Mastering Body Language

Body language can speak volumes about a person. Learning to master your body language and effectively reading another’s body language is the key to all social interactions. Last time, we mentioned mirroring body language and avoiding negative body language. Here we will discuss in detail what that means.

When talking with someone, look for actions of engagement, such as head nods, forward leans, and eye contact. These are the actions that you want to casually mirror. This will create a more relaxed atmosphere. Smile, but do so genuinely. Fake smiles can be spotted a mile away.

Be conscientious of cues you are being given from the other person and be less focused on the next thing you have to say! Look for disagreement cues such as leaning back, frowning, or looking away. This is a sign that it might be time to spin the wheel of topics. Try redirecting the conversation. If these cues are still present, it might be time to move on.

When engaged in social interactions, distance is key. Standing too close to someone can be an immediate turn-off, resulting in that person stepping back. You may also see tension cues such as face touching or leaning away. Touching someone is never advised during first interactions. Touch, like distance, is very intimate and shows a level of trust that is rarely achieved during a first conversation.

Many people do not know what to do with their hands. The hands can give off unintentional negative cues. To avoid this, keep your hands unclasped and relaxed. Never place them on your hips or cross your arms. These are defensive cues that are not effective in networking.

Body language makes up 55 percent of what we communicate to others. It is essential to business and networking that we are aware of what we are telling others at any given moment.