Lean In (Literally)

Practical Applications for Nonverbal Intelligence and the Indications of Leaning In.

By David M. Schneer, Ph.D./CEO

3-Minute Read

Anecdotally, I have heard from more than a few recruiters who tell me that some people typically lack two things during the interview process: eye contact and positive body positions.

Of course, maintaining good (direct) eye contact during the interview process is critical. But what about the body?

One of the easiest things you can do (and look for, if you are recruiting or interviewing) is leaning in. It has long been established that a person who leans in toward their subject is interested[1], and typically with positive engagement. Often, leaning in can signal curiosity. It looks like this.

So, if you are interviewing someone and they are consistently leaning forward that is a good sign and something you should look for.

And if you are a job candidate, one of the best things you can do is lean in. Literally. It tells the astute observer that you are interested and curious.

When I moderate focus groups or in-depth, in-person interviews I am looking for the participant(s) to be leaning in. If not, I need to understand why or change my tactic for better engagement. How can you do this? One way is to introduce a stimulus of some sort. That always perks people up.

Make sure your participants are comfortable and you’ll have a better chance of engagement.

Contact us today to see how we can help you or your organization become proficient at finding out what people are really thinking when they communicate with you. 

Most Communication is Nonverbal. Are You Fluent?

[1] “Forward leaning may be interpreted as a signal of interest (Coker and Burgoon, 1987).”

— The Routledge Dictionary of Nonverbal Communication by David B. Givens, John White: https://a.co/d1sMJe6