Body Language Dos and Don’ts For Business
Language comes in all forms. Body language goes a long way when it comes to business… and just about everything else. Here is some insight into how gestures can help you win respect in the workplace. You might be surprised…
1. Don’t Cross Your Arms
This stance is most frequently understood to indicate discomfort. When it comes to business, this particular gesture can communicate the idea that you are not open to suggestion or discussion. Many people tend to cross their arms when pondering an idea. Crossed arms is a particularly misunderstood gesture, so it is best to just stay away from it all together.
2. Don’t Fidget
Playing with jewelry, tucking hair behind an ear, tapping a pen – this all qualifies as fidgeting. Even though fidgeting can calm us, those jerky movements or anxious behaviors often make others uneasy. Moreover, fidgeting can distract you and others from the content of the discussion.
3. Don’t Touch, Wrinkle or Sniffle Your Nose
Research proves that drawing attention to your nose can imply that you are being dishonest. Scientists at the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation found that when you lie, chemicals called catecholamines are released, causing tissue inside the nose to swell. When Bill Clinton testified about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, he touched his nose every 4 minutes, for a grand total of 26 nose touches.
4. Do Use Hand Gestures… Sparingly
Using hand gestures systematically, especially when giving directions or teaching, makes the audience less dependent on the verbal part of the presentation. It increases the likelihood of accurate recall and emphasizes on certain crucial parts of the discussion.
5. Do Use Eye Contact
Eyes ARE the window to your thoughts and emotions… this is not just a figure of speech. It is the most immediate and noticeable message you can send others. Not enough eye contact may make you seem untrustworthy. Too much eye contact may seem inappropriate for some professional settings. Be selective.
6. Do Put Your Hands On Your Hips
This gesture implies that you are ready to take action and that you have confidence in what you are saying. Be careful not to overdo it, as it can come off as an annoyance to partners.