Whether you are in a meeting with a client, supplier, superior, co-worker or employee, communication is everything. While carefully chosen words are important, they make up only 7% of communication. Where does the rest come from?
A good chunk is your body language and gestures. We usually take no notice of how we send and receive messages this way. This can be damaging for work relationships. It is not always advisable to advertise that a meeting is boring you, that you are unsure of what decision to make, that a co-worker is making you impatient or to show defensiveness towards a client or anger at a supervisor. If you put a conscious effort into controlling your body language it will pay off.
Here are 10 ways your body language and gestures can derail your communications:
1. Tapping your feet or having your legs crossed and lightly kicking your foot: boredom
2. Touching or rubbing your nose: rejection, doubt or lying
3. Locked ankles: apprehension
4. Pinching the bridge of your nose and closing your eyes: impatience
5. Patting or playing with your hair: lack of confidence or insecurity
6. Tapping or drumming your fingers: impatience
7. Pulling or tugging at your ear: indecision
8. Rubbing your eyes: doubt or disbelief
9. Arms crossed on your chest: defensiveness
10. Hands behind your back: anger, frustration or apprehension
Renée Eaton is a Communications Coordinator for BizXcel. She applies her creative and innovative thinking to corporate communications, e-learning and course development.