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Body Language

Body language consists of the nonverbal signals we display to those around us. Becoming aware of body language and how to interpret it can be a valuable asset in your professional and personal life.

We have been evaluated before we have had a chance to speak, according to Carol Kinsey Goman, author of The Silent Language of Leaders. Within less than, seven seconds people unconsciously evaluate your trustworthiness, likeability and credibility.

Understanding body language keeps our words and actions in concert. Learning how to manage our time, space, appearance, gestures, vocal tone, touch, facial expressions, and eye contact brings us closer to mastering our body language.

Our etiquette skills and our non-verbal communication speak volumes about who we are. We want to make sure our body language sends the appropriate message, so we should always aim to present ourselves as confident, capable, and engaged.

Here are a few tips to help you become more aware of body language and its effects on our relationships, both personal and professional.

  • Give a firm handshake with eye contact and a smile. Make sure there are no obstacles or individuals between you and the person with whom you are shaking hands.
  • Keep your distance. The more personal the relationship, the closer you may stand to another person. Business and public spaces call for a distance of eighteen inches to two feet.
  • Make yourself aware of hand wringing, finger drumming, foot tapping, hair twirling, etc. Each of us has personal nonverbal habits. These suggest boredom or nervousness, and therefore should be avoided. Be conscious of yours.
  • Practice good posture. Your ears should be over your shoulders when sitting, standing, or walking. Good posture shows interest in your surroundings

These tips are just a few basics for understanding the language our body speaks. The study of body language is complex; many books have been written and countless studies performed. The first step to understanding body language is making you aware that it exists and is a major component of your interactions. Understanding the messages your body sends is as important as understanding the body language of others. Learn how to understand body language and its powerful effect on our lives.





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Etiquette is the fine tuning of education. - Nadine Daher