Have you ever found how someone’s actions contradict what they say? Have you ever found it difficult to maintain physical control in some circumstances because all you can think about is how nervous you are?
Although good communication is important in both personal and professional relationships, it’s your nonverbal cues or “body language” that talk the loudest. Body language is the nonverbal communication of nonverbal actions, gestures, and mannerisms, which is often performed unconsciously rather than consciously.
When you communicate with others, whether you know it or not, you’re actively transmitting and receiving nonverbal signals. All of your nonverbal behaviors—your expressions, stance, tone of voice, and amount of eye contact—send powerful signals. They can either put people at ease, create confidence, and attract others to you, or they can annoy, confuse, and detract from what you’re trying to communicate. These messages continue even though you stop speaking. And when you’re not saying something, you’re talking nonverbally.
What you say and what you convey by your body language can be two entirely different things in some situations. If you say one thing and your body language says another, your audience will most likely believe you’re lying. For example, if you say “yes” while shaking your head “no.” When presented with such a jumble of signals, the listener must determine whether to trust your verbal or nonverbal message. They’ll most likely prefer the nonverbal message because body language is a normal, unconscious language that broadcasts your true feelings and intentions.
Your nonverbal communication cues—the way you listen, look, move, and react—tell the other person whether or not you care, whether you’re being honest, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal signals match up with what you’re saying, confidence, clarification, and rapport increase. They can create stress, distrust, and uncertainty if they don’t.
If you want to develop your communication skills, you must become more mindful of not only others’ body language and nonverbal cues, but also your own.
If you believe that body language is merely a bonus point for an interview and can only help you land a job, you are mistaken. Body language is much more critical than you would imagine in the real world! You can find yourself stuck in a loop where you can’t integrate with the external world if you don’t use proper body language, not to mention the difficulties in the workplace if you don’t use proper body language. As a consequence, in addition to paying attention to your own body language, you should always pay attention to how those around you use body language to communicate their thoughts, as this will help you decide your next step accurately.
Fidgeting may suggest a lack of contact between the two parties involved in the conversation. Turning away from each other or folding your arms to your chest can indicate that the other person does not agree with your point of view or that the content of the discussion causes them to close their minds.
Our brain can regulate our body language, but it is a difficult job, particularly in a stressful situation. The subject of how to make a successful first impression has been discussed many times. This is due to the fact that it is too difficult to do. Surprisingly, what we see has frequently become the most critical criteria on which we evaluate others. Physical acts have also become more important to us as a result of this.
In fact, we communicate in a variety of ways, including both verbal and nonverbal means. We may use a mixture of speech and action to tell a friend about a date gone wrong while also hailing a taxi. In this multi-modal sense, it’s best to assess body language. Nonverbal signals such as folded arms or downcast eyes are just a part of the conversational frame.
When we roll our eyes, we are voicing our disapproval or disappointment with another person’s idea or actions, while when we are truly curious about others, our eyes light up. Walking down the corridor with your head down conveys a lack of presence, while acknowledging people passing by with a simple nod conveys comfort. In an interview, a firm handshake may express trust and strength, while a limp handshake may show nervousness and weakness.
Positive body language will demonstrate our eagerness to participate, our trust in our abilities, our ease in taking on challenges, our desire to achieve results, and our ability to anticipate potential demands. It has the potential to open up a whole new universe of possibilities.
Negative body language can send clear signals about our unwillingness to participate, our doubts about our capacities, our apprehension to take on tasks, our indifferent and uncaring attitude toward results, and our disconnect from fact, all of which can make it difficult to manage future potential. It has the potential to close doors to success and development.
Don’t be distracted when asking for suggestions. Look the person in the eyes. Show curiosity in your face when someone makes a mistake so that they can benefit from it. Make the open arm hand motions while telling people they should feel free to approach you. When giving bad news, be direct yet confident in your ability to make it right by looking people in the eyes with enthusiasm and hope.
People spend a lot of time perfecting their speech without checking what their body language is conveying. When it comes to making a good first impression, don’t just use words; use your body language as well.
Check out my related post: How to have better digital body language?