Have you ever been in the circumstance when you truly didn’t accept what somebody was saying? Did you have a feeling that something didn’t seem to be true or a gut feeling that all was not right? Maybe they were saying “Yes” yet their heads were shaking “No”?
The difference between the words people speak and our understanding of what they are saying comes from non-verbal communication, otherwise known as “body language.” By developing your awareness of the signs and signals of body language, you can more easily understand other people, and more effectively communicate with them.
There are sometimes subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – movements, gestures, facial expressions and even shifts in our whole bodies that indicate something is going on. The way we talk, walk, sit and stand all say something about us, and whatever is happening on the inside can be reflected on the outside. However, the interpretation of Body language differs from culture to culture. What’s acceptable in one culture may be interpreted as disrespectful or brash in other cultures.
According to verbal and nonverbal communications specialist Sharon Sayler in an interview with American Express, numerous professionals don’t understand how their body language is unintentionally hindering their professional success. Rather than anticipating certainty with their body language and gestures, they use so-called “diminishing poses,” or poses that impart an absence of confidence, strength, and initiative qualities.
And here’s where things get intriguing: in the event that others don’t see you as a strong, confident leader, your chances of progressing in your career could be reduced.
When properly used, body language can be your key to great achievements. It can help you create constructive business connections, impact and motivate the people who report to you, enhance efficiency, bond with colleagues; give your ideas more power. Apt usage of your body language projects confidence, credibility, and your personal brand of charisma.
We can all adopt a few simple habits to make our body language friendlier at work: smile, don’t stand over people, don’t adopt gestures of disinterest when your co-workers are talking to you and feel free to nod to show you’re receiving information in a positive manner.