Use Body Language To Boost Your Career, Part 1
I have a co-worker named Amy. In meetings, Amy is quiet and reserved. When she speaks, it's soft and deliberate. It's not until you really listen to what she has to say that you realize she's a very smart data analyst. It's too bad that her nonverbal presence belies her knowledge and skill set.
One of the most important, yet most overlooked, aspects of getting ahead is how you project yourself nonverbally or, to put it more succinctly, how astute you are in the art of body language.
Today and tomorrow, Promotional Consultant Today shares these important tips to help you improve your body language in the workplace and effectively advance your career.
Stand Up Tall. Height—or the projection of height—is one of the most basic nonverbal ways to project power and confidence in any room, especially in small groups. Even if you're "vertically challenged," you can still give the impression of being taller than you are. Whenever you're in the office, ensure that your posture is strong: straighten your back, lift your chin and keep your head held high. This demonstrates self-confidence, which translates in the workplace to clear self-assurance in your own abilities.
Dominate The Space Around You. In some scenarios, you can project your height even further by standing to address people when they are sitting down. This plays into the more general concept of dominating the space around you, which again suggests a great deal of self-assurance.
Also, own the space around you. For example, stand-up comedians are at their most effective and engaging when they walk slowly around the stage; it gives the impression that they absolutely own the territory. You can apply this concept, too.
Lower Your Voice. Before you address an important meeting or talk through an appraisal with your boss, go through a few voice exercises to reach your optimum pitch, and don't deviate from it.
Maintain Eye Contact. One example of good nonverbal communication is eye contact. Struggling to look someone in the eye is a widely acknowledged social signal that suggests the person is lying, uncomfortable or generally untrustworthy. Don't take it too far, though: staring intently at someone can be hugely off-putting. Looking your coworkers and your bosses in the eye during conversations is engaging and you will be thought of more positively as a result.
Use Hand Gestures. Being asked to give a presentation or an update on a report, especially to senior management, can be a potentially daunting experience. But it can also be a huge opportunity to make a lasting impression. Instead of standing awkwardly with your hands by your sides, use them to emphasize key points and add weight to your words.
Avoid Nervous Gestures. If you're constantly tapping your foot, twirling your hair or chewing the tip of your pen, then stop. Aside from the fact they are probably driving your colleagues crazy, they also give the impression that you're a nervous individual. Sometimes, you may not even realize you're doing these things, so try to remain conscious of your movements and take practical steps to eradicate your tics.
For more body language tips, read PCT again tomorrow.
Source: Siôn Phillpott has extensive experience in a diverse range of industries, including the health care, 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.