The Power of Body Language at the Workplace – Are You Conveying it Right?

Often, the growth of your career depends on the impression and impact you’ve created on your superiors, colleagues and subordinates. Navigating this field of perceptions can be quite baffling, especially since every workplace is a melting pot of people having vastly varying cultural backgrounds and social mores. Packaging yourself, your personality, attitude and skills attractively so as to get your words and thoughts across without getting lost in translation is most definitely an acquired art form. The art of body language. It not only supplements the points you’re making but also makes you earn the respect of everyone around you. So, here are some way in which you can use body language to enhance your efficiency, image and rate on return on work –

  1. Never Underestimate the Magic of a Smile!

Having an open, genial and smiling countenance is the first and best rule you can adopt, even in your personal life. When you smile, you instantly appear sweeter and more welcoming. People tend to listen to you more, especially when your smile punctuates your sentences. As a cherry on the cake, a smiling face can even make you get away with accomplishing certain distasteful and ugly tasks (all in a day’s work) without hurting the other person’s feelings and ensuring he doesn’t take it personally or thinks of himself as a failure. Moreover, when you smile, it becomes near impossible to not use polite language as an accompaniment. Thus, your overall attitude automatically becomes more courteous and considerate. This can do wonders to your image as an approachable, reasonable professional.

smile.png

2.  Power Pose Builds Your Confidence

Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, “high-power” poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone—the hormone linked to power and dominance—and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Try this when you’re feeling tentative but want to appear confident. In addition to causing hormonal shifts in both males and females, these poses lead to increased feelings of power and a higher tolerance for risk. The study also found that people are more often influenced by how they feel about you than by what you’re saying.

power pose.png

3. Pitch it Right

 In the workplace, the quality of your voice can be a deciding factor in how you are perceived. Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less empathetic, less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices. Thus, lower your pitch if you want people to listen to you. Practicing speech exercises, especially the ones helping with guttural voices can relax your voice into its optimal pitch. This is especially helpful before you get on an important phone call – where the sound of your voice is so critical.

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  4. Look ‘Em In the Eye

You may be an introvert, you may be shy, or your cultural background may have taught you that extended eye contact with a superior is not appropriate, but business people from almost every part of the world will expect you to maintain eye contact 50-60% of the time. Rather, lack of eye contact is considered a sign of evasiveness, dishonesty and cunning. Here’s a simple technique to improve eye contact: Whenever you greet a business colleague, look into his or her eyes long enough to notice what color they are.

eye contact

5. Shake Hands for an Instant Connection

Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. A study on handshakes by the Income Center for Trade Shows showed that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. The trade show researchers also found that people react to those with whom they shake hands by being more open and friendly. However, ensure that your handshake is neither too firm (showing a dominating nature) or too light (showing weakness)..Use just the right amount of pressure to be firm, brief and formal.

handshake

 

For more professional and networking skills as well as all career-related advise, visit lawskills.in

This article has been authored by Varnika Jain from Team LawSkills. 

 

Categories: Careers

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