people that you are comfortablewith and you have to cross your leg away from one of them; that is awkward.But only awkward for you because they probably do not know what your body language is sayingor maybe that is just me yeah it is probably just me.And finally, when two people are walking together and their steps are matched going right left,right left at the same time; they want to talk to each other and they are probably friendsalthough that is not technically a rule, but they want to talk to each other.If our sitting posture reveals a lot about our attitudes, the way we stand also indicatesseveral aspects of our attitudes and behaviour.Legs apart is rightly interpreted as a signal of dominance, it is resolutely stable andimmovable indicates a person who is standing the ground etcetera.It is common in sports people, it is also commonly visible in security forces and itis an impersonation of the toughness; the person wants to convey a mental toughnessto the other person.A person who opts for his straddling stance is an extension of the legs apart dominantstamped.The straddling stance communicates an added coldness and belligerence in the person’sattitude and normally this is a position which is never opted for in any professional situation.The parallel stance or at attention is a formal position which shows a neutral attitude withoutany commitment; either to stay or to go.Normally, we come across this standing position in those people who are subordinate, who holda security related position, amongst junior officers, young school children who are waitingto receive a direction from a senior person.It indicates a certain hesitation on the part of the person, the person has diffidence andcannot openly wise an opinion, but nonetheless it also communicates a willing and immediateobedience on the part of this person.The buttress stance is slightly different; in this stand we place most of our weighton a straight supporting leg, allowing the other leg to serve as a buttress.People adopting this stand sometimes come across as comfortably standing people; however,it suggest that the person is not exactly interested in what is happening around himor her rather has a desire to move away on the first available opportunity.Standing with both feet on the ground is a neutral yet powerful standing position.In this photograph we find that a person is standing over the standard gap between thelegs which are firmly planted on the floor.This is a stable and focus position it does not show any belligerence it also does notshowcase any nonverbal noise.And therefore, it is normally treated as a formal and focused position; the best oneto initiate our interactions in any given professional situation.In comparison to this, the foot forward position suggest that we are about to walk away andit is normally adopted by people towards the end of a rather long and tough tea.If it is opted in a group position, we tend to point our lead foot towards the most interestingperson or the most attractive person in the group.It shows our leanings towards that individual in a group position; this is a stance whichis also known as the bent blade stance is; obviously, a defensive a negative posture.It does have a certain rigidity; however, the extent of rigidity is displayed on thebasis of the rigidity of arms, as well as the facial expressions; if they are closedand rigid then the extent of rigidity is great.At the same time the immobility of this posture suggest a certain commitment because the personwho is opted for this stance would sit through the conversation, would not leave the negotiationsin the middle and walk away.Sometimes it is taken a as an act of submission, it does not convey any impatience the personwould stay there wants to stay there also.However, it suggests a certain level of a security either towards a person or towardsthe situation at hand.So, though this is a negative position indicating a defensive and in security of a person; itis not necessarily a hurried posture.And if the other person is patient, we feel that the negativity can be taken away in thisposition through dialogue.Sometimes we also come across what is known as fidgeting feet; fidgeting feet are oppositeof the relaxed feet position and they suggest the hurried attitude of a person to move awayfrom this position, to leave the situation and flee.While standing a person may repeatedly tap a foot to indicate this impatience.Similarly, while standing or sitting tapping with ones foot symbolizes impatience and atthe same time it may also suggest a certain dissatisfaction with what is being said.Sometimes, it may also mean that the person who is tapping with his or her foot is interestedin passing on a repartee or to add something to the dialogue and in this situation theperson has to be given an opportunity to participate and speak.A variation of the fidgeting foot in professional situation is known as teetering feet.Feet which are rather unsteadily balanced and the person is continually swing back andforth.This action demonstrates that the person is ill at ease and can communicate a clusterof negative things.For example, the person may be thinking of something else would like to drop the issueor move on or the person thinks that the speaker is not convincing enough.The teetering feet should not be taken up as necessarily a negative body posture becausethe person basically has a positive attitude towards a speaker, as well as towards a position.The interactant must try to find out the reasons of the hurry, reasons why the feet are teetering,why the unsteadiness is there to find out more about the situation and resolve it ina satisfactory manner.A stomping feet suggests our hostility normally it is considered to be a childish behaviourand in adults; it is a reflection of an extreme anger or an extreme disappointment which shouldalways be avoided.Let us look at what is known as 45 degree open position; in this open position we findthat the behaviour of three people is to be viewed.If two people are already engross in the dialogue and the third person wants to participatein it, the two people who are already in the dialogue have to move in such a position thatthe third person feels invited.If the two people who had originally been in the dialogue continue with a closed attitudeand do not open their position of the feet or legs even a small bit; the other personfeels totally as an outsider and the participation becomes impossible in this position.The closed and open body positions indicate our desire to interact openly with other people.As we begin to feel more comfortable in a group or in a dyad and we get to know others,we move through a series of movements and then instead of opting for a defensive positionwith crossed arms and legs as a displayed in the first photograph, we can graduallymove to a more relaxed and open position as is shown in the second one.If you look at the body signal gestures and postures in the first photograph, we findthat they exhibit a sense of uncertainty towards each other.On the other hand, in the second photograph it is relatively an open acceptance of theother which is displayed through the gestures and postures.In analysis of legs and feet movements has been done in this video during a net workingevent.We can guess from the position of legs and feet of their mental situations while theyare talking to someone or before participation in a conversation midway.Topic legs and feet, if you want to leg up on your competition pay attention to whatis going on below the knees.It is a little known fact that the feet are two of the most expressive parts of our bodies;let us see what we can discover about what our feet and legs communicate.This person may look engaged from the waist up, but in reality he is wishing he were headingin the direction of his feet; out the door, his feet are a dead giveaway.Let us take a look at these folks at a networking event which one do you think would ratherbe someplace else?You got it, the one with his foot pointing to the door.Here it is pretty clear these two people really like each other because their legs and feetare pointing towards each other.The same holds true in a standing position; in fact, when you see two people engaged ina conversation like these two here; it would be wise not to try to interrupt, you may endup embarrassing yourself.But do not despair; if you want to join a conversation already in progress there aretwo things you can do; first find a twosome or threesome that looks open to includinganother person, how can you tell they are open?Anything . You got it, by the position of their legsand feet.The second way to increase your chance of being included in the conversation is to bea copycat.When people converse with people they like, they will mirror or copy the other person’sbody language.We mirror people to show them that we are like minded and therefore, safe to hang outwith.So, a great way to fit into an ongoing conversation is to mirror the people already conversing;there is a good chance they will sense your kinship and open up to include you.We are just talking about . Now, I hope you have enough information togo out and put your best foot forward.Let us look at the knee points and what exactly do they signify about our attitudes.In the knee point A and B which also remind us of the numerical 4 posture; we find thatan attitude of rejecting the other person is shown.If the knee points in the direction of the other person, as it has been displayed inthe first photograph A, it is a direct rejection of the other person or his statement.In B we find that it is the sole of the foot which is moved in the direction of the otherperson.In some cultures it is seen as an extremely insulting one; in all cultures nonethelessit is a posture of rejection and it is considered to be a highly negative one.It immediately stops, the open flow of conversation and is detrimental in any dialogue; it isthe position of our toes which suggest a positivity or negativity of our attitude.Toes pointing upwards suggest that the person is in a good mood or is likely to hear somethingwhich is positive.For example, if a picnic is to be announced in a class the most enthusiastic studentswould immediately move their toes upward.If we happen to look at a person who is talking on a phone and then the toes are pointingupward, we can almost be sure that it is a good news or an enjoyable conversation atleast.In contrast the pigeon toes when the toes are pointing inward shows a certain meeknessand it signals our willingness to be led by the other dominant partner during our dialogues.Pigeon toes make the body appear smaller forcing it into a less threatening profile.It also shows our submissiveness and our meekness and our willingness to be dominated by otherpeople.It also happens to be one of those gestures which are used as stock expressions of emotionsin movies.In this video, we can see that the body language expert carol Kinsey Goman is analyzed whatone’s feet tell in different situation.Control their body language; they focus mostly on their facial expressions and hand and armgestures.And since the legs and feet go off and unrehearsed, it is also where the truth is almost alwaysfound.Let me give you a couple of examples; if for instance you are talking to a co worker; whoseupper body is faced toward you, but whose feet and legs have turned an angle towardthe door; realize that conversation is over her feet are telling you she wants to leave. it is recommended to the participants.I would close my discussion of whatever feet and the position of our legs suggest in anyprofessional interaction.In my next module, I would take up paralanguage for discussions.Thank you.