How Body Language Can Boost Your Career, Part 2

One of my co-workers has a terrible habit: she bites her nails. When we are in client meetings and she is in deep thought, I see her chewing away. She's probably not even aware she's doing it, but this behavior weakens her image and lessens her clout and influence.

Body language is central to first impressions, and it also says a lot about you in your day-to-day working environment. Therefore, it's important to understand the various subtleties involved and how you can exploit them to stand out from the crowd.

Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today shared six body language tips to command presence and make a good first impression. Today, we share more tips to put into practice from Siôn Phillpott, a contributor to the career advice blog, CareerAddict.

1. Smile. By smiling at everyone including your bosses, your colleagues, the receptionist, the cleaner and your clients you put yourself in a more positive frame of mind, which is then reflected in your work and your general demeanor. Aside from making you appear more likeable and trustworthy, it also has the rather obvious benefit of conveying that you are happy. This can suggest to your bosses that you enjoy being at the company and that you take pride in the work that you do. Even when there are deadlines looming and pressure from above, always remember to smile.

2. Shake Hands Properly. A handshake is one of the most common and basic social interactions in the world, but it's also one of the most telling signs about a person. What constitutes the perfect greeting is the subject of much debate, but one thing that's abundantly clear is that nobody enjoys a limp handshake. Handshakes should be firm but brief. Use the handshake as an opportunity to make a good initial impression.

3. Own Your Facial Expressions. We are not always necessarily aware of our facial expressions. Sometimes we can look mad or "put off" without realizing it. Pretending to look interested during a particularly dull report will undoubtedly serve you well, but the real professionals are able to take things a step further. President Trump, for example, uses over-the-top expressions to communicate disbelief or disagreement with opponents, utilizing the concept to raise the same doubts in the minds of others. Consider this technique during negotiations or particularly heated meetings. A simple raise of the eyebrow or a brief glare can communicate a lot to the other side of the table.

4. Walk With Swagger. If you want to project self-assurance, then your walk requires a certain element of swagger. People are drawn towards sureness and poise, so carry yourself in a manner that suggests you're confident and ready to take the bull by the horns. This can be done in a subtle and professional way.

5. Always Give Your Full Attention. If someone is talking to you, avoid the temptation to read that text message you just received or the email that just popped up. Even if you're the best multitasker in the world, it's disrespectful. Show that you are giving people your full attention by sitting towards them; ideally, your feet should be pointing at your subject. Don't slouch or rest your head on your hand, either; sit up and lean forward, as if you were in an interview.

As you can see, your body language says a lot more about you than you might imagine and in the business world, it can mean the difference between moving up or moving out.

Source: Siôn Phillpott has extensive experience in a diverse range of industries, including the healthcare, digital marketing and professional services sectors; he writes with authority on a variety of topics and is currently focused on producing well-researched, high-quality content for CareerAddict.

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