What Does Your Body Language Say About You?
In the last conversation that you had with someone, what do you remember most about it? For most people, what they remember more than the words that were spoken were the non-verbal cues that the other person’s body language was communicating to them. Our non-verbal communication puts a direct reflection that is positive or negative into the words that are being said. We could be speaking of something fun and enjoyable, but if our body language is closed off and defensive, people will remember that we hated what we talked about – not that we enjoyed it.
If you find that people are struggling to engage in a conversation with you, try using these non-verbal cues to improve that conversation.
Engage people in a natural way.
Have you ever noticed how someone who speaks with their hands a lot can actually engage a lot of people in a simple conversation? When people use their hands to talk and look people who are participating in a conversation directly in the eyes, it creates a communication dynamic that allows more information to be accurately conveyed back and forth.
Keep those arms uncrossed and your body language open.
If you have your arms crossed, you’re communicating to people that you don’t really want to talk to them. This effect is amplified if you turn your body to one side as you’re speaking to them. Try picking a comfortable position, like your hands in your pockets, and turn toward the people with whom you’re having a conversation. This creates an open dynamic that encourages positive energy instead of negative energy.
Vary your gestures throughout a long conversation.
If you happen to do the same thing over and over again with your body language, people will get bored. It’s just like saying the same sentence over and over again! If you can vary the various gestures that you utilize when you are speaking with others, you’ll be able to keep their attention engaged more. This, in turn, means more information will be retained.
Don’t be afraid to just point at stuff.
If you really want to make a dramatic point with some emphasis, there is nothing more effective than pointing at the visuals that you want people to recognize. People point to communicate from a very young age and by pointing, what you’re really saying is “Pay attention right now because this is one of the most important things I’m going to say.” That’s why people will listen more.
Negative gestures will create negative attitudes.
If you get a difficult question, you’ll immediately put someone off if you shake your head, frown, or use some other negatively-inspired gesture. Take a deep breath instead so that you can gather your thoughts, then make sure you smile, nod, and use other positive body language indicators. This will communicate to people that you care about their opinion, you’ve listened to what they have to say, and you’re simply offering a different idea.
Could your body language be keeping you from achieving the success you believe you deserve? Take a look at what your body language happens to be in the next conversation you have. Then use these tips to create a more positive impression!