5 Practices to ensure you’re using the right body language
Body language is a nonverbal flow of communication that is constant and ever-present. Without saying a word your body language can reveal what you are thinking and feeling. What are you really saying?
If the first impression of a company is given by a greeter or reception person, the message they give out through their body language can say a lot about the company they work for. You communicate to everyone that comes into the building or who comes to your desk through your body language. You could give a few messages, e.g.:
- I am tired.
- I am bored.
- Go away I don’t want to talk to you.
- Hi, it’s so nice to see you. Welcome, how may I assist you?
It is the last bullet point that we want to communicate to all who come to our desks or company.
Here are some practical ideas for you to use when you are at your desk…
Don’t cross your arms or legs
You have probably already heard you shouldn’t cross your arms as it might make you seem closed, defensive or guarded. This may not always be true as it may be cold, you may find crossing your arms comfortable. Be careful not to cross your legs at the same time as this forms a cluster, which will convey the message of defensive, closed or guarded. This goes for your legs too. Keep your arms and legs relaxed but not crossed.
Have eye contact with customers, but don’t stare
If there are several people you are talking to, give them all some eye contact to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Keeping too much eye contact might creep people out. Giving no eye contact might make you seem insecure. If you are not used to keeping eye contact it might feel a little hard or scary in the beginning but keep working on it and you’ll get used to it.
Lean forward, but not too much
If you want to show that you are interested in what someone is saying, lean toward the person talking. If you want to show that you’re confident in yourself and relaxed lean back a bit. But don’t lean in too much or you might seem needy and desperate for some approval. Or lean back too much or you might seem arrogant and distant.
Smile and laugh
Lighten up; don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. But don’t be the first to laugh at your own jokes, it may make you seem nervous and needy. Smile when you are introduced to someone but don’t keep a smile plastered on your face, you’ll seem insincere. Always remember that your facial expression should go with what is being said.
Use your hands more confidently
Instead of fidgeting with your hands and scratching your face use them to communicate what you are trying to say. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. But don’t use them too much or it might become distracting and don’t