As part of my private coaching I work with professionals on refining the unintended messages their body language is sending. The Person Behind The Curtain: Part One
Your face is the most emotionally expressive part of your body.
You must never underestimate the power of the eyebrow. ~Jack Black, actor
We would all like to think we have perfect poker faces and are less emotionally expressive then we really are.
Poker players try all sort of tricks to cover their face lest, they give away their position — everything from biting our lip to holding their breath to keep that old emotional face in line with the curtain they want to show the world.
Since we can’t wear cowboy hats and mirrored shades what should we do to control our facial expressions? Over the next few posts, I’ll be sharing some fun and some serious things we can do to always put on a positive face.
Let’s start with a fun thing to do with the hardest to control…as the most unintentional expressive part of your face is your ever Expressive Eyebrows. For being such a small part of the body, the eyebrows and the gestures they make speak loudly.
When I give a speech, or do a workshop, I read a few audience members to prove the point that all of our “owners manuals” are printed right there for everyone else to see.
For most people, they never give a second thought that whatever they are thinking or feeling in the moment is also most likely being broadcast for everyone to see via their facial movements.
It usually shocks and amazes the audience, but when you know what to look for it’s a plain as the nose on your face…. and one of the first places to look to see how someone is emotionally-feeling in that moment is their eyebrows….
Eyebrows are an effective communicator of your emotions of the moment. “In the moment” are the key words, the movement of the eyebrows is a reaction to what just happened or what we want to have happen.
Eyebrows can evoke immediate response in others too. A quick eyebrow flash can flirt, or criticize, (Both of those are managing others with our eyebrows) or show fear or surprise – these two are about our internal world – what’s going on inside us at the moment.
One of the fun ways to use your eyebrows is to build rapport and relationship with an eyebrow flash.
An eyebrow flash is where one or both eyebrows go quickly up and then back down. An eyebrow flash with a smile can be used either consciously or subconsciously as a sign of interest, thank you or recognition. This expression is very quick and it is recognized and returned, often subconsciously, before the return eyebrow flasher is even aware of it happening.
Just the other day I was at a networking event. I had met one of the “stars” of the event about 10 minutes before. We chatted, they were intrigued by what I do for a living, we exchanged cards with a promise to follow up and off be both went to meet other people.
Then in a moment across the room we made eye contact. I did a quick eyebrow flash and got one in return…I knew we were in rapport from the return flash and followed up the next day knowing I would receive a warm reception all because of the eyebrow flash.
An eyebrow flash, done right can bring a smile to both faces. So try and eyebrow flash to say “hello,” “thank you” or even “I see you….”
Have a great weekend whatever your adventures,
*Be forewarned though and be careful with where you are flashing those eyebrows, it can be interpreted as a sign of flirtation or interest. So know where you are flashing those eyebrows and what outcome you want to happen before you flash.