Your body language communicates more about you than you think. Whether it’s helping you appear confident, landing a promotion or encouraging agreement, body language can be a great ally or enemy in your career.
Here are six ways to make your body language work for you, from author and body language expert Carol Kinsey Goman.
- Engage to encourage agreement. Use engaged body language to communicate that you are open and receptive to the discussion. Do this by nodding, smiling and turning your attention toward the speaker.
- Smile to reduce stress. If you’re engaged in a task that isn’t very pleasurable, try smiling. This technique tricks your brain into thinking that you’re enjoying what you’re doing. The opposite is also true: Frowning signals stress to your brain.
- Open up to be approachable. That means don’t stand still with your arms folded or with your head down. Take a comfortable stance, walk around the room or offer your business card or a beverage.
- Communicate strength with a steady stance. Sturdy, strong, calm, contained and clear: These describe a powerful, authoritative stance. Overexcitement and jitteriness communicate weakness. Show authority and strength by taking a deep breath and centering yourself.
- Consider position. In the face of conflict, your distance and direction from others play a large role in how the situation will unfold. Show the other person you care to hear her by positioning yourself next to her and giving her your full attention.
- Clear communication blockers. You want your communication to be clear, not only metaphorically but also physically. You should remove objects that obstruct your view of the person you’re communicating with. Be aware of using comfort objects such as pens, coffee cups or phones as a means to create distance between you and the other person.
— Adapted from “10 Simple Body Language Tricks That Will Do Wonders For Your Career,” Carol Kinsey Goman, Brazen Careerist’s Brazen Life blog.