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(This article was written about Jeff Thompson. It appeared in the Tweed Daily News on March 19. 2011 and was written by Ellisha Puglia.)
FROM hairstyles to handshakes, non-verbal communication can say a lot about what a person is thinking or feeling.
US-based mediation expert and New York City Police Department detective Jeff Thompson will reveal the secrets of non-verbal communication at a public seminar at Southern Cross University's Gold Coast campus in Bilinga today.
Mr Thompson, who is doing his PHD with Griffith University Law School, said non-verbal communication applied to everything.
“I have an acronym for non-verbal communication, it's METTA - movement, environment, touch, tone and appearance,” he said.
“They say 80% of first impressions are made before you even open your mouth.
“In the case of body language, I encourage people to ask themselves if they really know what messages they are sending, and give tips on how to observe and decode gestures to determine if others agree with them or not.”
Although Mr Thompson admits non-verbal communication is not an exact science, he said it provided greater insight into what someone was thinking.
“If you are having a conversation with someone, and lean in and smile and nod, it shows that you are interested and listening,” he said.
“If you are nodding robotically or ferociously, leaning back, playing with your wedding ring, or twisting your hair, it could show you are disinterested or uncomfortable.”
Mr Thompson's speech is on level 2, room 2.14 from 11.30am- 1pm.
Jeff Thompson is a certified international mediator. He is also a law enforcement detective in New York. His law enforcement role include a being a communication and conflict specialist, interfaith dialogue, developing and implementing community engagement programs, and designing training workshops.
Jeff is currently a PhD candidate researching nonverbal communication and mediation at Griffith University Law School. He also received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Creighton University School of Law. Jeff has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally and has been published and featured with numerous international media organizations. He currently writes also at PsychologyToday.com.
(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions as a mediator and not that of any organization.)
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