“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter F. Drucker
What do you understand about this quote?
Body language plays a huge role in the business world. It is considered an arena of unspoken language. Many believe that it is not our spoken words that are the loudest, but rather the language of our bodies as we communicate. From listening to a business proposal to attending an annual board meeting, your body language illustrates your confidence, your commitment, and your intentions more than you may be aware.
In casual and formal communications, body language is known to have a significant impact on the way we perceive others and the way others perceive us. It is something that you can use to your advantage, and as a part of a communication strategy as you interact with clients, colleagues, employees, loved ones and so on. In psychology, body language is referred to as non-verbal cues. If you want to be perceived as confident and assertive, then a straight back is a must. Be highly attuned to your posture.
Your facial expression also speaks to a room. A big smile and eye contact shows a friendly and outgoing personality. A frown and crossed arms warns people not to talk to you. The best thing to do is to mirror the facial expressions of the other person you are speaking to. If they are serious and speaking about a serious subject, then maintain a somber demeanour to show them that you are on the same page as them. If someone is telling you a funny story, take cues from the pitch of their voice to know when you should and shouldn’t laugh.
The topic of eye contact can be a controversial one, depending on where you are from and your culture. The West believes that eye contact signifies respect and undivided attention, but not to the extent where you make someone feel uncomfortable. Don’t stare.
A handshake can also create perceptions about you. Many business experts agree that a handshake reveals a lot about a person. For example, people with firm and confident handshakes are deemed to be more outgoing and positive people—the kind that others want to work with. On the other hand, a limp handshake signals to the other person that you are nervous, uncertain, or uninvolved. A limp handshake can be particularly detrimental to your career.