Do you think the way you sit, stand, talk and cross your legs has anything to do with your success? Your body language talks more than your expressions. Your first impression also includes your body language that comprises of gestures, postures, tone of voice while communicating etc.
Effective body language plays a major role in your career growth. Your body language talks about your personality, as already a lot many books are published which forecast an individual’s persona on the basis of their gestures and postures. You are preparing yourself for the first interview or to attend a customer, neatly dressed, cautiously carrying all important documents, well prepared, but what communicates in first impression is our body language. Wagging fingers, shaking legs, high pitched voice, crossed arms etc are some of the very common but foul gestures that you must control to exhibit.
The world of business is no different. As a matter of fact, this environment in the arena of unspoken language. More of the times it is what is not said and that is heard the loudest. From the pitches to the board meetings , your body will define your confidence, the commitment and the intentions of yours more than you realise. But sometimes this body language will also negatively impact on your communication. Inattentiveness is difficult to describe but it is easy to spot.
Some Most Prominent Gestures To Avoid
1. Tapping foot
Tapping your foot reflects stress, disinterest and dullness. Even in case he/she is interested, the body language reflects negative thinking.
2. Avoiding eye-contact
Avoiding eye-contact can be one of the major negative gestures. It reflects that the individual is not comfortable, not confident or feeling nervous etc. Thus, maintaining eye-contact with the person you talk can create a outlook that you are confident.
3. Sitting at the edge of the chair/sofa etc
When do you have such postures? When you are going for the first time to a place and a little nervous or excited…Well, this is what sitting at the edge of the chair or sofa reflects. Basically, it reflects your anxiousness. Thus, avoid such gestures while going to an interview or client meet.
4. Pointing fingers
You must always remember that when you are pointing fingers at one, your four fingers are facing you. And it is also one of the rudest signs of body language. Pointing fingers sends signals that you don’t respect the other person, or blaming others. This must be avoided during any crucial conversation or negotiation.
5. Having a serious face
Having a serious face without a smile can make the other person have a negative opinion of you. He/she has so much attitude, he/she may not be interested in the conversation or he/she may be having a bad day etc etc. Your serious face without a smile can mean all these above mentioned reasons. Thus, when you have a smile on your face when communicating, people will connect quickly with you.
6. Crossed arms
Crossed arms may be a normal gesture which is a habit for many individuals. But your crossed arms can mean – you are not responsive or attentive in the ongoing conversation. It is better you avoid having crossed arms during interviews or client meetings.
7. Irrelevant posture at work place
Jiggling your legs, constantly settling your standing posture, walking back and forth, drooping your back, hiding your hands or clasping them etc can be irrelevant postures which reflects negative attributes about an individual.
Tips To Improve your body language
1. Make eye-contact
Maintaining eye-contact reflects that you are confident enough and not feeling any discomfort while communicating. The speaker may also feel that you are not interested in the conversation or feeling shy to carry out the conversation.
2. Always have a smile on your face
“A smile is the universal welcome”
Do not forget to smile when you are communicating or greeting an individual. If you do not smile and continue having a neutral face during the conversation, it can be the biggest turn-off.
3. Use your hands during presentations or explanations
Make proper use of your hands during presentations or explanations because it reflects your confidence and knowledge about the content. It also depicts that you do not have stage fear or fear to talk amongst a group of people.
4. Stand and sit straight
Standing and sitting straight are two major body postures we have been instructed from school days, our teachers always told us to sit straight. Have you thought why is it so important to maintain a straight body language? It indicates aspects that – you are confident, you are concentrating on what is being told and you are interested in the conversation. Scientifically, it also proves that sitting and standing straight can improve breathing, can reduce hurting your back, you’ll feel happier and you can also have better digestion.
5. Relax your shoulders
Keep your shoulders balanced. If you keep your shoulders too high it will make you appear nervous and if you keep your shoulders low it will make you appear sad or self-conscious.
6. Do not stare
It is surely important to maintain eye-contact while communicating with others. But do not keep staring at the person while communicating. It can make the other person feel uncomfortable.
7. Be responsive when another person is talking to you
When an individual is talking to you, you must be responsive. Reply with a yes/no or atleast nod your head when required. If you do not respond, the speaker may feel you are unable to understand or not interested in the conversation.
8. Maintain the right distance while talking
Maintaining the right distance while talking at your workplace is important. You have a professional relationship with your colleagues, managers and clients at workplace. And thus, it should not seem like a friendly get together going on at workplace.
9. Keep your voice calm and well pitched
Your voice can create a spellbinding effect. With a calm voice, people will be more attracted to listen to you and will be more convinced with your words.
10. Show attentiveness
Meetings are typically two-way streets. This means that you are supposed to be active in your body language when you are speaking and when you are being spoken to. You should look like you are listening carefully and appear that you are very interested while working and retain the information. Some of the body language tips are:
- Make eye contact
- Turn your head and trunk toward whom are speaking
- Nod or Tilt the head to acknowledge that to the point which is being made
- Lean forward
11. Find ways to connect
Successful communication is all about connecting. There are many ways that you can bridge the gap with your listeners non verbally, and few tips are more obvious than the other tips.
- Remove unnecessary barriers – Barriers can be anything from what is on your desk or conference table to how high you hold your coffee mug. By removing all these barriers will help you to demonstrate openness and foster a successful environment.
- Handshakes are a business tradition – This might seem like an old tradition, but it has a reason. Physical touch is one of the ways to make a human bond. In a world that is dominated by technology, you can find that this is exponentiated. This way is proven to make a long-lasting impression and a connection.
Inculcate these small changes in your body language if you do not follow a few in these above mentioned postures and gestures. There are much more positive gestures and postures you can inculcate in your day-to-day life.