Body Language Basics

When you first meet someone, whether they are a colleague, acquaintance, or potential friend, body language plays a huge role. When you first shake someone’s hand or observe their stance, you instantly judge them. Limp handshake? Shy. No eye contact? Not confident. In under a second, you can earn yourself an assumption without even saying “hi.” Below are some common body language mistakes to avoid and how to fix them:

No eye contact: Many people make this mistake when speaking to someone. Not being able to maintain steady eye contact signifies uneasiness and projects a feeling of untrustworthiness to others. Good eye contact means that you are interested, engaged and reliable.

Arm crossing: Crossing your arms can come across as defensive or not open to new ideas. Uncrossing your arms will make you seem more open and inviting to acquaintances.

Dressing messy: In the professional arena in general, dressing untidily isn’t recommended by any means. Dressing messily comes across as careless and can be an indicator of how you are as a professional.

Looking at your smartphone: This is a hard one, but glaringly challenging as we as a society become more and more dependent on technology. Checking out your phone while you’re talking to someone is rude and can make someone feel like their conversation is uninteresting.

Clock watching: This is a bad habit of mine. Glancing at the clock every two seconds is distracting and can make people feel as though you are itching to leave and that you have more important places to be.

Are you guilty of any of these? Do you have any more to add? Let us know!

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