BODY LANGUAGE

  1. BODY LANGUAGE



We all know that body

language is important. In face

to face communication it

makes up 55% of your

non-verbal cues, while 38% is

your tone of voice, and only

7% is accounted for with your

words. To help you succeed at

work you need to be aware of

what your body language is

saying at all times. Is it telling a

different story to the words

you are saying? Is it saying a

whole lot even when you keep

quiet?

Your body language can even

affect how you feel about a

situation. Imagine if you could

give yourself extra confidence

before a job interview; or

before your next annual

review. There are tips and

tricks that you can, and should

be using on a daily basis.

It’s written all over your face


The first thing you can do is to

be more aware of your own

face. You will find that your

face makes more expressions

than you think, even when you

are trying to keep it in a

natural expression. When you

are bored, angry, or frustrated,

it is incredibly noticeable. Both

very positive and very

negative emotions are much

harder to hide. Often when we

decide not to say something,

that reaction still shows on our

face. Make sure to keep the

professionalism by monitoring

what your face is doing.

Be body aware


Start being more aware of the

actions you do automatically

without thinking about it. Start

to pay attention to when you

do it, or how you feel when

you perform the action. By

paying attention, you can get a

better understanding of not

only why you do it, but also

what it means. You may find

that when you feel the same

way, you perform the same

action. For example when you

get bored in a meeting, you

start fiddling with your pen. By

being more aware you can

stop yourself, and refocus on

your conversation.

Mirror the other person


If you have ever attended sales

training, they say the best way

to subconsciously engage with

your client is by mirroring

their movements about 15

seconds after them. So if they

fold their arms, you fold your

just after them. Cross their

legs? Same idea. You want to

be a mirror image of that

person. Your conversation

partner will start to

subconsciously feel flattered

and will engage with you

more.

This can also happen in

reverse, and this is something

most people don’t know. When

your conversation partner

starts to buy in to what you are

saying and engaging with you,

they will actually start

mirroring your movements. It

is a non-verbal cue to you that

they are interested in what you

are saying and want to learn

more.

Obviously if you are planning

on testing this out, be subtle.

Don’t copy every move. That

will just make your

conversation partner nervous

and makes you feel

disingenuous.

Walk with confidence


Imagine seeing 2 different

types of walks – someone

walking lbriskly and upright,

or someone strolling while

looking at the floor. One says

that you are engaged in an

internal dialog and appear

nonchalant or are slacking off;

the other shows confidence in

both thought and direction.

It’s not hard to work out which

goes with which. If the only

thing your boss is able to see

every day is how employees

walk around the office, which

impression would you want

them to have of you?

Respect the space


When you meet someone, if

you invade their space straight

away you put them on the

defensive and they will

instantly put you into the

“predator/enemy” category.

This is an instant gut reaction

left over from our caveman

days. We may not outwardly

react anymore, but that

internal dialog is still telling us

the same thing. So start off

slow. Shaking hands allows

you to enter their personal

space without getting their

defences up. Offer your

business card, as it also allows

you into their space for a

second time. By introducing

subtle touches to shoulders

and arms, you can quickly

start to build trust with that

person.

It can be difficult to introduce

yourself to a group

conversation. By reading the

groups body language you will

know if you are welcome to

interrupt or not. A 2-person

conversation is that, only for 2

people; unless they are both

have their body open or angled

to the room – this indicates

they are open to an

interruption. 3-people

conversations are open on all 3

sides for an extra person;

unless they have their heads

tightly leaned in together. A

4-person conversation makes a

castle of solitude – don’t even

bother.

Can you fake it until you make

it?


Even if you are the most

qualified person on the planet,

your body language could be

doing you a disservice. If your

non-verbal signals are timid or

submissive, it can be hard for a

Manager that only works with

you occasionally to understand

how you can lead a team. By

being more aware of your

body language you can work

on the signals you are sending

out, and correct them for more

positive ones.

Not all of us were born with

truck-loads of confidence. A lot

of people have had to learn

how to panic less before every

interview. There are

non-verbal expressions of

confidence that can actually

help you with all of this. Amy

Cuddy, a social psychologist,

talks about just how standing

in a “power pose” for a couple

of minutes a day can boost

your feelings of confidence

even if you don’t actually feel

confident. It is a way to

convince yourself of your

confidence, until you start to

believe it is true.

Mark Bowden, an expert at

body language, argues that you

can employ specific behaviours

to change a person’s

perception of you. He actually

urges you to be “more

inauthentic” with your body

language. Our primitive brain

takes visual cues within

seconds of meeting someone

new, and instantly puts them

in one of four categories:

friend, enemy, potential

partner, or indifferent. Your

primitive brain places almost

everyone into the indifferent

category. If you have

something important to say,

this is not the category you

want to be in. By changing how

you present yourself, you open

people up to keeping you in the

friend category and paying

attention to what you say. You

should also choose not to be

indifferent to others – be open

to giving them a chance and

actively listen to them.



When you do this – people see

this
Your body language is

constantly sending out

non-verbal messages on your

behalf, whether you like it or

not. Below are a couple more

examples of different actions

you may be doing on a daily

basis and how they can be

preserved.

Slouching – it makes you look

insecure or as if you are trying

to take up less space so you

aren’t noticed.


How you tilt your head – if you

tilt it slightly to one side, it

shows you are listening

intently and interested. Too

much and you look submissive.

Keeping you head straight up

shows you are confident in

what you are saying.


Lean into a conversation –

when you lean in you are

showing that you are more

involved and interested in a

conversation. When everyone

in a conversation is leaning in,

it becomes more lively and

enthusiastic. When you lean

out of a conversation it shows

that you are done participating

in it.


Make eye contact – don’t stare

someone down because that is

just uncomfortable. But

avoiding eye contact gives the

impression that you are being

insincere or lying. Make eye

contact with everyone

involved in the conversation to

show you are paying attention

to what they are saying. On a

side note, it is general

subconscious behaviour to

look up when you are trying to

remember something; while

you look down when you are

lying.


Relax your shoulders – it is a

sign of stress and tension when

they are raised. It sends a

signal that will put your

conversation partner on edge

too.


Make your handshake firm –

this is another move that

shows engagement and

confidence. Too tight and it

will be viewed as aggressive,

while if it is too loose it

communicates complete lack

of interest.


Mind your hands – keeping

your hands clasped behind

your back shows confidence;

while in your pockets can

show over-confidence or

boredom. Hands clasped over

your belly area looks like you

are trying to protect yourself

from an attack, and will put

your conversation partner on

the defensive.


But remember don’t try to be a

mind reader. These are general

guides and no one gesture is

universal. While blocked arms

may signal someone is closed

off, they could really just be

cold. Try not to take every

piece of body language

literally. You want to read all of

the person’s interactions as a

whole.

So put down your phone during

your next meeting and start

reading the room for all the

cues your coworkers’ body

language is telling you. You

will be surprised what you can

learn.

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Published by Sima Sarkar

I am Anjan.I am a freelancer.I am trying to write day to day human issues.I want to highlight issues related to 'Mother Earth' as well.

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