Exuding authority often comes easier to men than women, but those same behaviors can also be a liability in collaborative work environments, writes Carol Kinsey Goman, author of The Nonverbal Advantage: Body Language at Work.
She shares five body language mistakes and tips on how to avoid them.
1. Keeping a “poker face.” It’s not only acceptable to show emotion when you’re communicating with your colleagues, it makes you more effective on the job.
2. Not appearing to be listening. Increase your eye contact with all members of your team to send signals of inclusiveness and warmth.
3. Lacking empathy. The next time someone comes to you with an emotional problem, try being an empathetic sounding board rather than a problem-solver.
4. Infringing on other people’s physical space. You can tell if you have infringed on people’s space if they step away, withdraw their head or neck, angle their shoulders away, or place an object between the two of you.
5. Making intimidating faces. An encouraging smile can go a long way if your goal is to energize your team and stimulate dialogue.
— Adapted from “Body Language Mistakes that Male Leaders Make,” Carol Kinsey Goman, Forbes.com.