What is Body Language?

‘Body language,’ includes all the communication through the non-verbal channel. This can include how we greet others, how we sit or stand, our facial expressions, our clothes, hair styles, tone of voice, eye movements, how we listen, how we breathe, how close we stand to others, and how we touch others. Misunderstanding of body language may not only cause a long-lasting embarrassment but also be a life threat.

 Here are some tips for powerful body language:-

  • To increase participation, look like you’re listening
    If you want people to speak up, don’t multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention
  • To encourage collaboration, remove barriers
    Physical obstructions are especially detrimental to collaborative efforts. Take away anything that blocks your view or forms a barrier between you and the rest of the team.
  • To connect instantly with someone, shake hands
    Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue.  In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression.
  • To stimulate good feelings, smile
    A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly.
  • To learn the truth, watch people’s feet
    When people try to control their body language, they focus primarily on facial expressions, body postures, and hand/arm gestures. Since the legs and feet are left unrehearsed, they are also where the truth can most often be found. Under stress, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements.
  • To sound authoritative, keep your voice down
    Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch by keeping your lips together and making the sounds “um hum, um hum, um hum.” When stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end.

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