Body Language Mistakes to Avoid

body language

Maybe you can lie with a straight face or have a good poker face. Perhaps you can stifle an ill-timed laugh or change a blank stare into a period of deep thought. Research has shown that we all rely on body language more that facial expressions to identify emotions.

Body language is a nonverbal form of communication, where thoughts, intentions, or feelings are expressed by physical behaviors, such as facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space.

From eye contact to posture to the way you fix your hair, avoid these physical slip-ups when talking to a client, team member or on a job interview.  Here are a few body language techniques to be aware of to avoid sabotaging a job interview or sales pitch.

Be aware of the direction your feet are pointed – Don’t only focus on the on your facial expression and upper body, but take note of how you point your feet. You might be looking and facing a person but when you feet are facing another direction, all it means is that you have checked out of the conversation.

Be aware of your posture – Leaning back is a sign of laziness and arrogance. while leaning forward is a sure sign of aggression. Try taking on a neutral position.

Avoid crossing your legs, arms, or feet – When you do this, all it means is that have mentally closed off to the conversation. Crossing your arms only shows that your are either distant, insecure , defensive, or stubbornness. When you talk to a person or group of people you must try signal open communication and participation.

Never break eye contact – Most people feel uncomfortable holding eye contact once a connection has been created. Avoid staring but hold eye contact.

Never forget to nod – Nodding your head is a universally accepted sign of encouragements and acceptance and improve collaboration. This is especially true when trying to ask a shy person to take part. Positive mirroring gestures and body language are sure signs of increased creativity and problem solving.

Stop fidgeting – Fidgeting is sure sign of nervous energy and will distract from the conversation.

Don’t shift your eyes – When you look upwards can be sure sign that you are lying or not confident and sure about what you are talking about. Look directly into the eyes and show you are confident.

Refrain from a power poses – Stretching out your limbs or chest to make yourself seem larger is the perfect way to pump yourself up before an interview or public speaking event. However don’t do this in public. Power posing can stifle participation. Rather lean in towards others while speaking to signal that you are interested in the conversation.

Avoid looking uninterested or too intensely – It is fairly obvious that ignoring someone will make that person feel ignored. Don’t read an email while talking to someone or view messages on your cellphone during a conversation. All this will say to the other person is that you basically ignoring and unstressed in them and what they have to say. Put done your laptop or phone and make eye contact.


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