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What Your Body is Saying About You

by Jeff Thompson
March 2011

(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.

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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