Professional success comes from more than our work ethic and expertise; we also have to learn how to connect meaningfully with our clients and colleagues alike. While we may put a lot of thought into what we’ll talk about, what we’ll wear, and where we’ll meet in our pursuit of successful communication, we also want to keep in mind the following three body-language tips that can improve our daily interactions:
- Look Them in The Eye: When we make eye contact, we convey we are listening and that we respect and are genuinely interested in our colleague or client. Eye contact as a habit may not come easily at first; start by maintaining four to five seconds of contact at a time. Many of us, when we feel nervous, may also start to blink more frequently than usual. When this happens, take a deep breath! Over-blinking, as well as over-staring, can be disconcerting for people looking at you. To help you grow more comfortable with eye contact, focus your eyes in the middle of the other person’s forehead.
- What Your Posture Says: Depending on the setting, you may want to consider adjusting your posture in order to convey a different message to your audience. For example, if you are giving a presentation or greeting, it can benefit you to project comfort and confidence by maintaining a straight back, broad shoulders, and a stable stance. If you are in a more relaxed conversation, however, or sitting across a desk from someone, consider softening your posture, and leaning in, to convey your interest and make yourself less intimidating and more welcoming. If you tend to slouch or shrink into your body, you may be conveying a more doubtful tone than you realize.
- Read and Respond: In addition to your using your own body in a meaningful way, be sure to also observe the other person’s body language. This will give you a better idea of their reception of what you have to say. Consider mirroring the other person’s posture and energy to make them feel understood and comfortable. Their body language may also be conveying something other than what their words are telling you. For example, they may be saying they are happy and stress free, while their slouch and nervous-ticks are telling you that they could, in fact, possibly use your help.
Professional excellence and achievement takes time. If you can add and improve these habits, with practice, you will be making major personal and professional strides with each new conversation. To learn more ways to make meaningful professional change, visit the Syncis blog at www.syncis.com/blog/.