Nonverbal Cues and Business
Using Body Language For Business, Negotiations, and Leadership.
Body language is your first impression on a person- whether it be your slumped posture, a firm grip, or a slight limp, people are going to make micro-assessments about who you are, what you do, and if you are someone they want to invest their time and efforts into. We might alway say “never judge a book by its cover” but you have to remember, the reason we say that is because these sort of snap superficial judgments are so prevalent.
Can I learn better body language?
Like any other skill, of course you can. You have to become aware of everything about you. Look in the mirror- not when you’re feeling good or well-rested or confident, but when you’re tired and want to go to bed. Start from your worst and build from that.
Look at yourself and say, “am I someone who exudes confidence? Am I the kind of person I’d invest in?” It’s not always something as simple as holding your shoulders back and keeping your chin up- in fact, forcing that sort of stuff looks fake and creates concern in people. Instead, work on maintaining a deliberate body tempo- speaking smoothly, walking in pace, never rushing and and keeping a collected demeanor.
How can body language boost my career?
People are genetically predisposed to react to nonverbal cues. If you lead negotiations with confidence and self-belief, you are more likely to gain the trust of the person across the table. You need to sell yourself before you sell your product!
Most people don’t realize this, but having poor posture and feeling anxious weigh heavily on your body. A body at peace will run more efficiently, not only giving you a calm mind to effectively help navigate your workday, but also allowing for you to utilize all the potential energy created inside you.
3. Becoming a Leader
In a work setting- especially an office setting where there is an ambiguous hierarchy of power or management, most people become uncomfortable and ease back, waiting for someone to take the reigns. If you have positive and charismatic body language, you will assert yourself as the natural leader. It isn’t always the person with the
best ideas who is exalted, but the person who presents their ideas the best.
What should I focus on if I want to change my body language?
• Don’t rush yourself
If you’re in a high-pressure system, remember to stay cool. Even if you’re on the clock, it’s better to effectively present 95% of what you want to say than rush through 100% and seem unsure of yourself or anxious.
• Maintain deliberateness
It can be keeping eye contact when you first meet someone or not slinking away from a handshake when you leave or leaning into a conversation when you talk or any other action you can think of where you are asserting yourself as someone who should be listened to, remembered, trusted, etc. When you are deliberate, it shows you believe in yourself, and when you believe in yourself, others will too.
• Don’t ever let them see you sweat
This isn’t so much body language as body maintenance, but it has to do with your physical appearance, so it should be noted. If you’ve got several meetings lined up for the day, bring in a few extra shirts. You might not be able to control the environment that you are in, but you can control how you react to it.
Walter Blake Knoblock is a speaker, publisher, and business consultant- to see his previous post, click here. To contact him, click here.