Perhaps you do not realize, but someone recognizes you due to a memorable, uncomfortable, humorous, or bad expression and/or body posture you exhibited at a given moment. It is important to know that body language has been studied, and there are proven characteristics of expression associated to codes that reveal people’s personalities. This is what makes people either remember you or not.
When integrating body language into business, there is a set of codes used to qualify people. Thus, it is vital to know what clues your body is sending while you communicate. Extended research at Harvard and at Columbia Business School reveal there is a hormonal effect based on holding certain poses that make you either look confident, defensive or lacking confidence. Are you conveying the right message with your body language?
The following are ten body expressions you should consider to determine if your body is transmitting the image you want others to receive:
- Making eye contact: This is considered a sign of sincerity and security. People that do not make eye contact while speaking seem insecure, untrustworthy, or unprepared. In some cultures, making eye contact is disrespectful. However, if want the conduct business in the U.S., you must practice eye contact.
- Hand shaking: Your handshake should be firm to send a message of security and dynamism. A soft handshake gives the appearance of weakness and insecurity. In some cultures, hand shaking is prohibited or it is just matter of extending the hand to be touched. In the U.S., impression management while doing business, (ex: having a firm handshake) can define any given moment.
- Crossing arms against chest: Be careful if you are used to crossing your arms against your chest as this can be interpreted as being defensive, negative or closed-minded.
- Raising eyebrows or lifting head: This can be understood as being surprised or offended.
- Pointing at people: Pointing at people while talking directly to them could be a signal of aggression. Some cultures are used to this, but in the U.S., it is not a desirable action.
- Reclining in chair: This expression signifies a lack of interest in the topic being discussed or even in the person discussing it.
- Hitting the desk or standing up: This can send one of two messages; you are either very upset or you want to emphasize an idea or topic.
- Rolling your eyes: This can be interpreted as being tired or frustrated with either the person or the topic being communicated. It can also signal disappointment or disagreement.
- Frowning or grimacing: The message sent by these expressions is pain, disgust, or, in certain occasions, not understanding the subject or speaker.
- Smiling: The most common interpretations for this expression is contentment. Smiling can also be used as a tool; it can be used while assigning difficult tasks to make them seem easier. Likewise, smiling employees show understanding and compliancy when a supervisor assigns a difficult task.
Once you comprehend and begin utilizing these simple body expressions wisely, there will be an increase in your nonverbal impact, and message conveyance is guaranteed.