Our body speaks its own language and not always it uses the most gentle words… However, you can unlearn the bad behaviors. If I were you, I’d start asap, otherwise you’ll be increasingly distant from your career planning. To give you a clearer idea, the recruitment company TalentSmart tested more than one million professionals and found that 90% of upper echelons of top performance are filled with people with high emotional intelligence. What they have in common is the awareness that body signals can cause a bad impression. So, check out the main mistakes you may be making but can unlearn:
1. Slouching while chatting
At a meeting, you can say you’re bored to be there without opening your mouth. So the next time you talk, lean toward the person with whom you are speaking. To show her that she has your attention, lean your head too. Guided by your brain, your body tends to occupy more space the greater your sense of power. Notice how you keep your belly forward when you want to feel in charge.
2. Gesturing too much
Taking your hands above your chin length, or worse, touching your mouth and your nose tip, all this reveals your insecurity. And it can raise the suspicion that you are lying or hiding something. Try to make more subtle and controlled gestures, at chest level, when you want to indicate your leadership and reassure others. Make broad gestures – such as opening arms and showing the palms – to reaffirm that you have nothing to hide. When resting, put your hands with the palms or fingertips in contact, instead of burying them in your pockets.
3. Watching the clock while talking to someone
This is a clear sign of disrespect and impatience, not to say arrogance, because it conveys the feeling that you have something better to do, instead of keeping the conversation. Even if you want to get out desperately, you can say (this time with your mouth) that you need to leave to go to another appointment, but you are willing to continue the conversation later.
You start to get a little scary when you are less than half a meter from the other person. Of course, it all depends on the intimacy that you have, but, just in case, better not invading the area of someone who’s not your beloved or family.
5. Crossing arms and legs
This way you are creating barriers and suggesting that you are not open to what the other person is saying, or not willing to talk. Maybe you are really enjoying the talk and crossed your arms and legs because you feel comfortable. The problem is that you may end up driving people away – preventing them to see you as an open-minded person, interested in what others have to say.
No one likes someone who always agrees with everything. Similarly, nodding without criterion reveals your anxiety for approval and may have the opposite effect, because it will seem that you agree with something that you didn’t even listen.
7. Fidgeting your hair or beard
It’s another sign that you are anxious and distracted. However, what people tend to think is that you are focused more in your physical appearance and less on your career planning.
8. Avoiding or making too much eye contact
Looking elsewhere instead of in the eyes of your interlocutor conveys the feeling that you have something to hide, that you don’t believe what you’re saying, or you are not interested in that subject. On the other hand, making eye contact for too long is often understood as an attempt to master. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to 10 seconds, longer when they’re listening than when they’re talking. Also, the way you break that contact sends a message. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
Although no one has anything to do with your bad mood, that’s what it seems if you keep scowling. Moreover, no one will risk getting close to you for fear of being judged. In contrast, MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.
10. Shaking hands unsteadily
It signals that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.
By following all these tips, you have good chances to get closer to your career planning. However, if you don’t want to play with luck, take this opportunity and try Runrun.it. The task management software adopted by leaders and recommended by employees from over 100 countries worldwide. Try it for free: http://runrun.it