10 Body Language Tips For Workplace Success
Communication is a huge factor at work, but not all of us have the right tools to help us communicate effectively and climb up the career ladder. Up to 93% of all communication is actually nonverbal. This means that your body language at work can be even more important than what you say, and it just might be holding you back.
Here are 10 ways to improve your body language for success in the workplace.
1. Work on your posture
Standing up straight implies confidence and credibility and also alters our brain chemicals to make us feel more empowered. Stand up straight with your neck as long as possibly and chest slightly sticking out. Say no to the slump!
2. Create positive eye contact
Don’t be afraid of eye contact, but there is a difference between a serial killer-stare and engaging, positive eye contact. Eye contact shows that you’re a straight-forward communicator and creates a sense of authority, while those with weak eye contact find it difficult to persuade others.
3. Don’t use your hands so much
Avoid fidgeting and talking too big with your hands. Alpha qualities indicate smaller, tighter movements which demonstrate their power. Fidgeting or playing with your phone or hair is a sign of weakness in professional contexts.
4. Try not to cross your arms
While some might do this automatically, it’s very defensive behavior and closes you off from your audience. Hiding your hands implies deception and the sense that you’re hiding something unspoken, which is never good in the office. Stay looking honest and keep those arms uncrossed.
5. Display authenticity with “the steeple”
As an alternative to the arm-cross, try something called “the steeple” – a universal power signal you can convey just by using your hands. Hold your hands in front of your torso, and touch your fingertips together but keep your palms separate – the steeple displays authenticity and bolsters your point.
6. Project your voice
We know this isn’t a singing lesson, but how you project your voice matters! Speaking from your abdomen and diaphragm as opposed to your throat will improve your projection skills and give you more leadership qualities than someone meekly speaking from their throat.
7. Perfect your handshake
Practice your handshake until you perfect a strong one that leaves an impression. A limp handshake is creepy and shows both weakness and indifference, while a too-strong handshake implies rigidity and an overbearing nature. Make palm to palm correspondence and match the pressure that they apply once you lock thumbs.
8. Speak with an even tone
Another voice tip to pay attention to is awareness of your speaking tone. People take those with high-pitched voices less seriously and consider them to be less empathic. Ending sentences on a high pitch indicates you’re unsure, nervous and looking for approval. An even tone indicates reasonable balance and jurisdiction.
9. Remember to smile
Even a neutral face at work can be considered hostile in some situations, and research shows that individuals can remember people and their names better if they smile versus having a neutral expression. Smiling is a great way to eliminate tension as well as make you more memorable.
10. Point your feet in the right direction
Point your feet toward whomever you’re speaking with. While it would be bizarre for everyone in a business meeting to be staring at each others feet to gauge interest level, it does subconsciously affect people. Feet pointed towards the door shows that you don’t want to be in a situation.