Body Language – A Secret to Success

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Building Rapport with People in Business

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: We must have heard of this ever since our school days.

We use our vocal chords to talk, but our facial expressions communicate our inner feelings.

Understanding the body language is an intricate and yet practical skill. By consciously observing what others are trying to say, we can begin to deal with issues at work, home or anyplace, before they become problems.

At work it is the boss who is all powerful. When you observe his body language, you notice how he strives to appear large, powerful and always in control. His status manifests itself ingeniously. On the other hand, individuals who feel vulnerable may appear tense, clasp their hands in front of them, slouch in their chairs, and exhibit typical self manipulative behaviors, to show they are stressed.

A superior who enjoys greater powers generally tends to talk more and interrupt others. Sometimes their body language can also flash some weakness that betrays what they are actually feeling. Does your boss smile as he applauds one of your ideas? How can you tell if the smile is genuine? Paul Ekman, a clinical Psychologist has been researching on facial expressions and deceit, for the last thirty years. He has identified around 18 kinds of smiles and most of them are deceptive according to him. A genuine smile he says will in anxious. These signals need attention.

How do we get the signals straight?

First tune into your own body language. For a whole day observe your gestures when you talk and move, sit or stand. Too stiff a posture indicates rigidity. Observe at the small things you do when you are tense. Are you fiddling with the pen or twirling your hair. Please control that, because it undermines what you want to say.

Get the handshake right. Let it be firm, strong but not with excessive pressure.

Maintain Eye contact. Direct eye contact is the best way to put forward your ideas. It means you are serious about business. If you are uncomfortable, for a brief moment shift the focus between eyes and chin.

How aware are you of your body language?

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4 Acts of Business Body Language

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Business body language and business networking run parallels as they both occur at the same time. When you are out at networking events and generating leads or contacts, there is a language being spoken that is nonverbal.

Just as if you were visiting another country and had to communicate with different people who spoke another language, it is important to speak and understand the language of the body. This has the obvious benefits of better communication which can lead to a number of favorable things.

Business body language, just like social body language, has its subtleties and can’t be completely depended upon. However, taking note of certain movements and behaviors can help you in your networking experiences.

We all like to be as prepared as we can for important situations. Knowing what certain positions and movements mean gives us superior understanding and is all part of adequate preparation. Below, are a few body language aspects to take note of and use to your advantage;

Raised Eyebrows

Sometimes people are not as vocal in expressing their inner feelings as you would like them to be. Raised eyebrows is a sign of interest. If you are engaged in a business networking conversation and explaining something, raised eyebrows indicate that your conversation partner has an interest in what you’re saying. Don’t be fooled by the lack of words.

Partially Facing You

Typically, we usually face the direction of our intentions. In other words, when we are engaged in a conversation and are ready to leave in a rush, our bodies will usually start to face towards the door. If this is happening while you are engaged in a conversation, don’t take it personal, the person may have an appointment to get to. To your advantage, make the conversation brief and set up a time to talk later.

Leaning Forward into You

Just as with the raised eyebrows, people have a way of showing interest without talking. When an individual is interested in something, they will lean towards it. We can be very predictable at times and leaning towards an object or person is a clue to take note of. However, pay attention to all of the surrounding factors.

Not Making Eye Contact

You may even see a minor pattern at this point. Typically, when people are interested in something they will face it, or lean towards it.

Not making eye contact can be compared to not being faced. There may be a lack of interest or even a shyness involved. You will have to make your own assertion in this situation. It will be to your advantage to observe this and take the appropriate action to get the results you want.

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