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The continual tapping of a cigar or cigarette end on the ashtray shows that an inner conflict is taking place and that you may need to reassure the smoker. Here, too, is an interesting smoking phenomenon. Most smokers smoke their cigarette down to a certain length before extinguishing it in the ashtray. If the smoker lights a cigarette and suddenly extinguishes it earlier than he normally would, he has signalled his decision to terminate the conversation. Watching for this termination signal can allow you to take control or to close the conversation, making it appear that it was your idea to end it.
This position is normally used by people who are engaged in friendly, casual conversation. The position allows for unlimited eye contact and the opportunity to use numerous gestures and to observe the gestures of the other person. The corner of the desk provides a partial barrier should one person begin to feel threatened, and this
Society usually looks down on people who eavesdrop. People want their business and conversations to be private, otherwise, they would be talking to you about it. Most people have been taught as children to avoid eavesdropping and hindering someone else's privacy. But at the poker table, eavesdropping is fair game, and you should use it to your advantage. When you listen to two other players having a conversation, you may gather some useful information about them. When they start talking about how they play, what they folded, the opinions they have of other players, and information that pertain to poker, that is when you should be listening carefully. You should be keeping your eyes open to see what other players are doing, you should also be keeping your ears open to hear if the other players are giving you clues about their own play or other player's play.
At very short tables, your actual hand shrinks in importance and your pot odds rise in importance. Get in the habit 0f calculating the pot and your odds before every decision. Your mental conversation shouldn't be 1 only have jack-five but have jack-five and the pot odds are 2.2-to-l. By thinking ofyOUr cards and your odds as a pair of facts, you'll keep your thinking in order. Good short-table play consists of keeping the cards and the odds balanced properly.
Although their conversation revealed they were experienced local players, both women played poorly. Nevertheless, they were winning moderately because of their collusion cheating, which was crude and obvious. While playing, they would blatantly show their hole cards to each other and then coordinate their betting to produce a collective advantage. The other players either did not notice their collusion or were too indifferent or timid to object. But by quietly taking advantage of their much more readable hands and poorer poker resulting from their cheating, John converted the two women from winners to losers.
An opponent's unconscious mind will often set him right - his instincts will set him on the right track. So you try to keep him off that. You do this by operating in such a way as to keep his conversation (and play) on a conscious level. This may be part of what spinning the web is for keeping the opponent on this conscious level. For if a player is able to clear his mind (and have clear access to his instincts, and his unconscious), he may start making the right decisions. But if he has to think everything through, consciously step by step, he may start to guess wrong. (This is also a comment, no doubt, on the dangers of trying to play the game solely with your conscious mind.)
Neither one of us claim to be professional writers. We are professional poker players. Furthermore, the ideas and concepts presented in this book originally came from tape recorded conversations between the authors. These tape recordings were not necessarily formatted exactly the same way a book would be and the language was not always grammatically perfect. This is occasionally reflected in the wording of this text.
Louis Riverboat or a cardroom in suburban Seattle in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, and you will encounter tables filled with regulars. A regular means someone who plays in the same cardroom several times a week, each week. These people are easy to recognize. The employees greet them by name when they arrive and even comment on their arrival time as being either late, on-time, or early. They chat with dealers and each other in a manner that assumes a shared history. You would have to know about card-room events from the last month to understand half the conversations. At the table, there are five sets of eyes sizing up you and your play. They are clearly studying you and not each other. The scrutiny can be unnerving, although it means that they don't know you at first (an advantage) and learning about them is easier since the familiar ways in which they treat each other conveys information.
In the lower-stake games, John Finn found mainly amateurs the few professionals were usually shills. In those games, he detected no cheating. On the fourth day, he graduated to a 20 blind, lowball draw game. In that game, he discovered from their poker styles and conversations that players in seats 2 and 5 were professionals involved in collusion cheating. Even before identifying them as full-time professionals, he knew they were colluding. Their methods were simple, effective, and unnoticeable. Both players sat low in their seats . . . each slumping a little lower when the other dealt. On dealing draw cards with smooth quicker-than-the-eye motions, the dealer would expose key cards as fleeting blurs perceptible only to his partner. The partner would return the favor on his deal. The cheaters accomplished their card flashing without suspicion despite the great pressure on dealers in the Gardena card clubs not to flash cards. Only once did John observe a collusion cheater being scolded...
One of the great advantages of playing online is the ability to play more than one game at the same time. In a full game often there is some dead time as you watch the other players play out their hands. If you do not know the players, this is a useful time to gather information about how they play and use it in the future. However, if you are well versed in their abilities and styles, it can be boring just sitting at the table. In a brick and mortar casino, many people will take this time to chit chat with other players near them, get to know each other, discuss current events or eat a meal. For some players, their primary reason to play poker is for the social aspects, so they rather enjoy this time to talk with friends while playing the game, but online is a different story. Many players know each other online, and can hold interesting conversations, but it is different from a brick and mortar casino. Once you get done with all that stuff, sometimes it can get boring especially if...
Now you notice another small group in which the people are standing with arms unfolded, palms exposed, coats unbuttoned, relaxed appearance, leaning on one foot with the other pointing towards other members of the group and moving in and out of each other's intimate zones. Close investigation reveals that these people are friends or are known personally to each other. Interestingly, the people using the closed arms and legs stance may have relaxed facial expressions and conversation that sounds free and easy, but the folded arms and legs tell us that they are not relaxed or confident.
When interviewing prospective employees, we noted that most interviewees locked their ankles at some point during the interview, indicating that they were holding back an emotion or attitude. In the initial stages of our research with this gesture, we found that asking questions about the interviewee's feelings was often unsuccessful in unlocking his ankles and thus his mind. We soon discovered, however, that if the interviewer walked around to the interviewee's side of the desk and sat beside him, removing the desk barrier, the interviewee's ankles would often unlock and the conversation took on an open, more personal atmosphere.
This leg cross indicates that an argumentative or competitive attitude exists. It is the sitting position used by many American males who have a competitive nature. This being the case, it is difficult to interpret the attitude of an American during a conversation, but it is quite obvious when this gesture is used by a British citizen.
Both the open triangular position and the closed position are used to include or exclude another person from the conversation. Figure 142 shows the triangular formation taken by the first two to show acceptance of the third. When a third person wishes to join two others who are standing in a closed formation, he may be invited to join the conversation only when the other two orient their torsos towards a mutual third point to form the triangle. If the third person is not accepted, the others will hold the closed formation position and turn only their heads towards him or her as a sign of recognition of the third person's presence but the direction of their torsos shows that he is not invited to remain (Figure 143). Often a conversation among three people may begin in the open triangular formation but eventually two may take the closed formation position to exclude the third person (Figure 143). This group formation is a clear signal to the third person that he should leave the group...
Standing behind the dealer, John Finn continued to watch the high-stake game. For nearly an hour, he studied the two biggest winners. From their conversation and style, he knew they were professionals. Yet neither seemed to be cheating or colluding. Still he noticed that in spite of the large pots, the dealer was not being toked (tipped) when either professional won a pot. John Finn studied the dealer more closely Gathering the face-up cards in a routine left-to-right order, the dealer made no attempt to rearrange the cards. But as players folded, the dealer would make a pile with their face-down discards and toss their face-up cards on top of that discard pile. He would also toss the later-round face-up cards on top of the discard pile while slipping dead hole or face-down cards beneath the pile. If the hand ended with fewer than fourteen up cards being exposed (when seven players were seated), the dealer would casually glance at several face-down discards and toss them on top of the...
Whatever line of business you are in, if it involves dealing with people, you are in the influencing business and your objective should always be to see the other person's point of view, to put him or her at ease and make him or her feel right about dealing with you the competitive position does not lead towards this end. More co-operation will be gained from the corner and co-operative positions than will ever be achieved from the competitive position. Conversations are shorter and more specific in this position than from any other.
Figure 175The man on the left is using superiority gestures and appears to have an arrogant attitude towards the man sitting opposite. He is using the eye block signal as his brain attempts to block the other man from sight and his head is tilted back to 'look down his nose' at him. Defensiveness is also evident as his knees are held tightly together and he is holding his wine glass with both hands to form a barrier. The man in the middle has been excluded from the conversation as the other two men have not formed a triangle to include him. He does, however, seem quite aloof as shown by his thumbsin-waistcoat gesture (superiority), he is leaning back on his chair and is using a crotch display. His head is in the neutral position. The man on the right has heard Figure 175The man on the left is using superiority gestures and appears to have an arrogant attitude towards the man sitting opposite. He is using the eye block signal as his brain attempts to block the other man from sight and...
As far as the technical study of body language goes, perhaps the most influential pre-twentieth-century work was Charles Darwin's The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals published in 1872. This spawned the modern studies of facial expressions and body language and many of Darwin's ideas and observations have since been validated by modern researchers around the world. Since that time, researchers have noted and recorded almost one million nonverbal cues and signals. Albert Mehrabian found that the total impact of a message is about 7 per cent verbal (words only) and 38 per cent vocal (including tone of voice, inflection and other sounds) and 55 per cent non-verbal. Professor Birdwhistell made some similar estimates of the amount of non-verbal communication that takes place amongst humans. He estimated that the average person actually speaks words for a total of about ten or eleven minutes a day and that the average sentence takes only about 2.5 seconds. Like Mehrabian, he...
Recently a personal friend of ours visited my wife and me at our home to discuss the details of a forthcoming skiing holiday. In the course of the conversation our friend suddenly sat back in her chair, smiled broadly, rubbed her palms together and exclaimed, 'I can hardly wait to go ' Non-verbally she had told us that she expected the
One leg is crossed neatly over the other, usually the right over the left. This is the normal crossed-leg position used by European, British, Australian and New Zealand cultures and may be used to show a nervous, reserved or defensive attitude. However, this is usually a supportive gesture that occurs with other negative gestures and should not be interpreted in isolation or out of context. For example, people often sit like this during lectures or if they are on uncomfortable chairs for long periods. It is also common to see this gesture in cold weather. When the crossed legs gesture is combined with crossed arms (Figure 80), the person has withdrawn from the conversation. A sales person would be very foolish even to attempt to ask for a decision from a buyer when he has taken this pose, and the sales person should ask probing questions to uncover his objection. This pose is popular among women in most countries, particularly to show their displeasure with a husband or boyfriend.
Muscular twitching, expansion and contraction of pupils, sweating at the brow, flushing of the cheeks, increased rate of eye blinking and numerous other minute gestures that signal deceit. Research using slow motion cameras shows that these microgestures can occur within a split second and it is only people such as professional interviewers, sales people and those whom we call perceptive who can consciously see them during a conversation or negotiation. The best interviewers and sales people are those who have developed the unconscious ability to read the microgestures during face-to-face encounters.
Playing poker online doesn't offer opponents very much information about us our play (of course), our nicknames, location, stack size, the cards we show down, the timing of our bets, and whatever we might choose to type into the chat box - that's about it. That's all they will ever know about us. (Unlike real-world poker, where people are on full view and body language, facial expressions, conversation, and a host of other things get factored in.) Since so few of these information bits exist in our online identity, maybe we should give some thought to how we present them to our opponents.
Rule Good players are able to separate their game personality from their regular personality Their g
Expert players often have gestures and mannerisms that operate independently of game play. For instance, it is not uncommon to see two good players carrying on a sociable conversation about some other subject at the same time they are battling it out in a game situation. They are entirely capable of having a friendly conversation at the same time they are locked in a deadly duel within the game itself. They are able to separate the two things in their minds. In fact, it is a measure of their skill - how ingrained it is - that they are able to do this.
When A asks you a question, how can you answer him and carry on a conversation without making B feel excluded Use this simple but highly effective inclusion technique when A asks a question, look at him as you begin to answer, then turn your head towards B, then back to A, then to B again until you make your final statement, looking at A (who asked the question) again as you finish your sentence. This technique lets B feel involved in the conversation and is particularly useful if you need to have B on side with you.
If you are a sociable player, it may be advantageous to engage in conversations with the players next to you so you can expedite your learning process of their personality and characteristics. Often appearance alone may get you part of the way, but appearances can be deceiving at times. Drawing a player into discussion about his life, his work and a bit about the hands he has played may help you get to know him a lot quicker and speed up your own education.
Poker is a lot like speaking a foreign language fluently. Most people never become fluent to the point that a native person could not tell the difference. There are in fact many levels of fluency. The first level is being able to have a simple conversation with someone. Later, you might be able to have a more complex debate. You eventually learn slang and then technical words so that you have the ability to conduct business or teach a class. When learning a foreign language, you often tread along at a certain level and then leap to the next one. At the next level, you recognize and have a deeper understanding and appreciation of what fluency really means.
So I pretend to be interested in the conversation and jump in there with a story of my own. I don't want my opponents to know that I've got a monster. by being the only guy at the table with his mouth closed. While the conversation continues, all of my opponents check around to me. Finally the conversation stops. this is a sure sign that SOMEONE at the table got something. Josh is first to act and he checks. Brad is next and throws out a reasonable sized bet. The next guy folds and the action is to me.
Standing behind the dealer, John Finn continued to watch the high-stake game. For nearly an hour, he studied the two biggest winners. From their conversation and style, he knew they were professionals, yet neither seemed to be cheating or colluding. Still he noticed that in spite of the large pots, the dealer was not being toked (tipped) when either professional won a pot. John Finn studied the dealer more closely Gathering the face-up cards in a routine left-to-right order, the dealer made no attempt to rearrange the cards. But as players folded, the dealer would make a pile with their face-down discards and then gather their face-up cards and flip them on top of the discard pile. He would then flip the later-round face-up cards directly on top of the discard pile while slipping dead hole or face-down cards beneath the pile. If the hand ended with fewer than Traveling south on the Strip, John Finn came to another major casino with a large cardroom. He observed the various poker games...
In the lower-stake games, John Finn found mainly amateurs the few professionals were usually shills. In those games, he detected no cheating. On the fourth day, he graduated to a 20 blind, lowball draw game. In that game, he discovered from their poker styles and conversations that players in seats 2 and 5 were professionals involved in collusion cheating. Even before identifying them as full-time professionals, he knew they were colluding. Their methods were simple, effective, and unnoticeable. Both players sat low in their seats . . . each slumping a little lower when the other dealt. On dealing draw cards with smooth quicker-than-the-eye motions, the dealer would
Centuries ago, men used shields to protect themselves from the spears and clubs of the enemy, and today, civilised man uses whatever he has at his disposal to symbolise this same protective behaviour when he is under physical or verbal attack. This includes standing behind a gate, doorway, fence, desk, the open door of his motor vehicle and straddling a chair (Figure 91). The back of the chair provides a shield to protect his body and can transform him into an aggressive, dominant warrior. Most chair straddlers are dominant individuals who will try to take control of other people or groups when they become bored with the conversation, and the back of the chair serves as good protection from any 'attack' by other members of the group. He is often discreet and can slip into the straddle position almost unnoticed. But how do you handle a one-to-one confrontation with a straddler on a swivel chair It is pointless to try to reason with him, particularly when he is on a swivelling...
Actors in the motion pictures made during the 1920sand 1930s used this peering gesture to portray a critical or judgmental person such as the master of an English public school. Often the person may be wearing reading glasses and finds it more convenient to look over the tops, rather than removing them to look at the other person. Whoever is on the receiving end of this look may feel as though he is being judged or scrutinised. Looking over the glasses can be a very costly mistake, as the listener inevitably responds to this look with folded arms, crossed leggy and a correspondingly negative attitude. Glasses wearers should remove them when speaking and put them back on to listen. This not only relaxes the other person but allows the glasses wearer to have control of the conversation. The listener quickly learns that when the glasses are off he must not interrupt the wearer, and when they are put back on he had better start talking.
Some of the most irritating people with whom we deal are those who use the eye -block gesture as they speak. This gesture occurs unconsciously and is an attempt by the person to block you from his sight because he has become bored or uninterested in you or feels that he is superior to you. Compared to the normal rate of six to eight blinks per minute during conversation, the eyelids close and remain closed for a second or longer as the person momentarily wipes you from his mind. The ultimate blockout is to leave the eyes closed and to fall asleep, but this rarely happens during one-to-one encounters. If a person feels superior to you, the eye block gesture is combined with the head tilted backwards to give you a long look, commonly known as 'looking down one's nose'. When you see an eye block gesture during a conversation, it is a signal that the approach you are using may be causing a negative reaction and that a new tack is needed if effective communication is to take place (Figure...
In an earlier chapter, we stated that the physical distance between people is related to their degree of intimacy. The angle at which people orient their bodies also gives many non-verbal clues to their attitudes and relationships. For example, people in most English speaking countries stand with their bodies oriented to form an angle of 90 degrees during ordinary social intercourse. Figure 140 shows two men with their bodies angled towards an imaginary third point to form a triangle. This also serves as a nonverbal invitation for a third person to join in the conversation by standing at the third point. The two men in Figure 140 are displaying similar status by holding similar gestures and posture and the angle formed by their torsos indicates that an impersonal conversation is probably taking place. The formation of the triangle invites a third person of similar status to join the conversation. When a fourth person is accepted into the group a square will be formed and for a fifth...
Crossing the knees towards another person is a sign of acceptance or interest in that person. If the other person also becomes interested, he or she will cross knees towards the first person, as shown in Figure 144. As the two people become more involved with each other they will begin to copy each other's movements and gestures, as is the case in Figure 144, and a closed formation results that excludes all others, such as the man on the right. The only way in which the man on the right could participate in the conversation would be to move a chair to a position in front of the couple and attempt to form a triangle, or take some other action to break the formation.
Not only do the feet serve as pointers, indicating the direction in which a person would like to go, but they are also used to point at people who are interesting or attractive. Imagine that you are at a social function and you notice a group of three men and one very attractive woman (Figure 146). The conversation seems to be dominated by the men and the woman is just listening. Then you notice something interesting - the men all have one foot pointing towards the woman. With this simple non-verbal cue, the men are all telling the woman that they are interested in her. Subconsciously, the woman sees the foot gestures and is likely to remain with the group for as long as she is receiving this attention. In Figure 146 she is standing with both feet together in the neutral position and she may eventually point one foot toward the man whom she finds the most attractive or interesting. You will also notice that she is giving a sideways glance to the man who is using the thumbs-in-belt...
The gestures that follow this stall gesture signal the person's intention and allow an alert negotiator to respond accordingly. For example, if the person puts the glasses back on, this often means that he wants to 'see' the facts again, whereas folding the glasses and putting them away signals an intention to terminate the conversation.
Figure 105 shows two men sizing each other up, using the characteristic hands-on-hips and thumbs-in-belt gestures. Considering that they are both turned at an angle away from each other and the lower halves of their bodies are relaxed, it would be reasonable to assume that these two males are unconsciously evaluating each other and that an attack is unlikely. Their conversation may be casual or friendly but a completely relaxed atmosphere will not exist until their hands-on-hips gestures cease and open palm gestures are used.
In summary, others will invite or reject you, depending on the respect that you have for their personal space. This is why the happy-go-lucky person who slaps everyone he meets on the back or continually touches people during a conversation is secretly disliked by everyone. As a number of factors can affect the spatial distance a person takes in relation to others, it is wise to consider every criterion before making a judgment about why a person is keeping a certain distance.
Consequently, the knight seated directly across the table from King Arthur was, in effect, in the competitive-defensive position and was likely to be the one who gave the most trouble. Many of today's business executives use both square and round tables. The square desk, which is usually the work desk, is used for business activity, brief conversations, reprimands and the like. The round table, often a coffee table with wraparound seating, is used to create an informal relaxed atmosphere or to persuade.
Figure 139 shows two men talking in a doorway. The man on the left is trying to hold the other man's attention, but his listener wishes to continue in the direction to which his body is pointing, although his head is turned to acknowledge the other man's presence. It is only when the man on the right turns his body towards the other that a mutually interesting conversation can take place. It is noticeable that often in negotiations, when one person has decided to terminate the negotiation or wants to leave, he will turn his body or swing his feet to point towards the nearest exit. If you see these signals during a face-to-face encounter, you should do something to get the person involved and interested or else terminate the conversation on your terms, which allows you to maintain the control.
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