By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
Have you ever thought about what your body language is saying about you? If not, then there is a high likelihood your body language could be holding you back personally and professionally. Usually verbal correspondence is what first comes to mind when thinking about how one presents themselves, but often the most important way to communicate is nonverbally. In fact, researchers have found approximately 80-90% of a message’s meaning is conveyed nonverbally.
The saying, “actions speak louder than words” often rings true, in this case it is your body language that determines how others ‘hear’ you. There are numerous ways you may be unconsciously presenting yourself with negative mannerisms, but there are a few mistakes that can easily be fixed! Here are a few common body language mistakes you might be making:
POOR EYE CONTACT
Direct eye contact is a staple in verbal and nonverbal communication and is often the very first thing one notices in a conversation. Poor eye contact insinuates shyness, lack of confidence and respect or nervousness.
In a professional setting, employers are looking to hire a candidate who is able to look clients and fellow employees in the eye while speaking. When you walk into your first interview or client meeting, be sure to look whoever is speaking in the eye to show you are engaged – just don’t forget to blink!
In a personal setting, relationships are largely based on first impressions (including eye contact). Making a conscious effort to focus on improving eye contact when meeting new people will show you are interested in what they have to say, or even in a potential friendship.
Most of the time when one crosses their arms it is done out of habit, but this is a habit that should (and can) be broken. This form of negative body language infers you do not want to be bothered, are disinterested/disagree with what is going on or that you are in a foul mood.
In the workplace, you want to be thought of as welcoming and engaged, otherwise you could lose out on the opportunity for growth within the company. Instead of crossing your arms in a meeting, try placing your hands gently in your lap. If you’re really unsure what to do, you can always take notes – just make sure you’re not frantically writing the entire time (remember: eye contact).
In your personal life, if you constantly have your arms crossed others may feel as if they are making you experience discomfort or disinterest. This action is often unintentional, but being aware of the issue is the first step in fixing it.
Even the way you sit or stand can transmit a message about how you are feeling in a situation. Not only is slouching bad for your physical health, it also suggests you are lazy, bored, or even worse, not taking the matter at hand seriously.
To appear (and feel) more confident in the workplace, try sitting up tall with your shoulders back. Another trick for building confidence and better posture is the “Wonder Women Pose” – research shows it works!
Standing – or sitting – tall will not only boost confidence in the workplace, but it can also make you more approachable in everyday life. While slouching may not be as prominent as poor eye contact and crossed arms it is still adds to your overall negative body language.
Never forget: 55% of communication is visual. Once you know the impact your body language has on how others perceive you, it will be easier to notice when you are doing something wrong. By making the necessary adjustments to how you carry yourself day-to-day, you will open yourself up to more professional and personal opportunities!