The words people use form just seven percent of communication and the rest depends on body language, which according to several studies, is very essential in the workplace. Many have pointed out that even President Obama use controlled and careful movements when he gives speeches and conducts talks. Body language is essential for providing the right impression to a new boss or for closing a sale. Entrepreneurs should also be aware of how much body language could affect their business.
The basics of body language
According to experts, body language is not just about body movements. It is a combination of things, not only the verbal one, but also the hand gestures and the tone of your voice. Annette Kramer, a body language coach in the UK says that it is all about engaging with people and listening to what others have to say. Body language is connected to your feelings and when you are genuine and you believe in what you are saying, it is easy to engage people.
London School of Economics assistant professor of management, Dr. Connson Locke said that during a presentation or a crucial business pitch, a power pose is recommended. Amy Cuddy from the Harvard Business School has been doing research on power posing. The associate professor of business administration has found out that the participants in her study who used the power pose during their mock job interview sessions did better and showed high probabilities of getting hired.
Dr. Locke recommends that before going in front of an audience, the speaker should go to the bathroom, stand still with arms stretched out and occupying as much space as one can in the room. Professor Cuddy said her research showed that this particular pose elevates testosterone levels while decreasing the level of cortisol, which is a stress-related hormone. Testosterone, on the other hand is a confidence booster for men and women.
The researches have also mentioned that first impressions do count, and it is one of the initial things that help people decide whether someone is trustworthy or not. Within that very short time frame, a person’s body language does most of the talking. It is the thing that people will look for to judge you, since they do not know you.
A confident voice, eye contact and standing up straight are essential when making first impressions, according to Dr. Locke. Playing with your hair, rubbing your face or playing with a pen are just some of the repetitive actions that convey nervousness. Stillness in your voice and your body, and using strategic pauses while speaking show confidence. Stand openly, with your shoulders back so that your breathing is not constrained, according to John McLachlan, a trainer in neuro-linguistic programming. While you can use your hands when talking, it is best not to overdo it. He cited President Obama’s use of rounded gestures that indicate that he is open, he wants to be clear about what he’s saying and that he is thinking.
Body language should be adapted to the situation. If you want to win people over, you should not appear intimidating. Lean forward, appear vulnerable if needed and learn to listen as well.