Evaluation is shown by a closed hand resting on the cheek, often with the index finger pointing upwards (Figure 62). Should the person begin to lose interest but wish to appear interested, for courtesy's sake, the position will alter slightly so that the heel of the palm supports the head, as shown in Figure 61. I have attended numerous management meetings where the young up-andcoming managers have used this interest gesture to show respect to the company president who is giving a boxing speech. Unfortunately for them, however, as soon as he hand supports the head in any way, it gives the game away and the president is likely to feel that some of the young managers are insincere or are using false flattery.
Genuine interest is shown when the hand is on the cheek, not used as a head support. An easy way for the president to gain their individual attention would be to say something like, 'I'm glad that you are paying attention because in a moment I'm going to ask questions!' This rivets his listeners' attention to his speech because of the fear that they will not be able to answer the questions.
When the index finger points vertically up the cheek and the thumb supports the chin, the listener is having negative or critical thoughts about the speaker or his subject. Often the index finger may rub or pull at the eye as the negative thoughts continue. Because a gesture position affects a person's attitude, the longer a person holds the gesture, the longer the critical attitude will remain. This gesture is a signal that immediate action is required by the speaker, either by involving the listener in what he is saying or by ending the speech. A simple move, such as handing something to the listener to alter his pose, can cause a change in his attitude. This gesture is often mistaken as a signal of interest, but the supporting thumb tells the truth about the critical attitude (Figure 63).
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