Although you may know much in your personal or professional area, your knowledge will be useless if you do not know how to share it with others. And it’s not just about the words you use. This refers also to non-verbal communication or body language that is an essential part of any social situation.
Here are ten secrets of body language and tips on how to use your body language to communicate your ideas more successfully.
1. Eye Contact
In any culture, eye contact is one of the most important aspects when dealing with other people, especially when we meet someone for the first time. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest.
An eye contact that lasts longer than usual will make the other person feel that you are pushy or intimidating. The one that is shorter than usual may be regarded as a loss of interest.
Take a good posture and you will automatically feel better. Next time you notice that you are feeling down, look at how you are sitting or standing. Most likely, you slouch and your shoulders and head are down. This compresses the breast and prevents proper breathing, which makes you feel anxious and restless.
Good posture should be easy and relaxing for your spine, and there should be no tension in the muscles. Imagine a thin trickle slowly running up your spine.
The position of the head plays an important role, too. When you want to feel confident, keep your head straight, both horizontally and vertically. Thus, you will look authoritative in front of others so that they take you and what you say seriously.
One of the most interesting secrets of body language is to tilt your head in any direction when you want to look friendly. You can change the inclination of the head during the conversation. Don’t forget to nod as well to show that you’re interested.
Our hand movements allow other people to understand how open and receptive we are. Keep your arms relaxed at the sides of your body or behind your back. It will say that you are not afraid of contact and are open to any information.
In general, the more open you are, the more you tend to use your hands when speaking. If you want to express your positive attitude to a person, do not cross your arms, because it shows disapproval and negativity.
Legs are the farthest from the brain and, therefore, are the most difficult to control. They tend to move much more when we are nervous or confused. In most situations, especially in interviews and workshops, it is better to keep them as motionless as possible.
Also, pay attention to how you cross your legs. Do you cross your legs at your knees, ankles, or put one leg on the other? It’s more a matter of comfort than anything else. Just be aware that the last-mentioned position is generally perceived as the most defensive.
6. The orientation of the body
The orientation of your body gives an idea of your views and feelings about others. We naturally turn to people we find attractive, friendly, and interesting, and turn away from those we don’t like.
The face-to-face position can be adversarial in nature, just like in a chess game. In situations that might cause tension or stress, it is better to approach gently from the side, rather than from the front. This is one of the most important secrets of body language when it comes to dealing with conflict.
Palm gestures are so numerous that it is very difficult to give even a brief reference. Palms upward and outward are regarded as openness and friendliness. Gestures pointing down usually regarded as dominant and possibly aggressive.
The position of the palm is especially important when it comes to shaking hands. Where appropriate, you have to offer a handshake when meeting new people. Palms should be vertical, which implies a sense of equality among people.
Distance is very important if you want to make a good impression on someone. When you are standing or sitting too close to the other person, it can be regarded as insolence and impudence, if too far – you may seem arrogant or stiff.
Next time you are in any group of people, watch what distance they all are from each other. If you come close to someone, and he or she walks away, it is likely that you have violated their comfort zone.
The movement of your mouth can express any feelings that you experience. We compress or bite our lips when contemplating, or hiding laugh or anger that we do not want to show.
However, these movements are noticed by other people, and although they may not know what you are thinking about, they may feel that you are not happy.
Also, there are different types of smiles, and each of them conveys the appropriate sense. A sincere smile bares your teeth, lifts cheeks, and wrinkles the corners of your eyes.
Your ears are also important, although in most cases, people can’t really move them. However, since you have two ears and only one mouth, try to use them in the same ratio. If you listen twice as much as you speak, then you are likely to seem a good conversationalist who knows how to have a balanced conversation.
Use these secrets of body language wisely and practice these simple ways to improve your communication skills. Very soon, you’ll reap the rewards in your personal and professional life. People will find you a lovely, open, and professional person.
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Maintaining eye contact doesn’t show respect in all cultures. In fact, in East Asian cultures, maintaining eye contact with an authority figure is a serious sign of disrespect.