How To Improve Your Body Language At Work

White Board Meeting OfficeMost of what we present of ourselves to the world is not with our voice. Certainly the words we speak carry weight. It’s often the things we give the least through to that could hit home with someone.

But it seems that what really sticks with people is the non-verbal. The body language we present to others. Most animals in the world communicate more with non-verbal than with verbal. They use their different senses to take note of what’s going on around them and how to react.

I enjoy spending time in the woods. We have a lot of whitetail deer here in Wisconsin. I like watching how they interact with each other. They certainly have verbal communication. But what’s really fascinating is their body language. How a young fawn can pick up on its mother’s body language in a certain situation.

Humans are the same way. Body language is important in just about every scenario we face. It’s very important in work environments.

Do you feel that you’re giving off the wrong vibes at work?

Here are a few thoughts that may help.

1. Model Those You Admire

Work is a great setting for learning from others. Coworkers, vendors, just about anyone you come into contact with is someone you can learn from. Not just about work and success, but also about their communication skills. Start focusing on those you look up to and admire. Focus on their non-verbal communication. The way they move. The way they sit and stand when they’re with others. Begin modeling their behavior so it becomes comfortable for you. It will seem strange and uncomfortable at first, but the more you do it the better you’ll become and you should see others reacting differently to you.

2. Learn What Turns You Off About Others

While you’re observing the non-verbal skills of those around you, focus on those that you don’t really admire. Maybe they annoy you. Maybe they aren’t doin good work. It could be that part of the issue is that they struggle with non-verbal communication. See what they’re doing. See how they act in certain situations that really turn you off. It’s good to learn what not to do as much as it’s good to learn what is good.

3. Find Your Confidence

Confidence is very important when it comes to non-verbal communication. Others can tell when you’re feeling confident. It’s an attraction. Not just romantically, but for many reasons. We like being around those that have an appropriate level of confidence. Think about times you’ve been confident. Try to find hobbies or skills at work that make you confidence. Do those things when you’re feeling like you need a little boost.

4. Focus On Eye Contact For Better Listening

Eye contact is really important. It’s something I struggle with. It could be related to confidence for some people. I’ve wondered if it has to do with introversion. People tend to wear me out after awhile. I’ve found that avoiding eye contact helps me to keep my energy levels up a bit. But I realize that it can have a lot of negative effects. So I need to focus on eye contact to show others that I care about what they’re saying. People want to be heard. Show them you’re listening and they’ll lean into the conversation.

5. Practice Appropriate Spacing

Spacing is key for interaction with others. Get too far away and it seems awkward. Get too close and the same is true. Some seem to have a natural feel for appropriate spacing. Others have to work a bit at it. Modeling others can be a good thing, but really it’s practicing. If you feel others stepping away, listen to their cues. Try to get a handle on each situation so you learn what works and what gets other engaged.

Final Thoughts

Non-verbal communication, body language, is important in work environments. If you’re getting the vibe from others that they’re not comfortable with you it could be a body language issue. There are things you can practice. There are things you can learn about yourself that bring out confidence. It’s worth the effort to investigate because making connections with others is important. Especially with our work.

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