I blogged yesterday about how you can use someone’s gestures to influence them. It’s a fascinating, easy and fun technique that really works.

Why does it work? Because in normal circumstances, a person’s gestures are outside their conscious awareness. In other words they come directly from the unconscious mind, from the “Elephant” rather than the conscious “Rider”.

And when you keep track of where they “put” important things they are talking about, and show that you know where they are by looking at them or gesturing towards them, it’s usually their Elephant, not the Rider, that notices.

So it’s their Elephant that gets the message that you really understand them. And since it’s their Elephant that largely drives the person’s behaviour, that’s a powerful way of influencing someone.

Of course, there are circumstances where this approach doesn’t work so well. On the phone or Skype, for example.

And you can use it to help you notice that a person is making gestures which seem to be under the Rider’s control.  They suggest the person may be trying to control their body language consciously and presumably purposefully.

What could this mean? Well, it might mean that they are nervous. (Watch a few “beginner” videos on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.)

But in a face-to-face conversation, it could well mean they might be using a “technique” intended to influence you. It’s a warning sign – and of course you can decide for yourself whether to allow them to influence you or not.

To spot this, simply look out for for gestures which are inconsistent with each other, as if they’ve forgotten where they put their “imaginary friends”.

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