Body Language 101 for Business
Does our body language REALLY matter in our day to day communication? Aren’t our skills and qualifications all that we really need to be successful in our lives and chosen vocations? One would think the answer to that would be “YES, of course”, however, according to non-verbal communications experts, the answer to that question would be “NO! Body language is extremely important!” In fact, our body language could be the difference between staying stuck in the same position or advancing up the corporate ladder.
Let’s take a look at some ways that positive body language can make a significant difference in how you are perceived.
Posture: Sitting or standing with good posture, shoulders back, spine erect and head up conveys to the listener that you are confident and comfortable in your own skin.
Approach people directly: Rather than approach people from behind or from the side, it’s better to approach them head on and while conversing with them, make sure you stand face to face. This will allow you to hold their attention while you speak to them.
Eye contact: This one is SO important! Good eye contact allows you to establish trust between you and the person you’re addressing. Think about it for a minute; when you speak to someone who can’t look you in the eye, doesn’t it make you feel uncomfortable and perhaps even a little suspicious?
Voice Pitch: Did you know that breathing deeply and lowering the pitch of your voice will project a calm confidence when you speak? Try it sometime.
Use your hands: Using your hands in certain ways can also work to your advantage. It will cause you to feel more engaged in what you are saying, but you do want to ensure that you are not being aggressive or invading someone else’s space. One specific gesture is called the “steeple gesture.” Touch the tips of your fingers together while keeping your palms open. Believe it or not, this communicates sincerity.
So these are some of the positive body language habits that you want to put into practice. The following infographic details some of the more negative body language habits that can be a hindrance to your success.
Where do you fall between the two lists? Do you think body language really matters?