Behold Alexa.. sitting as elegantly as ever. I recently read an entertaining article on the way our body language affects the impression we make on others, far more than our words may speak. You may all have been told the saying that Actions speak louder than words. It couldn’t be more true. Nonverbal communication speaks for itself and can often show what we are thinking, feeling and doing. It’s spoken globally and there is no hiding from it. Have you ever observed the way one talks, walks, speaks? Or have you sat in a library or airport and quietly people watched, being intrigued by the way people simply move?
Body language is universal, and can often be approached differently in cultures. Many researchers say that body language make up a significant percentage of direct communication. I’m not entirely sure how much accuracy that has, but through talking to others, I definitely feel the influence it has. Our facial expressions and body language speaks a lot for itself. Here are the basic understanding of body language, so to speak..
Eye Contact – Our eyes speak a lot about our emotions and thoughts. Especially in a group situation, making eye contact with every person is important, in making sure every individual is included. Through talking with people, I noticed that many people stray from making eye contact. However, maintaining good eye contact is important in staying friendly, engaged and professional, as well as showing respect for the individual. Good eye contact is when we make someone comfortable and at ease like a friend, rather than staring at an opponent on a field or letting a cloud glaze pass.
Posture – Let’s get one thing straight.. and that is, I probably have terrible posture. I am trying to be more conscious of it now and hopefully if I come across this article in two years it will have improved numerously, but realising how important posture is vital. Not only does it make sure you don’t develop a gradual headache and helps you improve your structure – it shows professionalism, interest and engagement. Good posture shows confidence, alertness and an awareness of your surroundings.
Smiling – You can always feel a genuine smile. It’s the one where the eyes light up and the muscles on the face are relaxed. Naturally, happy. Smiling is one of the most relatable body gesture, because not only does it make us feel good – it’s contagious! It can signify honesty and trust, and not to mention build friendships and connections. However, you can also sense much quicker a smile that is forced. It can show a form of reluctance and can also show immediately if a person is not interested.
Body Touch – Whether that is a handshake, friendly hug or a pat on the back, it can signify different things. Of course, it’s best not to overthink ones body language, but simple gestures can speak a lot. A comfortable firm handshake is good, where as a cold, loose or even sweaty handshake is one you won’t be able to forget. A hug can be warm and make you feel happy, where as an awkward hug is one you won’t be able to forget. Simple gestures can also show how a person feels about you and can also show simple characteristics of themselves. My favourite is people who love to give you a big hug when they see you – who doesn’t love a warm hug?
Most of the time we are unconscious of our body language. However, in some essence it is healthy to be aware of certain factors. Whether it can affect an interview, a relationship or a business partner – there is no hiding from body language. People are much more sensitive towards body language than we may even be aware of. Our judgment of ones thoughts and character are heightened through the actions one takes. And to wrap it up, here is a quote divulging on body language: The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said. – Peter F. Drucker ..Touché my friend.