Body language is a critical skill to learn if you want to master negotiations. This is rooted in the fact that humans usually trust a person's body language when they see a contradiction between his body language and his words. Nonverbal communication is used as a complementary technique to interpret other people's behavior. For example, if you are teasing your friend with a joke you want to make sure that he understands your intention by putting your hand on his shoulder.
When you meet a new person nonverbal communications always start before verbal communications. A few examples of nonverbal communication are the way people walk, make eye contact, and posture. To become an expert in body language you need to interpret and decode nonverbal messages in addition to sending nonverbal messages.
One of the main areas of body language is facial expression. The first person to study facial language was Charles Darwin who believed that humans and many mammals show similar facial expressions when showing different emotions. Most of the time, we show emotions on our faces for a few seconds before we hide them. This quick show of emotions is called micro-expressions. For example, when your boss is angry with you but he tries to hide it whenever it appears on his face.
The eye is a window to our mind and studying it is crucial to understand body language. For example, when we stare at a distant point, we non-verbally ask the other person to pause and let us think. Eye contact can also convey love and hate feelings. Lovers tend to stare at each other's eyes for a long time. On the other hand, two opponents in a boxing match tend to stare into each other's eyes with anger.