Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an essential part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it. but, should you???
it’s time to start because you could be sabotaging your relationships, & professional career.
Research shows that more than a million people have been tested and it was found that the upper level of top performers is filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.
"Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words." - Deborah Bull
When you’re working hard and doing all you can to achieve your goals, anything that can give you an edge is powerful and it could just streamline your path to success. Just make certain you don't fall victim to any of these body language mistakes.
Exaggerated gestures - Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.
Crossed arms create a physical barrier that suggests you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a sense that you’re shutting him or her out. Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist that urge, if you want people to see you as open-minded, & interested.
Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.
Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It says that you’re bored, have no desire to be there. You’d never tell your client, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to, your body says it for you, loud and clear.
The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form it takes up less space and projects less power.
Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting. Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence.
Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission while looking to the side-projects confidence.
Having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. It turns people away, as they feel judged. Smiling suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly.
MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.
Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt it to each person/situation, make sure it’s always firm.
Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.
Do you know what your body is saying? Should you?