What’s in a walk?

5.30am… another Monday, another airport.

But, for some reason today, my mind seems to be active, wide awake and at its observational best.

The subject of this morning’s observations is the way people walk. I’m in a perfect place to watch this now that it’s struck me. Nursing a Starbucks and my Luxury Fruit Bread already no more than a memory!

There goes the guy who’s in a hurry, but doesn’t want anyone to know that he’s late, doing a fast walk/come jog, bending his knee every second stride. Now it’s a couple who are ambling and the business woman: smart suit, purposeful walk.

I wonder what this says about their character?

Google being such a marvellous thing, I soon had the answer. Apparently there have been numerous studies about what different walks mean.

Here’s some information from one of the surveys:

The small, quick stepper
The small, quick steps taken by some people mean they are nervous and don’t like to draw attention to themselves.

The long, purposeful, strider
The long, purposeful strider is full of confidence in their own ability and expect everybody to simply agree with them.

Nose in the air
Snooty and arrogant

Eyes downcast
Lacking in confidence

Which genius wrote this stuff?

Ah! A quick check of the source of the report reveals that it was commissioned some years ago by a leading manufacturer of foot supplies. Absolutely brilliant.

Still it could be useful. After all, the we are, the way we walk, smile, talk and live our lives is the sum total of our experiences from the moment we are born to the present moment.

I’ve become a bit of a student of these things and studying the way people are, understanding why they do things and the results they are looking for really helps when working with them. In my case as a trainer, but in other circumstances as sales people, managers and a thousand other jobs in EB.

Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone goes out and reads the report on what it means if someone walks in a slight effeminate way, but it does pay to become a student of human behaviour.

Or at least it has for me.

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