Are you saying what you think you’re saying? The messages you may be giving off with body language.
You may think of yourself as a confident and friendly person, and anyone who really knows you might say the same. However, if you’re slouching, avoiding eye contact, and looking down, someone who is meeting you for the first time may perceive you in a completely different way. This is the power of body language. By now you may be thinking, so what? Is body language really that important? The answer: absolutely! Most of what human communication is nonverbal. This means people who are meeting you for the first time, such as potential employers, may get an impression of you before you even have a chance to speak. The question is, is your body language giving off the impression you want? Let’s take a look at some of the key aspects of body language, and talk about if it may be time to adjust what your body is saying about you.
Negative Body Language: Some signs you may not be putting your best foot forward.
- Avoiding eye contact.
Making direct eye contact may feel a little scary, but it’s extremely important. A lack of eye contact gives off the impression of nervousness, a lack of confidence, and even dishonesty. Eye contact is especially important during an interview with potential employers, as confidence and honesty are some of the main points employers look for!
Poor posture results in poor body language! Slouching tells the people you may be lacking in confidence, or are uninterested/bored in what’s going on. Although slouching is something many of us do without realizing it, it’s important to make a conscious effort to sit up straight, especially when trying to give off a good impression.
- Crossed arms.
You may not be aware, but crossing your arms creates an invisible barrier between you and the person you’re speaking with. This sends the message that you are closed off or unwelcoming. Avoid this kind of negative body talk by keeping your hands to one side, or on the other hand. This will indicate friendliness and openness.
- Checking your phone or watch.
While you may just be checking the time, you may be giving off the impression that you’re bored, anxious, or too busy thinking about what’s going on next to really focus on the person you’re speaking with. Break this habit by refraining from checking your watch during interviews, and make sure you cell phone is turned off and put away.
For more signs of negative body language, check out the link below.
Positive Body Language: Ways you can give off the right impression for success.
- Give a firm, (non-crushing) handshake.
Handshakes are one of the most important forms of communication during a first impression. It sets the tone for the rest of the conversation, and reveals confidence. Just be sure not to crush or pull someone’s hand, as this may reveal bullying or an attempt at intimidation.
- Slow down your speech.
Interviews can be nerve wracking, and your speech may speed up without you even knowing. Take a big, deep breath and slowly let it all out. Focus on slowing down your speech. It will calm you down, and give off a stronger sense of confidence.
- Give affirming movements.
Nodding your head or smiling are affirming actions that show you’re engaged in the conversation, and you understand what is being said. Just be sure not to nod too frequently, as this may reveal a lack of confidence.
This may be one that is unfamiliar to most people, but leaning in slightly when someone talks reveals active listening skills, and shows engagement and interest in the conversation. On the flip side, leaning away gives off the opposite impression. Leaning away from the speaker reveals hostility or a lack of interest.
For more positive body language tips, check out the link below!
The right body language may be hard at first, but just remember to be alert and aware of your actions. With practice, you’ll be revealing the incredible person you the moment you walk in the room!
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