Body Language for Business

In business, how we do things is almost as important as what we do. And one element of how we do things is how we act - how we physically use our body to achieve our goals and targets.

It is shown that communication is in large part done through our body language, when we communicate in person. Therefore we need to give visual clues that correspond to and support the words that come out of our mouth. Not doing so creates a disconnect or so called mis-match which will confuse others.

A good awareness of body language is important to get the right reaction and encourage good relations.

You should try to adopt warm and open postures all the time.

Avoid crossing your legs, hugging your body or in any way making your body size smaller than it is. This is negative body language. Also try to remove any tension in your body.

Shake hands firmly, walk tall and do not slouch. Do not scratch your nose if you can help it - apparently people often scratch their nose when lying!

Try to maintain good eye contact, and when talking use expressive open palms. Do not fold your arms across your body which is another closed gesture.

Use hands and arms to support what you say but do not overdo it. When listening, do not support your head with your chin - this implies boredom.

Above all, smile and appear enthusiastic and your body language will naturally match.

Over time, observe the body language of your colleagues. Do bosses and managers show different body language to others? Quite possibly - for instance a pat on the back or arm around the shoulder is a sign of dominance naturally exhibited by many leaders.