Giving Praise and Tagging for Talent: The Power of Social Recognition in the Workplace

Recognizing talent and giving praise is an important part of being a good leader and or team member. In my book People Savvy Leadership, I give the following tip. 

Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at others easily!  

When you focus on others accomplishments and notice what is worthy of praise your energy is lifted and you build successful interactions.

Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at simple way to give praise is with an introduction. For example, when you introduce your female friends, coworkers and business friends to someone new share their name and an accomplishment. "Jim, this is Sara Beckman, she just headed up the committee for our new quarter sales meeting and it was fantastic." "Tom, this is Morgan Tyler, she just spearheaded the new marketing project." "Karl, this is Veronica Mann, she works with our top client Prudential." 

It's important to recognize talent. I am excited to be quoted in Michael Salone, my former FSU Nonverbal Communication and Body Language class student book "Tagging for Talent"@Michael Salone.  Michael, I'm so proud of you and this is such a great concept for finding hidden talent.

 Tagging for Talent: The Hidden Power of Social Recognition in the Workplace



There Are Angels Amongst Us!

There are some people on this planet that walk in love and grace and healing energy. 
I got to give the opening keynote for nearly 500 of these angels on earth for the second time yesterday. The National Alliance for Grieving Children is made up of therapists,  counselors,  social workers and other incredible people that help children and family members going through loss and trauma.
The video is a few seconds of my opening exercise. My speech was on body language tools to help children and parents dealing with loss and trauma.

It’s such an honor and a gift to be in the presence of these people and a special joy to have so many of them share with me that my presentation affected them profoundly.If you're having a hard time dealing with the news and the reality of what’s going on know that these angels are amongst us!!I am tearing up knowing that I had parents in my audience that lost children in school shootings that have started camps and foundations I had social workers that work with murder victims families, I had an entire group from Houston that are helping children in the detention camps in Texas, I had a therapist that counsels children with PTSD ... the love goes on and on.As always, know that you can take action to make this world better. Check out volunteer services in your town. In Atlanta try Hands on Atlanta.

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

What Did You Think Of Me When You First Met Me? First Impressions, Online Photos and Videos

“What did you think of me when you first met me?” This is a question I am asked often. Do you ever wonder how you and your work team look to your customers/clients online vs. face-to-face interactions? One of my areas of research and one of my body language books and my most popular keynote speech is on first impressions. I do research and consult with my clients business first impression and one of the things you may not know is that online your first impression is likely to be perceived more negatively than a first impression you give out face-to-face

So if you have photos of yourself on linked in and or photos and videos of you online for your business or you skype for some of your initial business meetings be aware that you may want to be the very best you!

Here is the research article that discusses why this negative bias occurs.

“If you want to make a good impression, it is critical that it is done in person,” said Jeremy Biesanz, Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia, who conducted three studies comparing the accuracy and bias of first impressions when formed under different circumstances.

The first study analyzed a series of experiments involving more than 1,000 participants who met each other through either a three-minute speed-dating style interview or by watching a video of the person.

“What we observe here is that the accuracy of impressions is the same when you meet someone face to face or simply watch a video of them,” Biesanz said. “However, impressions are much more negative when you form impressions more passively through watching videotapes.”

While people could accurately attribute certain personality traits, such as extroverted, arrogant, or sociable, to others in person or by video, the magnitude of the positive attributes was lower via video, while the negatives attributes were higher.

The researchers found similar results in two other studies, including one that compared in-person impressions to those obtained by looking at Facebook photos. The other study compared in-person meetings to simply watching someone as a passive observer. In all cases, the passive means of making impressions were as accurate as the active ones, according to the researchers.

“However, there is an extremely large difference in the positivity of impressions,” he said. “More passive impressions are substantially more negative.”

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

Body Language Experts Analyze Chip and Joanna Gaines With Their New Baby Crew We all missed a major moment between Joanna and her new son.

Joanna Gaines via Instagram

Chip and Joanna Gaines have welcomed fans into their home for years through their show, Fixer Upper, as well as their social media accounts. And in photos posted this weekend, they also welcomed us into the hospital room where their new baby boy was born.
Judging by the millions of interactions, it's safe to say people were excited to meet the baby boy, Crew Gaines, as the couple named him. But no emotions could compare to the ones experienced by the parents and their four older children. In the comments, people couldn't get over how beautiful and calm Joanna looked shortly after giving birth. It turns out, there's a reason for that

"That particular [expression] is wonder," Susan Constantine, human behavioral expert and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Reading Body Language, told "When you're having those moments where you realize a miracle has happened, and it's a time of reflection."
Susan, an avid watcher of the HGTV show herself, sees Joanna as "a very spiritual person with a quiet demeanor" and this moment as an "intimate connection with God."

Joanna is similarly serene in the next photo, as is her husband Chip. "When something is so overwhelming, it's what we call 'flooding' of emotion," Constantine continues. "You don't always have to show great smiles and laughing. It's that deep look into the eyes like there's no words to express the emotions they feel—a very deep, passionate moment between the two of them."
Meanwhile, Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma called attention to Chip's comforting embrace.
"See how his shoulders are hunched over and round and those bones are sticking out?" she says. "He really wants to hug her but he wants to be careful at the same time."
This is a sweet, tender departure from the playful demeanor we usually see from Chip, Wood, also a self-confessed fan, adds.

Constantine calls the next photo, in which Joanna holds Crew close, the picture of endearment, and Wood adds that it's clearly not posed. Joanna's sweet, soft smile says she is in the moment with her baby.
"If you look at her bottom hand, how it's fully surrounding Crew and cupping over the edge so that it's protective and wanting to bring back into her belly," Wood explains, "and then the top hand is very relaxed so that she knows she doesn't want to be too overwhelming for the baby."

Both pros point out how natural and connected the kids are with their parents in the next pictures (not to mention consistently on the TV series). While each of the children has a look of "deep joy and excitement," Constantine says the oldest, Drake's pursed lips and hands in his pockets mean he might be "more reserved and introverted" than Duke, Ella, and Emmie, and "just trying to play it cool."
"Chip's looking right at him like, 'Dude, do you see what we just did here?'" Constantine laughs, "and he's kind of speechless."
Like father, like son! The way Chip is mirroring Drake, with his fingers in his pocket and his elbow pulled back, shows that the two have a connection and that "Chip's trying to be cool guy and restrained," Wood says. "He's trying not to be too over-the-top about how excited he is."

In the snapshot of the big brothers- and sisters-to-be waiting outside the hospital room, there's a sense of anticipation. Once again, the Gaines family is perfectly in sync, mirroring one another's body language.
"It's interesting when you look at Drake, the oldest, he's in a position where even though he's listening, when I look at that I think of gratefulness, kind of like a Tim Tebow moment going on there where you're almost in prayer," Constantine says.
Chip and Joanna have previously worked with the Tim Tebow Foundation, so it's possible Drake does look to the athlete as a role model.

And finally, the sweet selfie Joanna shared with baby Crew conveys nesting behavior typical of newborns. "Look at the baby's arm kind of wrapped around Joanna's arm," Constantine notices. "It's just kind of a natural instinct to pull himself up around his mom as a form of covering and protection."
Most telling is how comfortable Joanna is with her new little one, both pros point out.
"She's been here so many times before, she's relaxed, she knows the baby is secure there, she doesn't feel the need to hold on tight," Wood says. "It tells me she's a knowledgeable mother, very secure in her nurturing abilities. And you'll see that too in how relaxed her facial expression is, how beatific—it's very Mona Lisa-like."
Once again, her lack of smile here does not mean a lack of emotion. "It's not that she's not happy," Constantine concludes. "She's very happy. But Joanna in all of these photographs is a person that is constantly reflecting on the awe and wonder of this child being born. She looks at her children as miracles. You can just see the amazing amount of glory and peace that comes over her face when you see her with her newborn kids."

Link to article:

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

A Body Language Expert Explains Why Meghan Markle Is Always Touching Prince Harry

My original doctoral dissertation topic was touch. I loved consulting on this Media story!

No matter who Time magazine decides to put on the next cover, in my book, Meghan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex, is the unequivocal person of the year. The American actress who stole the heart of a British prince, and ours in the process, has become a beloved presence at royal functions, breathing new life into a stale monarchy. People all over the world are obsessed with the duchess' every move, but they are especially enamored with Markle and Prince Harry's genuine love for each other.
"The reason why we are fascinated by them is because they are so likable, and their love is so real," Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma tells Refinery29. Wood studied a number of photos of Markle with her new husband and family and emphasized the couple’s habit of congruent touching, which means “They each go to do the exact same touch to each other, and that leads to high marital satisfaction," she says, adding, "That’s an incredibly good sign for them."
According to Wood, Markle’s connections with Harry can be categorized into two different types of contact: She offers Harry a comforting and reassuring touch on the hand or the arm when she senses his anxiety. Or she reaches out to get comforted by him in large crowds. “She does it in both directions — she’s not just a taker, and she’s not just a giver,” Wood explains, making special note of Harry’s reciprocation of the same type of contact.
Even though Markle was an actress and used to the public eye, the heightened level of scrutiny she's now being subjected to is a whole new world. "I don’t think the world even knows the sound of all the cameras that she hears...and the shouts. It’s terrifying," Wood says. The fact that Markle is able to find a comforting presence in her partner is a testament to the health of her relationship with Harry.
What about the critics who turn their noses up at the hand holding and public displays of affection? Is Markle acting needy, as naysayers have claimed? Wood shrugs them all off. "Needy would be her reaching, with a look of longing, and him not reciprocating." Markle is just reaching out with affection, and "she looks absolutely satisfied." So that's that.
Ahead, Wood analyzes how Markle's body language has changed throughout her years in the public eye, tracing the evolution of the American who became royalty and her relationships.
With Ex-Husband Trevor Engelson at the Anti-Defamation League Awards Dinner in October, 2011

Markle was married to Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013, and the photos of them together tell a different story than her photos with Harry. "Comparatively, her [shoulders are] down rather than up, and her smile is restrained," Wood explains. She made special note of Markle's stance with Engelson: "There’s tension in her body, and she’s slightly pulling away, even turned away." Where she's constantly looking at Harry with a gaze of affection, that warmth was missing from photos with her ex-husband.

Meghan & Harry at Their Engagement Photocall at Kensington Palace in November, 2017 

Wood puts a heavy emphasis on a couple looking into each other's eyes, establishing a sign of great liking and attraction. "They’re finding each other’s gaze and looking at each other at the same time and the same moment," she explains. "They do it to the exclusion of those outside the photo. They’re looking at each other not because they want to be photographed looking at each other, but because they’re having a moment. They’re alone in this bubble, just the two of them."
Harry, Meghan, Kate, & William at the Royal Foundation Forum in February, 2018

The duchess' contact with Harry's arm would normally be an admonishing touch; she is turning downwards and clinging slightly. "Harry might have said something embarrassing or funny, and [Markle] might have felt it was slightly inappropriate. But that is not her standard pose," explains Wood.

While Kate Middleton and Prince William are further apart, it's more due to their personalities and position. Royalty is typically given a larger space bubble due to status.

"[Markle and Prince Harry] are different people than Kate and William. They’re much more extroverted, they’re gregarious, they’re influencers. Kate and Will are affectionate with each other, just not to the same degree," Wood says, making a special note of Middleton's public displays of affection towards her children.
The Duchess of Sussex with Queen Elizabeth during her first engagement with the Queen June, 2018

The internet went into a tizzy when adorable pictures from Markle's first solo royal event with Queen Elizabeth flooded Twitter. The images of a genuinely joyful, delighted, and giggly Queen were the surest sign yet that Markle had been truly accepted into the family. "The Queen is turning her head towards Meghan and orienting slightly towards her. She rarely does that," says Wood, adding that Markle seemed a little bit anxious and nervous, hence her raised and guarded arm. "She’s having a moment with Meghan, [and] if you’ve read the Queen, you know that’s rare."
The Duchess of Sussex with the Duchess of Cornwall at the Royal Ascot in June, 2018

Of all the relationships with her new in-laws, none have had the level of true affection that we've seen between Markle, Prince Charles, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. "Meghan is doing that open-palm gesture. It’s called a symbolic reach. She’s reaching as if she wants to touch, and Camilla is doing a similar kind of reach," Wood explains, adding that Camilla is not as open and expressive with other people as she is with Markle. "The facial expression is in the moment, and the heads are slightly bent towards each other. That’s a relationship that’s going to be okay, it’s not fraught with tension."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Royal Ascot in June, 2018

"I love that he’s doing that formal royal hands behind the back thing, usually when men do that they stand ramrod straight," says Wood. Prince Harry holds his hands behind his back but Wood said it's clear that he just wants to be touching Markle. "Both of them are trying to be restrained and formal, but they just can’t help themselves. He can’t help looking at her, and she can’t help but love his gaze."
The Duke & Duchess of Sussex at the Royal Ascot in June, 2018

This photo of Markle and Harry is Wood's favorite of the bunch because of the level of intimacy it shows between the newlyweds: "There’s a part of him that is very intent with shaking hands with somebody. He’s leaning forward, he’s got eye contact with this person, his intent is going to his next formal interaction. But he’s got his arm behind him touching her. It tells me that she is ever present for him, that he doesn’t turn on and off. There's a continuity of touch, I love that. That to me says healthy relationship."

Much attention has been paid to Markle's mother during the wedding ceremony, but in the frenzied days leading up to the Royal Wedding, Markle made a brief public appearance with Doria Ragland as the latter arrived to meet the Queen for the first time. Wood said this blink-and-you'll-miss-it video said a lot about Markle's doting relationship with her mother: "I loved that she didn’t feel the need to protect her, go behind or in front. They were mostly walking side-by-side. What the arm around her mom’s back said is 'You’re the most important person to me.' The timing, as well as the kind of loving, supportive around the back touch told me that she feels very comfortable with her mother, loves her mother, and doesn’t feel less powerful or more graced than her. There was a lot of kindness and tenderness here."

Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at

Body Language Experts Analyze Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Her Children

By now, we've heard a fair share about the original royal fab four: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward (OK, he's still an enigma). We know and love them as public figures but beyond closed doors, well, they're still a mystery.
And their relationship with their parents? That's a whole another story. "While Queen Elizabeth is groomed and trained in posture, you can still tell how much she adores her children," Susan Constantine, human behavioral expert and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Reading Body Language, tells While the love goes both ways, the Queen has a unique relationship with each of her four children — and some are better than others.

Prince Charles

For starters, the Queen is spotted with her firstborn Prince Charles much more than her other children. Perhaps, it's because he's next in line to the throne. "It's interesting to note that their relationship is very fun and playful," Constantine tells us. "When they're together, they're both fully embracing the moment." Literally, it's like there's no one else in the room when they are together.
 Obviously, their public relationship is more prim and proper than most mother and son's. "Even when he's kissing her (a common greeting for royals), you can tell that Prince Charles is using this moment to get in touch with his mother by looking directly at her and even smelling her scent," explains Constantine. While the handhold follows protocol, it also displays a level of intimacy and emotion, which is something you don't see everyday ... especially from royals.
But here's where their relationship really shines: the polo matches. "You can literally see the story unfold in this picture," Constantine says. "She's completely connected with him." The slight touch of the arm. The genuine laughter. The way Charles is looking at his mother. THAT'S LOVE.

Princess Anne

As the only daughter of the Queen, it appears that Princess Anne had it tougher than the boys, at least according to Constantine. "If I didn't know they were mother and daughter, I wouldn't think they're related." The distance and formality between them is evident but one may just chalk it up to protocol.
"In this particular instance, we see the two women interact in a seemingly loving way," Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, tells "Although they're holding hands and kissing, their bodies still remain far apart." Basically, they're close but not that close.
 Sure, they're laughing here, but what about Princess Anne's posture? "They're clearly amused with one another but Anne is pulling away from the Queen," explains Wood. And then there's the Queen's face. "Her noise is rippled, eyebrows are raised, and she even has a forced smile," explains Constantin. But there may be more to the story than we know (we're guessing that's the case).

Prince Andrew

The admiration that Prince Andrew has for his mother is unmatched. "You can see it in his eyes," says Constantine. "His eyes are always in the direction of the Queen, which is the way that he honors and respects her."
But when you take a deeper dive into the photos, there's a sense of nervousness displayed by the Prince — and even, the Queen. "Tucking, pulling, or adjusting clothing is a comfort cute," explains Wood. "It's very rare to see the Queen perform one of these self-soothing gestures but in this moment with her son, she's doing just that."Despite any suspected anxiety or stress, the two are still in sync with mirroring strides.
The formality of their relationship may be difficult for both parties.

"In this moment, it's clear that Prince Andrew wants to be close to his mother ... but can't," explains Wood. "His hand is clenched in a fist to hold back from being more intimate." Since he can't lend a hand, Prince Andrew physically turns his body towards his mother to show how he cares for her.
Prince Edward
With one look, it's totally obvious that Prince Edward is the Queen's precious little boy. When she's around him, she stretches her neck toward him, leans her shoulders, and has a genuine smile. "Her body language is screaming, 'that's my baby!,' says Constantine.
When given the opportunity, the Queen splits her time equally between her two youngest sons (Prince Andrew left, Prince Edward right). "It's a good sign that there's equal distance between the two of them," explains Constantine. "You can also sense the difference between Edward and Andrew: Edward is reserved like his mother and Andrew is intense and powerful."

The Final Verdict

The Queen's relationship with her children is unlike basically every other family on the planet. "There's an instant barrier between them," explains Wood. "Their relationships aren't indicative of a normal family relationship because the children have to know that their mother loves them without receiving physical touch." 
Patti Wood, MA - The Body Language Expert. For more body language insights go to her website at Check out Patti's website for her new book "SNAP, Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language and Charisma" at