Use Body Language in Business to Get What You Want

Control Your Body Language and Send the Signals You Want

A large portion of our communication is non-verbal. That’s why some people have so much trouble communicating by email and in print format. You miss out on so many signs as to what the person means when you can’t see body language. Conversely, you can also hide a lot of things from the receiver when body language isn’t an issue, such as fear and nerves.

As a professional in business, if you plan to attend meetings and events in person, it’s good to learn about body language and how it affects others so that you have more awareness and self-control. This enables you use body language in business to get what you want.

If you can be aware of what your own body is doing and understand what messages it’s sending out to others, you can gain control not only over your body, but also your business meeting.

7 Helpful Hints on How to Use Body Language in Business to Get What You Want

1) Avoid Fidgeting – All of us have a tick or two such as wiggling a foot, or tapping a pen, or brushing our hands through our hair. But, it’s a good idea to try very hard to learn other coping mechanisms when you’re at meetings. These habits can bother other people and send the wrong message.

If you need to move around it’s okay to stretch, put your hands behind your head, or adjust your stance, but avoid repetitive motions that make you look nervous and out of control.

2) Wear Clothing That Makes You Feel Comfortable and Confident – It may seem silly, but what you wear sends a huge message to others. It tells people that you feel good about yourself, what you do, and that you are professional.

Dress for the part you want, not the part you have. Consider who your audience is and who you need to impress and what sort of clothing would work for them. But, do ensure that you feel good in your clothing. If you don’t, you’ll feel out of place and your discomfort will show in your demeanor.

3) Smile and Look People in the Eye – One of the best things you can do to send the right signals to others is to look at them and smile at them. People respond well to an open person who is comfortable enough to look at the people they are talking to, and smile. You don’t want to look creepy – just natural, so practice at every opportunity.

4) Show That You’re Listening – Listening to others is a skill that is often overlooked in our self-centered culture. But, you always need to give your audience the feeling that you’re listening. You can do this via body language such as smiling, shaking your head, making the appropriate emotions with your mouth and also repeating back to them what you think they said in your own words.

5) Keep Your Hands Waist Level – Be aware if you’re doing things with your arms and legs to block your listener’s view. If you’re having meetings over coffee or drinks, for instance, avoid putting the coffee between you and your guest. Avoid continuously lifting the coffee to block the view of your guest when you are talking or they are talking.

6) Mirror the Speaker’s Body Language – One way to show that you are engaged in the conversation is to mirror the body language of the person you are speaking with. This shows that you are paying attention and that you can identify with the position of the speaker.

Mirroring establishes a non-verbal bond and shows that you are sympathetic to the person speaking.

7) Practice at Home – If your default position at home is slouching with your feet up on the table, it just might come out in a work situation where it could hurt your credibility. Practice sitting tall and standing tall so that it becomes second nature to you.

Good body language can make you feel powerful and show that you are in control of your life and where you are going.

Learn about body language and how an open posture sends a message of openness and how a closed posture can send the opposite message. There are times where you may want to use either to put people at ease or to cut them off without saying a word. There is power in understanding body language and how it affects your communication with others.

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Norma Esler
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