Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One look says it all

He looked at me with daggers in his eyes.

He wouldn't look me in the eye. (I knew something is wrong.)

I could see it all over her face.

The look of love.

All the expressions that we read every day. And many times we know the facial expressions are saying something different from the message the face and body is saying. How many times have we heard "Nothing is wrong" and known that the words were covering something deeply wrong. My intuitive sense is that when we don't trust people, it is because their facial and body-language messages are somehow out of alignment with the words coming out of their mouths.

My intuitive sense is that those of us who are slower to speak (often designers and others who are less "verbally aggressive") in a meeting or in a crowded room have a better than average ability to "read" all of the communication that the faces and bodies are "speaking". Sometimes we can "see" more objectively than the people actively engaged in dialogue. (We aren't worrying about sounding smart or what to say next.)

In the last ten years or so there has been more in the business press about emotional intelligence, social intelligence and, recently, cultural intelligence. It's funny how giving something a name and writing a book about it makes it "real". Many of us, especially intuitive and creative people, have been reading and listening to the "silent language" of facial expression and body posture.

One of the reasons I created this blog was to create language about the processes of collaboration and design. How the process begins, what types of things inspire us to collaborate and design, why do we stop collaborating, or designing, lose confidence in our ability to design, or lose the desire to collaborate, how it feels to collaborate and design, and how it feels to witness and view our creations.

My sense is that there is so much that is very important that remains unsaid.