Business can be daunting – especially when you don’t know where you stand. Navigating office life, doing a good job, and getting what you need for career progression can make people feel timid. And if we feel timid, chances are we look timid, and that will hamper our chances of surviving in the business environment. It has been proven time and time again that mastering strong body language can not only change the way people see you, but how you see yourself.
So, here’s a quick rundown of how the body can be mastered in order to change what it says about you – and how you can practice improving your body language:
Your facial reactions are probably the most telling factor in body language. While many other aspects of your body only give subtle, subconsciously read signals, the facial expressions can often be noticeable. So, if you’re asking for that promotion, or saying you can’t stay late again, you want to project an of confidence that isn’t betrayed by a quivering lip or darting eyes. Practice talking in front of a mirror in order to master how your body reacts to your own strong words. There’s a reason they call it a poker face: online poker can help master your body language, too, with 888poker’s PokerCam allowing players to monitor their body language and facial tells as they play. By practicing the game in a genuine setting, and seeing how your body reacts to it, you’ll have greater control of your body’s reactions in other scenarios.
Fidgeting hands can be a tell-tale sign of feeling unconfident or weak, which allows other people to walk all over you and take a competitive advantage. For some, moving their hands around or playing with something can be a coping mechanism – but this behavior needs to change. Some people actually try to focus on keeping their hands steady – either by locking them together on their lap, or laying them flat. The focus also takes the edge off any of the nervousness that led to the negative body language.
Experts suggest that walking should be done with purpose and energy. A slow meander or a hesitant stroll translates as indecisive. To practice walking with purpose, walk for the bus, to the local shops, or down the high streets as though you are on a mission. A strong walk can also aid in a strong overall posture. As deportment classes have proven, by walking straight and with a purpose, our posture improves. Make sure that everywhere you sit during an average day, you are doing so with your back straight and without slouching.
Slow and steady wins the race when you’re speaking to someone. Record yourself talking and play it back to try to slow your speech down. While painfully slow speaking is also seen negatively, word vomit or rushed talking comes across as heavily nervous. Tone and conversation are attractive leadership qualities that will change how people listen to you at work.
The bottom line is that not everybody is perfect in their body language. Even top business bosses will struggle with how they put themselves across. But it’s not a skill that comes with owning or running a multimillion dollar entity – it’s a skill that takes practice and perfection in order to master. If you start acting like a business boss through your body language, you’re halfway there to being one.
Image from http://www.emotionalintelligenceatwork.com/resources/noticing-body-language/