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?