But speaking up isn’t the only way we communicate. Body language also plays an essential role in our perception in the workplace. How you move and carry yourself often says more about you than how you speak.
So, what can you do to keep your body language in check, whether you’re in the workplace as an employee or participating in an interview? Have a look below:
- Don’t slouch. Aside from being bad for your back, slouching can make you come off as lazy, overworked, or simply apathetic to the situation around you. On top of that, slouching has been shown to affect the chemical composition in our brain, putting a damper on our energy levels. Make sure you’re always aware of how you’re standing or sitting.
- Make consistent eye contact. Eye contact is an essential part of body language. When your boss asks you if you are almost done with a project, looking down while saying yes may come off as distrustful. Making eye contact shows that you are listening to who you’re speaking with, and also shows the ever-important confidence.
- Resist the urge to roll your eyes. This one is a definite no-no. Eye-rolling can be a major sign of disrespect and can cause a lot of trouble if you aren’t careful. Though you may be rolling your eyes at the situation and not the person you are speaking to, they may think otherwise.
- Watch your arms and hands. While there is no real right or wrong way of moving your arms when you speak, we’d suggest shying away from crossing your arms (a sign of defiance), fidgeting (a sign of nervousness), and wide (i.e. flailing) arm/hand movements (a sign of lack of composure). The key to hand/arm movements is to keep them balanced and subtle.
- Have a strong handshake. We’ve all heard the saying that you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake. That being said, we think a lot of people can be a little over the top when it comes to shaking hands. The best approach is to make sure you are making palm-to-palm contact that is firm but no overbearing.
- Smile! This one seems pretty obvious, but it is one that many people tend to miss. When you are speaking with someone, it always important to flash a smile here and there. No only will it ease up the tension of the situation, it also shows that you are approachable.