Back to Basics with Body Language

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Body language is a term for communication using body movements or gestures instead of, or in addition to, sounds, verbal language or other communication. It forms part of the category of paralanguage, which describes all forms of human communication that are not verbal language.

This includes the most subtle of movements that many people are not aware of, including winking and slight movement of the eyebrows. In addition body language can also incorporate the use of facial expressions.

One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest. This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person’s arms are cold which would be clarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is friendly, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright unfriendliness.

Consistent eye contact can indicate that a person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. It can also mean that the other person doesn’t trust the speaker enough to “take his eyes off” the speaker. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. On the other hand, individuals with anxiety are often unable to make eye contact without discomfort. Or if while making direct eye contact a person is fiddling with something, even while directly looking at you, it could indicate the attention is elsewhere.

Disbelief is often indicated by averted gaze, or by touching the ear or scratching the chin. So is eyestrain, or itchiness. When a person is not being convinced by what someone is saying, the attention invariably wanders, and the eyes will stare away for an extended period.

Boredom is indicated by the head tilting to one side, or by the eyes looking straight at the speaker but becoming slightly unfocused. A head tilt may also indicate a sore neck, and unfocused eyes may indicate ocular problems in the listener.

Interest can be indicated through posture or extended eye contact.

Hi I am Piyush Bhatia the Founder and CEO of BM English Speaking Institute Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, India. Come and learn English with us. Along with English training we also, enhance people’s confidence, public speaking, presentations, business English, grammar practice email drafting and group discussion skills.

Related Body Language In Business Articles

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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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The Significance of Eye Contact

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Do you struggle to remember the names of so many individuals with whom you come in contact on a daily basis.  Some executives study remember-that-name books and those techniques do work occasionally.

What is their goal?  These leaders want their associates to know that although each is maintaining a fast pace, they are cared for, held in esteem, and are worthy.

Can one can accomplish the same connection without the pressure to remember names, but instead with the pleasure of sincere eye contact?

In First Impressions, What You Don’t Know About How Others See You, authors Ann Demarais, Ph.D. and Valerie White, Ph.D. describe visual connections like this:

Eye contact is a clear indication of interest, especially in American culture.  We normally look others in the eye most of the time we are talking to them.  The rest of the time we may be looking at their mouths, other parts of their faces, or briefly away. If you know your own eye-contact pattern, you are in a position to control the messages you want to send.  If you want to show interest, you can hold your gaze longer, even just a fraction of a second longer than normal.  Most people are very aware of being looked at and will feel this small difference—getting the message that you like them or find them appealing.

I know from my years of teaching networking workshops, that the main reason you might forget names is that you are distracted by what you are going to say to this person, thus focusing on yourself rather than the individual with whom you are speaking.  It would be so simple to just change your focus to them!

A small percentage of communication takes place via the words you speak.The balance of non-verbal communication lies in bodily movement and that includes your visual connection.  According to Demarais and White, it only takes four seconds to make a first impression.  In the first few moments of a conversation, what do you think would be most effective – looking the individual directly in his eye or mumbling about your inability and sorrow over forgetting his name?

This week, release your inner pressure to remember names.  Focus instead on a deeper form of recognition and communication that you care — look deeply into the artwork of each individual’s eyes. You can reap rich rewards for both you and the person who’s name you cannot remember by know how this simple eye contact technique affects him.  Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week.

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Article Author: Ann Golden

Ann Golden Eglé, Master Certified Coach and President of Golden Visions Success Coaching can be reached at 541-385-8887 or http://www.GVSuccess.com
Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/the-significance-of-eye-contact-487876.html

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