Micro-expressions are More Useful to Reading People from Different Cultures than Body Language




Body Language
Knowledge Center

Translate

Forum
9
Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Micro-expressions are More Useful to Reading People from Different Cultures than Body Language

Body language is used to express or convey a message or information. People have been trying to understand others' thoughts by observing others' body language. However, body language varies significantly from culture to culture. For example, shaking head can be interpreted as 'disagreeing' to one group of people but as 'agreeing' to another. Besides, people may find it is hard to read persons good at managing their body movements and able to mask their feelings.

A micro-expression, on the contrary, remains remarkably consistent across all known cultures. Spontaneous and involuntary micro-expressions flit rapidly across everyone's faces at times of intense emotion and therefore provide an instant, honest window into how the person is currently feeling. People might try to hide their facial expressions in varying ways informed by culture, but to a practiced reader, the true emotions are always visible.

Recognising and interpreting microexpressions takes practice, but body language researcher and instructor Wezowski (2018) suggests the following things you can do immediately to improve your skills.
  • STUDY THE MOST COMMON MICROEXPRESSIONS, such as surprise, anger, fear, disgust, happiness and contempt, and get aware of the hallmarks of each.
  • EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE BODY LANGUAGE, including masking techniques, if you are about to visit or interact with a specific culture. You can probably find videos online of 10 executives from that culture and watch how they communicate.
  • FOCUS ON THE FACE when you are at the moment. However, do not make your counterpart uncomfortable by staring at them unwaveringly.
  • BELIEVE IN YOUR GUT FEELING. Humans are naturally good at subconsciously detect even the subtlest microexpressions, so ask yourself what happened when you notice a tiny facial movement.
  • TRY TO MIMIC THE MOVEMENT. By doing that, you may have more time to think, and the mirror neurons in your brain will also tell you the correct emotion associated with that movement.
  • Start to EXCLUDE EMOTIONS when you still cannot figure out how the other is feeling. You should be able to quickly notice what the facial cue does not mean, after learning the most common expressions above.
  • DISCERN THE SENTIMENT OF THE MAJORITY when you are presenting to a crowd; you do not need to get frustrated by one negative look.
Microexpressions are a better way of reading people from different cultures as they reveal someone's true feelings in seconds. Noticing them and adjusting your behaviour accordingly gives you the chances of smoother cross-cultural interactions.

Source: Wezowski, K., 2018. How to Get Better at Reading People from Different Cultures. [online] HBR. [Accessed 3 February 2021].
 

Rating

 
3
Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands
 

Micro Expressions

Thanks for starting this interesting topic. Just recently we had another discussion about signals us... Sign up

 
1
Chloe Xu
Director, Australia
 

Definition of Micro-expression

@Jaap de Jonge: I think you asked a good question. Unfortunately, Wezowski does not explain what is ... Sign up

 
1
Gregory Johnson
Coach, United States
 

Micro & Macro of Body Expressions

Very interesting tease of a very important feature of our communications. Being sensitized to Body L... Sign up

 
1
S J Osbon
Business Consultant, United States
 

Recordings and MEs

A paper by Wang, Y., et al. (2016) argues that a micro expression (ME) of sadness (a hidden emotion)... Sign up

 
1
Jacob Panicker
Coach, India
 

Micro Expressions and Eye Cues

Nice stream Chloe.. One might also look into eye accessing cues as part of micro expressions. Eye mo... Sign up

 
1
Ferdinand Aukes
Director, Netherlands
 

Micro Expressions and Clever Hans (Kluger Hans)

Very interesting to read Chloe. In so many ways it's useful to read micro expressions and body langu... Sign up

 
0
ajoy adhikary
Professor, India
 

Definition of Micro and Macro Expressions

Thank you madam Chloe for this interesting and timely article. It is indeed apt especially for today... Sign up

 
1
Stig Falster
Management Consultant, Australia
 

Micro-expressions More Universal

Thanks for an interesting article. It confirms what I learnt in my years in Asia when dealing with l... Sign up

 
1
ganhi
Accountant, Cote Divoire (Ivory Coast)
 

Micro-expressions are More Universal than Body Language and Ornamental Aspects

Thank you a lot for sharing with us such a great topic on communication which is worth to be discuss... Sign up

 
2
Prabhavathi A
Coach, India
 

What is a Micro-expression?

According to me, a micro-expression can be defined as an action of one's nerves to his or her though... Sign up

 
2
John Henry
Project Manager, United States
 

I Would Like to Suggest Honesty and Listening Rather than Micro Manipulation

Let your "yes", be yes, and your "no" be no, and instead of trying to identify what you can interpre... Sign up

 
1
Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands
 

Listening Really Well Requires More than your Ears

@John Henry: I share your inclination to dislike artificially manipulating other people using body l... Sign up

 
2
John Henry
Project Manager, United States
 

What Happens When we are Attempting to Communicate

@Jaap de Jonge: How many points of failure do you have when you exchange ideas? 1. What you said. ... Sign up

 
2
Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom
 

The Music of Expressions

When we communicate there are the words that we say (the words) and the manner in which we say them ... Sign up

   

More on Body Language:
Summary
Discussion Topics
👀Micro-expressions are More Useful to Reading People from Different Cultures than Body Language
🔥 Examples of Nonverbal Communication
Advantages of Nonverbal Communication. Benefits
Disadvantages of Nonverbal Communication. Drawbacks
Usage of Nonverbal Communication. Application Areas
Special Interest Group

Do you know a lot about Body Language? Become our SIG Leader

Body Language
Knowledge Center



About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2023 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V16.1 - Last updated: 7-6-2023. All names of their owners.