When we read about these tips on Lifehack, we couldn’t agree more. In many instances in business, it’s not what you say but how you say it. Of course, this includes your posture, your energy and your body language as a whole.
The good news? Unlike a technical skill which could require taking a class or two, body language can be improved by simply applying them right away.
1. Maintain eye contact. The piece reminds us that everyone wants to feel interesting and important. The main way to accomplish this? Engage in active listening by keeping consistent eye contact with others when they speak. Throw in an occasional nod and sincerely show you’re paying attention.
2. Keep your palms facing down. The piece points out, “When individuals place both of their hands palms down on tables, podiums, or counters while speaking with others, it projects a sense of authority and leadership.”
3. Act in sychrony. That’s right, go ahead and mirror the other person’s body language. This shows you align with them philosophically as well. Watch how they position themselves when they stand or sit and mimic them. If they lean forward, you should lean forward. If they cross their legs, then cross yours. Make it natural, of course. You don’t want to be blatant about imitating them but simply demonstrate your “sense of cooperation.”
4. Keep your body language open. If you cross your arms, it’s time to uncross them. If you appear closed off to others, people will respond to that. Keep your body language relaxed with arms at your sides. “In addition, avoid holding large items or allowing structures such as tables to separate you from one another.”
5. Minimize movements. Hair twirlers, we’re talking to you. Squirming, fidgeting, wiggling and scratching will not serve you well. This conveys a sense of nervousness or impatience. The piece suggests, “The best policy is to incorporate natural, subtly controlled movements to enhance your points and mirror the body language of others.”