Self-awareness is said to be one of the hallmarks of success in business. How you portray yourself through actions and behaviors in business settings plays a vital role in your professional achievement. What’s more important is to have an understanding how body language, actions, and behaviors that you exude is perceived by others. Your self-awareness will help identify and improve areas where you can make changes to certain body language signals. Awareness of body expression can make significant differences in your overall success.
1. Listening skills.
In business interactions, whether it be in meetings or one-on-one conversations, it’s critical for your body language to reflect engagement, interest, and investment in the topic of discussion. This is done by sustaining eye contact, nodding, leaning your body forward if seated at a table. As well as your facial expressions when someone is speaking. These body language cues tell the speaker that you are following the conversation and that you are focused and alert. When relaying effective listening skills, the saying that the eyes are the windows to the soul very much applies. Emotions expressed through eye contact are likely the most critical type of body language indicator when listening to others.
2. Walking the walk.
Your body behavior is a big indicator of your level of confidence. When it comes to business, you want to show competence, composure, and self-assurance. Exuding a confident posture and stride are critical. This is best achieved by keeping your shoulders back and your chin facing slightly upwards but ensuring to keep your body relaxed. You can have great posture, but if you are stiff and uncomfortable, you will appear nervous or unsure of yourself. Confidence is also relayed in walking at a steady pace and not hesitating prior to walking into a room full of business associates or strangers. It is important to enter any professional setting with your head held high and your gaze set on the other individuals in the room.
3. Hands and arms can say a lot.
Oftentimes, body communication can be interpreted by the placement of arms and hands. Arms crossed in front of the body are a well-known indicator of being insecure or closed off to others; a message that you definitely do not want to relay in your professional interactions. When in doubt, keeping your hands and arms to your sides and maintaining a relaxed posture is your best bet while standing, as hands behind the back can also relay boredom or the lack of confidence. While seated, hands folded in front of you relays a message of openness while it also subtly allows you to stake your claim to the table, as if saying “I’m here, I’m present and I’m ready.”
So the next time you’re getting ready to walk into an interview or meeting, be aware and present of what your body language is saying.