Verbal communication, i.e., the words you choose to get your message across is extremely valuable to your success in business (and life). Just as importantly however, (if not more importantly) is non-verbal communication. It is essential to your business success – with body language being perhaps the most important type of non-verbal communication.
Being cognizant of the messages your body language sends out to others is often underestimated, and this underestimation can be an extremely costly business mistake. For example, have you ever left a business meeting certain that you closed the deal, only to find out later that, in fact, you did not get the deal, leaving you feeling confused and upset? You kept thinking to yourself: “what happened? What went wrong? I thought we said all the right things?” Research shows that many times business deals are lost not to what was said in a meeting but to what was not verbally said in a meeting – with the body language of the client often being ignored or overlooked.
To avoid this mistake, read below where I describe the do’s and don’ts of three (3) types of body language postures that will help you develop a more trusting relationship with others that will directly increase your bottom line.
- Standing Posture: The standing posture that sends the message that you are to be taken seriously as a confident, smart business leader is standing straight with your feet planted firmly under your hips and your back firm. Slouching, crossing your ankles or uneven weight on one leg evokes images of a young girl – unconsciously leaving others with the belief that this is a business woman who is not quite sure of herself; therefore, she doesn’t need to be listened to or taken seriously! Bottom line – do not undermine your presence and yourself with poor posture.
- Placement of Hands while Standing: The hand position while standing that evokes leadership, inspiration and influence is one that simply positions your arms alongside your body, with your fingers reaching towards the floor. Many women stand with their hands crossed over their groin; unconsciously sending the message that you’re afraid or of little consequence – diminishing your presence and therefore your message.
- Position of Head while Standing: Whether you are speaking or standing silently, people will be looking at your face – which is, obviously, attached to your head. To send the message that you’re confident and should be taken seriously, your head should be facing forward (not tilted to the side) with your chin slightly thrust forward – unconsciously suggesting to the viewer(s): look at me and hear what I have to say!
In today’s hyper-competitive business world it is important to take advantage of your physical presence via your body language. Utilizing the non-verbal body language tools described above will provide you with an added advantage while interacting with your clients, customers and your competition. Remember – often times what is not spoken is more important to creating the relationship you want than what is said.
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