Archive for November, 2011

Body Language My Dear Friend

November 16th, 2011 No comments

Some time ago I was working side-by-side with a friend. I now consider him a dear friend. We were working on getting caught up on some of his work that he had unknowingly and accidentally fallen behind on. I could tell it was weighing on his mind and I was absolutely honored to help him catch up in any capacity possible.

At first, me helping him with his own work was a slow process. I was as green as grass and he had to help step me along and get me up to speed as I became more proficient at the tasks needed to be done in order to ensure proper execution of the goal (s). He was very patient with me, however, only occasionally rolling his eyes as if to say “Dear Lord, how idiotic is this kid anyway?!” Needless to say some of the time my mind was moving at the speed of a slug and one morning I almost excused myself to hurl all over the place and gingerly hug the commode {Yes, I was hung over badly and I likely am a complete moron}.

Anyhow, there we were working together side-by-side, trying to figure out how to finish all of this work together as quickly and as effectively as possible. On one such early morning we sat down at the table together (each with a computer) and began sifting through messages, questions, thoughts, and potential opportunities. It was a bright morning and the light came through the front living room window quite nicely. The work and hours kind of just seemed to melt away. It was one of those days. A few hours rolled by and he broke down first “Are you hungry at all Matthew? Kind of I replied. How about we get some sandwiches then? Sure I said. You like avocados right? I guess so I said. Perfect, why don’t you get my wife a sandwich too then. Get everything just the same but she doesn’t like tomatoes.

I nearly fell off my chair…she doesn’t like tomatoes I asked quizzically? Yes, that’s right he said, she doesn’t like tomatoes – saying it like I have absolutely no listening abilities whatsoever. Unconvinced that she didn’t like tomatoes, I marched to the office study where Mrs. So-And-So was and proclaimed “We’re getting sandwiches, are you sure you don’t want tomatoes on yours?” Yes Matthew, I don’t like tomatoes on my sandwich. Marching back to the living room I was still flabbergasted but knew I had to ‘let it go’ for the time being. I sat back down in my chair still mildly puzzled. Then I asked “How are we going to pay for these sandwiches anyway?” My friend looked at me for a moment and then slowly reached for the wallet tucked in his back pocket.

Luckily when he opened his wallet cash was inside. He pinched 2 crisp 20’s between his fingers and pulled them out of his wallet. Then with somewhat of a sheepish look on his face and a slow and rhythmic 1…2…3 forward¬† motion of his wrist the bills were tossed toward me across the table “You go get the sandwiches he said assertively”.

And that’s exactly what I did. I got the sandwiches. And they were tasty.

I still am and always will be amazed by what can be communicated with body language. And you, my dear friend, your body language is uncanny.

Readers: What do you think about body language? Do you think body language is important? How important is body language in a corporate or organizational setting? Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas.

Matthew Polkinghorne

*I can’t believe she didn’t want tomatoes on her sandwich. Sheesh…not even heirlooms?

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