What Do You Say When You’re Not Talking?
Non-verbal messaging is the foundation of a great image. You want to make sure you’re sending the correct signals with your visual messages. Body language includes posture, facial expression, and gestures.
How you carry your body and the position of the various parts of your body are key elements of body language. Good posture is when the ear, shoulders, and ankles are in alignment. Head is held up, feet spaced 12 to 18 inches apart, and stomach muscles in a state of relaxed tension.
Slouching and shoulders sloped send the message that you might very well be timid and indecisive. In the workplace this indicates to others that you lack leadership skills or potential.
Be sure to send the positive signal that you are interested, full of enthusiasm, and have a receptive attitude. Confident posture is the goal.
Walk to Walk!
Communicate competence and energy with your stride. Walk briskly, light-footed with a little spring in your step. This helps convey the message that you are optimistic and ready for the task at hand. Avoid sending the signal you are disinterested by dragging your feet and shuffling.
Much of what we communicate non-verbally is expressed through facial expressions. Communicate with a warm relaxed smile and make eye contact. Eye contact is a very powerful tool and helps establish rapport. It is said that when we maintain good eye contact it has the added benefit of boosting self-confidence. Avoid looking off into the distance or looking down at the floor. Poor eye contact communicates boredom, nervousness, and lack of confidence.
Gestures are expressive and visible messages we send. Make sure they are contained and not wild. Relaxed hands and palms are the goal. Keep in mind a closed fist transmits disapproval and hostility. We all know that we don’t want to be on the receiving end of a pointed finger. Why? It is perceived as an aggressive statement.
The primary goal of body language is to send appropriate, clear, confident signals.