What everybody wants is an edge, to be a step ahead of their competition to get the upper hand. This to improve relationships both personally and in business. To gain this advantage, what’s needed is being aware of body language, by controlling unintentional and deliberate body movements.
Without a word being spoken, what most don’t realize is what they’re saying to the world.
They are subconsciously expressing themselves on how they feel and what their attitude is, before uttering a single word.
So unless you’re a superb master of disguise, what you’re unknowingly doing is sending these invisible vibes regarding your thoughts and feelings at the moment.
What’s known is the words you speak, just accounts for 7% percent of the messages you convey, while the remaining 93% percent are non-verbal or subconscious.
The Body Electric
62% percent of communication is based on what people see such a body reaction, and the other is tone of voice.
In situations such as a business meeting, others determine what, why, and who you are before you saying anything.
If your body language doesn’t match your words, then you’re wasting your time.
Making Eye Contact
Eye contact is the initial and most fluent way people communicate, which immediately portrays how friendly or aloof you are.
What looking directly at someone does, is shows you’re interested in them.
If you fail to make eye contact, you’re giving off the impression they’re not important to you.
What’s recommended is maintaining eye contact at least 60% percent of the time to say you’re interested, while not coming off as aggressive.
Give Me More Facetime
The facial expression you display when first meeting someone, is a strong indicator of non-verbal communication.
What a smile does is sends a positive message, and is appropriate in most settings, but not in dire life or death situations.
What smiling does is adds warmth along with an aura of confidence.
People will instantly be more receptive and will usually smile back, so it becomes important to always remember to flash it as often as possible.
How you move your mouth also gives off clues when you’re speaking, along with other certain movements.
These include pursing your lips or twisting it to one side, which shows you’re thinking about what they’re saying.
It could also mean you’re hiding or holding something back.
The position of your head matters when you’re speaking. Try keeping your head as straight, steady, and erect as possible.
What doing so does is makes you appear authoritative and self-assured, while being taken more seriously.
What tilting your head does is makes you appear more friendly and open.
Open Or Folded Arms
How receptive you are is displayed by how and where you place your arms.
Your arms crossed and folded over your chest, suggests you’re shutting them out, have no interest in them, or you don’t agree with what they’re saying.
What folded arms also says is “I don’t trust you that much.” You come across as cold and private, so the person your conversing with, may get the wrong message.
How you use your arms can hurt or help your image.
If you wave them around, what that shows is you’re overly enthusiastic to some, while others might see it as uncertainty or immaturity.
The best recommendation is resting your arms by your side, as what that projects is you’re confident and relaxed.
If doing so becomes difficult when in times of stress and anxiety, then just keep reminding yourself until it becomes natural.
Posing Your Body
What the angle of your body does, is gives an indication to others on what you’re immediately thinking.
Leaning forward says, “Tell me more.” Leaning away means you’ve heard enough or are disinterested. Nodding your head affirms you agree with them, or are listening.
Posture is important, as parents and teachers constantly scorned us to sit or stand up straight, to keep our back erect, which shows you’re alert and enthusiastic.
If you slump over in your chair, hunch over when walking, lean on a wall, you come across as being tired or not confident.
No one wants to socialize or do business with someone who has no energy.
Knowing Body Movements
Always mindfully control your hands, by paying attention to exactly where they are.
During business meetings, particularly if dealing with those from certain cultures, your hands always needs to be seen.
So take them out of your pockets, and resist the urge of placing them behind your back or under the table.
Waving your hands anywhere above the neck, constantly rubbing your face, fidgeting with your hair, appears unprofessional.
Constantly shuffling your legs indicates nervousness. Where, when, and how you cross your legs, reveals how you’re feeling.
The preferred professional position is the feet placed firmly flat on the floor, or legs that are crossed at the ankles.
Resting your leg or ankle over the other knee, is considered brash.
Don’t Stand So Close To Me
The distance you stand from others becomes vitally important, if you’re wanting to establish good rapport.
Standing too close, directly in someone’s face, indicates you’re too eager or aggressive. Standing too far away makes you appear standoffish.
You don’t want to send either message, while it also depends on the situation. What you want is to find a happy medium, so just do what makes the other person feel comfortable.
If the person you’re speaking with happens to back away from you or turns their head, then rethink your approach.
Either you need a breath mint, or the person needs space or heard enough.
Learn to know exactly what you’re projecting with your body language, and make sure it’s the proper one you’re wanting to send.