Body language is the nonverbal signals people use to communicate with each other. These nonverbal cues include gestures, tone, eye contact, posture, and voice. If you are speaking to someone, tilting your head towards the side can signal that you’re listening. Maintaining a straight posture can also signal that you are interested in the thoughts and opinions of others. Nonverbal cues such as slouching or crossing your arms can be perceived as defensive and indicate that you aren’t interested in the conversation.
Why is body language important at work?
Your body language is just one of the many nonverbal cues influencing how others perceive you at work. Your body language reinforces and clarifies the messages you communicate and adds meaning. If the nonverbal cues that you are using don’t match your verbal message, body language may negate some assumptions.
You can improve the effectiveness of your communication with managers and colleagues by being aware of how you use body language. This will help you avoid negative body language that could create mixed messages or deliver an underlying message.
You can use your body language to your advantage by learning how to:
- Improve communication between your team members
- You can better understand what others feel when you speak with them
- Your customers and clients will notice you more positively
- Your organization should project a professional image
How to improve your body language?
Below are the key steps to improve your body language at workplace:
1. Practice self-awareness
To improve your body language, one of the first steps is to increase self-awareness. Pay attention to your body language and nonverbal messages when you talk with people. You will be able to identify the behaviors you should watch out for and what you should focus on.
2. Relax your shoulders
Relaxing your shoulders can help improve your body language. Allow them to fall to a comfortable height. If your shoulders are too high, it can make you appear anxious. Sluggish shoulders can make you seem sad. Please pay attention to where your shoulders are at the moment and allow them to fall to a natural position.
3. Straighten your back
You must sit straight and keep your spine honestly to show the person you are communicating with that you care about what they have to say. To ensure that your neck is straight, it’s a good idea to remind yourself to keep your chin up. It improves your body language along with increasing the signs to grow glutes.
4. Proper posture is important
Proper posture is essential to project confidence. When you are having a conversation with someone, ensure you sit straight up and use good posture.
5. Speak up
You can show interest in the conversation by learning a little while they are talking. It’s essential to pay attention to how far you are leaning in. This can cause the other person to feel uncomfortable or make the wrong impression. Depending on too far can also make you seem distant.
6. Uncross your arms
Your arms must be uncrossed to show confidence and ease to the person you’re talking to. Whether your position is seated or standing, it may be a good idea to have your arms folded at your sides or in your lap. You can also clasp your hands together with your hands behind your head to show confidence.
When you first meet someone, smile during the conversation. Pay attention to your facial expressions during the conversation. A neutral face can sometimes appear as a scowl. A simple way to calm down and make your face pleasant is to raise the corners of your lips.
8. Eye contact
It is essential to maintain eye contact with the person to whom you are speaking. It’s important not to make too much eye contact. To ensure that you keep the correct amount of eye contact, look in the eyes of the other person long enough to note their eye color before moving on. This will ensure that you maintain eye contact for a natural and comfortable time for both of you.
9. Mirror the other party
Mirroring their body language and nonverbal cues is another way to ensure the person you speak with feels comfortable. You could reflect on the tone they use and their body posture. Even subtle mirroring can make the other person feel more at ease.
10. Use your hands
When speaking in daily conversation, most people use hand gestures. Hand gestures can also be used to emphasize certain words or phrases in professional settings.
11. Slow down
Pay attention to how fast you are moving. Moving slowly and walking slower can make you more confident and calm.
12. Talk slowly
Nervous people tend to speak more quickly when they are scared. Talk slowly and clearly to project confidence. You will be able to understand the other person you are communicating with. You can slow down while you make key points and occasionally pause, if necessary, to gather your thoughts.
13. Keep checking your nod regularly
It’s a great way to show that you are listening and interested in the conversation. This is a nonverbal way of encouraging them to keep saying what they are saying. It also conveys to them that you like the message they are sharing and can boost their confidence.
14. Beware of fidgety movements
Pay attention to the activities you do and try to relax. Fidgety movements include tapping your fingers and shaking your leg or foot. These can be avoided by developing a solid sense of self-awareness.
15. Lower your drink
Be aware of where your beverage is being held if it is in your hands. You will appear distant and guarded if you have a drink or any other item in your hand. Keep your drink down and place it next to your leg.
Salman Zafar is a serial entrepreneur, digital marketer, writer and publisher. He is the Founder of Techie Loops