It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it!
Research has suggested that much of what we communicate to one another is not in the words that we actually say, it is in our body language. That means that, the way that you sit, what you do with your hands, and the subtle movements that you make with your body, could make the difference between success and failure in a job interview, or in a business meeting. Research at Harvard Business School proved that body language is an even bigger factor in who gets a promotion than a person’s qualifications are. So, if you want to get ahead of the game, read these ten body language tricks that will help you get to where you want to go in life.
1. Mirror the other people’s gestures
You have to be careful with this body language tip because, if the guy opposite you has a nervous twitch and you start to mimic him, he’s going to think you are making fun of him, but mirroring a person’s body language shows that you are the same wavelength and that a connection has been made. If he sits back in his chair, or crosses his legs, then you do the same a minute or so later and he will start to feel a connection with you.
2. Sit still
If you are sitting down for an interview, then you should sit upright, but not bolt upright, because you still want to look relaxed. What you definitely don’t want to do is fidget and squirm around in your seat looking like you need an urgent bathroom break. If you fidget, your body language will give the impression that you are nervous, or that you hiding something. Either that or, it will make the interviewer think you have a weak bladder!
3. Practice your handshake
Your handshake should be firm, precise, and you shouldn’t hang on for too long. A limp handshake will make you appear weak, or insincere, and a handshake that makes the other person’s eyes water will just make you look like a show-off.
4. Look them in the eyes
Don’t let your eyes wander around the room, however interesting the wall art may be, because that will make you look bored and not interested in the conversation. Make eye contact with the person and you will come across as being sincere and honest. This is probably one of the most important body language tips that you could learn.
5. Smile, but do it slowly
A smile should be used with caution too, because a fixed grin plastered across your face is going to make you look plain scary and completely insincere, but a smile does make people warm to you and trust you. Body language experts recommend a delayed smiling tactic. If someone smiles at you or they say something amusing, wait a second or two before you smile back. That will give the impression that have thought about what has been said and it will make your smile seem more genuine.
6. Don’t build walls
You should also try to look open and receptive, and folding your arms across your chest is certainly not going to do that. You don’t want to look like a bouncer barring the way into a nightclub, so let your arms and hands hang casually by your side, and don’t put body language obstacles in the way of someone communicating with you.
7. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to express yourself
Using your hands to emphasise a point not only helps you get the message across, it also helps you articulate the point far better. Research has proven that people who use their hands to accentuate their speech speak more clearly and more confidently.
8. Don’t forget what your feet are saying
If you want people to listen to what you are saying and you want them to notice you, turn your whole body toward them, including your feet. If you leave your feet pointing away from the person you are talking to, you are telling them that they are not really welcome and you’d rather that they didn’t talk to you at all.
9. Nod, to get people to agree with you
People unconsciously mimic other people so, as any good salesman will know, if you nod your head and say yes enough times, the other person will follow suit. The other trick that a good sales person will pull is called the sum of the yes’s. They will make you agree with so many small points that they raise that it becomes almost impossible for you to say no to the big question of whether or not you will buy what they are selling you.
10. Lean in and listen
If you lean in towards the person who is speaking to you, that will tell them that you are interested in them and what they have to say. It actually strokes the other person’s ego a bit and makes them feel important. As with all these body language tips, the real trick is to be subtle. If you lean in too far, you will be invading their personal space and that will make them feel threatened.
You may also be interested in: