In order to be an effective leader, you may need to incorporate positive body language to portray a sense of confidence and inspiration. Leadership skills often revolve around more than what you say and the presentations you plan out. A strong leader will also impact people based on their use of facial expressions, gestures, posture, and eye contact, according to an article in Forbes. Essentially, positive body language is important if you want to inspire your workers and portray yourself as a strong, confident leader.
Why Positive Body Language is Essential in the Workplace
When you’re working in an office, first impressions are very important when leading interviews or conducting business deals with clients. According to Forbes, people make a first impression in less than seven seconds upon meeting you. Body language plays a major part in how someone views you upon that first meeting.
Additionally, nonverbal body language can have four times as much of an impact on someone’s perception of you as the actual words you say. As such, you will want to display as much positive body language as you can in order to attract top talent and keep your clients interested in working with you.
As such, you’ll want to consciously choose a more upbeat attitude to show strong leadership potential and be sure to smile in order to look friendly and welcoming. You will also want to make eye contact with your colleagues and clients as well as keep your posture straight and open in order to look more powerful. Lastly, one of the best ways to build a relationship with others is to offer a firm handshake.
The right body language is also essential in the workplace because it helps build trust within a company and among team members. If someone’s words don’t align with their body language, then it is more likely people would see that as more uncertain and even deceitful. People tend to become confused when someone’s words don’t align with their gestures. As such, you’ll want to make sure your body language lines up with the speeches you make. This will build greater trust at your company.
Additionally, positive body language is vital since it shows people how passionate you are about a topic and presents you as a viable leader. For example, people who talk using their hands tend to show more enthusiasm and passion that cause others to see them more favorably. You’ll want to avoid hiding your hands or pointing your fingers and, instead, make more enthusiastic, energetic gestures when speaking.
Lastly, the reason why you’ll need to incorporate positive body language in the workplace is because face-to-face communication still remains a major aspect of running a business and getting projects done.
Next, we discuss major body language errors that you will need to avoid in order to become a more effective leader.
Top Body Language Mistakes Managers Make
Slouching is a common error that many leaders make in a meeting when speaking with colleagues or making a sale with a potential client, according to an Entrepreneur article written by Travis Bradberry, co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and President at TalentSmart. Slouching could be seen as disrespectful and shows that you’re bored and don’t want to be at work.
Slouching also shows a less powerful position and may indicate that you lack confidence. Therefore, you’ll want to have good posture in order to show a more powerful position in the workplace.
In addition, watching the clock or checking the time/cel phone while someone is talking is also a sign of disrespect and general impatience. This shows that you’re not interested in what the person is saying and that you’re looking forward to leaving the discussion. This is a clear error in body language that you must avoid in the workplace.
Turning away from the person or group you’re speaking with can also show that you are either uncomfortable or not interested in the discussion. Crossing your arms should also be avoided because it shows that you are not open to hearing what someone is saying. Even if your voice sounds friendly and you’re smiling, by crossing your arms, you show that you are not open to what they are saying and lack interest.
In addition, fidgeting too much makes it look like you are nervous and distracted during a meeting. For instance, if you keep playing with your hair, others may think you are less concerned with your career and more focused on your looks.
Additionally, making eye contact is vital to gain trust. By avoiding eye contact, you will look suspicious as if you are attempting to hide something. When you avoid eye contact, you show that you lack self-esteem and confidence, which are vital qualities in the business world. This type of nervous behavior shows inferiority in terms of your leadership skills.
However, making eye contact shows intelligence, strong self-esteem, and leadership skills that will strengthen your professional life.
If your face projects an upset or scowling demeanor, you will also make it seem like those around you are making you unhappy. These type of negative looks turn people away from you since they feel that you may not like spending time with them. As such, having a friendly and smiling face can go a long way toward making people more comfortable around you.
Once you have figured out how to avoid typical mistakes related to your body language, you’ll need to learn how to incorporate some positive body language in order to display more effective leadership skills.
How to Improve Body Language and Portray Strong Leadership
There are a number of different steps you can take to ensure you portray positive body language such as standing up straight with your shoulders relaxed, according to an Inc.com article.
You’ll also want to keep your legs slightly apart and avoid crossing your arms in order to show that you are calm. Keep your arms at your side to show that you’re open to what people are discussing. You’ll also want to lean in slightly to show that you are interested in what your client, boss, or colleague is saying. If you want to show that you are agreeing with the other person, try mirroring their body language.
Feel free to use your hands to gesture when speaking with others. This may help your thinking process as well. Be sure to use a firm handshake when first meeting others. Additionally, if you are traveling to a different country, make sure to learn about their cultural norms and greetings.
When others are speaking, make eye contact to show that you are paying attention during a conversation. You can look away at times, but generally eye contact shows that you’re interested in what the other person is saying.
You’ll also want to keep track of your voice and avoid ending your sentences as if you are asking a question. You’ll want to speak slowly and clearly so that everyone understands you.
When you are in a meeting with a client or a boss, be sure to take notes. This indicates that you’re interested in what others are saying and that you’re engaged with the conversation. However, be sure to make eye contact instead of looking at your notebook the entire time.
You will also want to pay attention to the body language cues of others. For example, someone may start looking at their watch, indicating that he or she is ready to end the meeting. When you pay attention to these type of cues, you make it easier for people to engage with you in the future.
You will also want to end a meeting or an interview with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a smile. This will show people that you are interested in future conversations and that you enjoyed the discussion.
How Project Management Software Boosts Your Communication and Leadership Skills
If you’re looking to improve your body language, communication, and leadership abilities, you’ll want to invest in project management software like Runrun.it. With this type of software, you’ll be able to arrange face-to-face meetings in which you can practice your newly learned body language skills.
The time-centered workflow management platform of Runrun.it can help you become more productive in terms of your time and the tasks you accomplish. The time you spend on each project will be measured automatically and you will have an automatic timesheet generated every day. This helps you meet your deadlines and work with others to better communicate ways to improve an assignment.
Additionally, the Runrun.it software includes a customizable dashboard in which the team’s metrics are measured and the amount of time spent on revisions is generated. Every user can look at their personal dashboard to keep track of their projects and communicate with their team members. If you want to check out this platform’s time tracking tools and dashboard, you can sign up for a free trial by clicking here.