Did you know that nonverbal communication makes up over half of our communication? That’s a pretty significant statistic!
In the workplace, it’s especially important to be aware of the body language you’re sending out. Poor body language can lead to misunderstandings, resentment, and conflict.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of body language in communication and how you can use it to your advantage in the workplace with colleagues and customers.
Understanding the importance of body language in the workplace?
Your body language plays a significant role in your daily communication. It can send out nonverbal messages that either support or contradict your verbal messages.
In order to use your body language to your advantage in the workplace, you need to understand what nonverbal communication is and how it works.
Your body language consists of all the nonverbal signals you send out through your posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact.
When we communicate, our brains are constantly trying to make sense of the verbal and nonverbal messages we’re receiving. This means that nonverbal messages can be just as powerful, and sometimes even more powerful, than the language you use.
Benefits of using nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication can be used to your advantage at work. It can help you:
- Show interest and engagement in conversations
- Build rapport with colleagues and customers
- Show dominance or power
- Display confidence and build trust
- Express your emotions
- Project a professional Image
- Close more sales and generate more revenue
- Become a better communicator overall
In the workplace, it’s important to project a professional image. This means sending out nonverbal messages that show that you have the competencies and skills required for the job. One of the best ways to do this is through positive body language!
Examples of body language at work
If you say “I’m sorry,” but your body is tense and closed off, the nonverbal signals will not match your verbal message. As a result, the person you’re communicating with may not believe that you’re offering a genuine apology.
On the other hand, if you say “I’m sorry” with an open posture and genuine expression on your face, the nonverbal message will reinforce the verbal message. In this scenario, the other person will see that you are truly sorry for what happened.
This is why it’s so powerful to be aware of the nonverbal signals you’re sending out when communicating with others at work. Being aware of the importance of nonverbal communication will also help you interpret others’ body language and better understand their intentions.
Tips for using body language to your advantage in the workplace
Now that we covered how important body language is in communication, let’s discuss some specific ways you can use it to your advantage in the workplace.
Be aware of your posture
If you’re sitting or standing with poor posture, it will send out the message that you’re not interested in what the other person is saying or that you’re feeling defensive or tense. If you want to show engagement, avoid slouching and leaning away.
Sit up straight, keep your shoulders back, and lean slightly forward to show interest. This will show that you’re interested and focused on the conversation. Showing interest helps to build rapport and make the other person feel heard.
Be conscious of your facial expressions
Your facial expressions play a big role in your communication. If you’re not feeling happy, excited, or interested in what the other person is saying, it’ll show on your face.
Be conscious of the expressions you’re making and try to match them with the tone of your voice. For example, if you want to sound positive but you have a frown on your face, the person you’re talking to will probably pick up on that dissonance and may not trust your words.
On the other hand, if you’re sharing some negative news, but your facial expressions don’t show empathy, the other person may feel like you don’t care. Learning about the importance of body language in communication will help you become more aware of your facial expressions and how others perceive you.
Want to learn how to build trust with your colleagues? Listen to this audio tutorial to learn more!
Use gestures to emphasize points
When making a point, use hand gestures to emphasize your message. This will help the person you’re talking to understand what you’re trying to say.
Be aware of the type of gesture you’re using and make sure it’s appropriate for the situation.
Avoid using too many hand gestures or making sudden movements, as they can be seen as distracting or aggressive.
Pay attention to your stance
Your feet can give away a lot of information about how you’re feeling!
If you’re standing with your feet spread apart, it may send the message that you’re feeling dominant or aggressive. If you have your feet crossed, it may send the message that you’re closed off or uninterested.
Also, the direction you’re facing can give away a lot of information. If you’re turned sideways or towards the exit, it may indicate that you’re not interested in what the other person is saying and wish to leave.
On the contrary, if you’re turned towards the person, it shows that you’re paying attention to what they have to say. This is why the importance of body language in communication should never be underestimated!
Be careful not to jump to conclusions
Keep in mind that body language can vary from culture to culture. What may be seen as a positive gesture in one culture could be perceived as negative or offensive in another. It’s important to be aware of cultural differences and adjust your body language accordingly.
Also, be careful not to jump to conclusions and always give the other person the benefit of the doubt.
For example, if you see someone leaning away from you, it does not necessarily mean that they’re uninterested in what you’re saying. They may be uncomfortable with personal space.
So before you start making assumptions, put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to understand their perspective. Pay attention to their body language, tone, and verbal messages to get a more holistic understanding of their communication.
Importance of body language in communication at work
The bottom line is that body language is a major part of communication. It should be considered when you want to build positive relationships with colleagues, sell products or services, or make a good impression on managers and potential employers. The importance of body language in communication at work cannot be overemphasized. The way you carry yourself and interact with others speaks volumes about what you’re trying to say.
By being aware of the nonverbal messages you’re sending out, you can use body language to send the right message and improve your communication skills.
Do you want to know how to communicate better with your colleagues and customers? Check out these tutorials to improve your verbal and nonverbal communication skills: