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How to use body language at work

This article is more than 12 months old

When it comes to communication at the workplace, body language counts a lot more than speaking the right words.

It was Professor Albert Mehrabian, an American psychology professor, who first introduced the 7-38-55 concept.

In his book Nonverbal Communication, he stated that communication is made up of 7 per cent of the actual word choice, 38 per cent tone of voice, and 55 per cent body language.

This means that no matter how hard you try to convince the boss about your great ideas, if the way you present yourself is unprofessional, you may end up going nowhere.

On the other hand, if you use body language properly, it can help you level up for greater success at work.

Here are some tips:

Maintain eye contact

Maintaining eye contact is good to emphasise that you are honest, reliable, attentive, and powerful.

Put on a genuine smile

Everyone will agree that a genuine smile is the key in building every relationship.

Even the slightest smile will make you look approachable, friendly and open, like a trustworthy person.

Practise firm handshake

Touching someone's hand or shoulder is a great way to create a bond and build a relationship.

When you are introduced to someone new in the workplace, make sure to give them a firm and assuring handshake.

Avoid fidgeting too much

It is normal to feel nervous or worried.

The trick is not to show it too much. Avoid fidgeting or behaviour such as twirling your hair, playing with your tie, or knocking your feet together.

Pay attention to your facial expressions

Your mouth may say "yes", but if your facial expression is awkward, people will never believe in you.

Be it happy, sad, confused, angry, bored, or scared, the expression on your face is easily noticed by other people.

Hence, it is a crucial ability to manage your facial expression.

Be professional and put on suitable facial expressions for the situations you are dealing with.

Walk confidently

If you tend to look down when walking, you have to fix this bad habit soon.

Avoid stomping your feet too.

All you need to do is straighten up your back, look ahead, and walk casually.

Use your hands when talking

You might have seen it a lot on television, the Internet, or in meetings.

When delivering a speech or explaining their ideas, leaders usually move and wave their hands around.

This gesture is useful in helping you convey your thoughts clearly and descriptions to the audience.

Article contributed by TBC HR Consulting (