Have you ever noticed how you become hyperaware of your body language when you are at a high-end restaurant? Not only do you carry yourself with grace, but also smile and make eye contact. These examples of positive body language show that we pay attention to our gestures and expressions when we want to have a pleasant experience.
There are several advantages of cultivating positive body language! Want to know more? Let’s explore the concept in greater detail.
Can Our Bodies Talk?
Body language refers to gestures, facial expressions and physical cues displayed by an individual. Communication extends beyond talking or writing—it includes nonverbal signs that convey information. Body language is a good indicator of a person’s emotions, feelings, behaviors and attitudes.
You can gauge someone’s body language by studying their:
Facial expressions (flared nostrils, pursed lips, raised eyebrows)
Gestures (a clenched fist or a friendly nod)
Posture (slouching, sitting cross-legged, sitting up straight)
What Does Positive Body Language Look Like?
A positive body language is a type of non-verbal communication that puts us in a position of comfort, likeability and dignity. Also known as open body language, it helps us be open and approachable to others—helping them feel at ease during interactions or exchanges. When you pay close attention to your body language, you have the potential to navigate conflicts and build new relationships.
Here are a few examples of open body language that will teach you how to portray yourself as someone approachable, engaged and interested:
Leaning in: If you want to convey that you are paying attention to what someone is saying, you can lean in gently without invading their personal space
Direct eye contact: Looking someone in the eye while speaking not only shows that you are confident, but also that you trust the person. However, remember to look away once in a while to avoid scaring the other person
Firm handshake: Often used while introducing yourself or greeting somebody, a firm (but not too firm) handshake signals your interest and enthusiasm
Why Positive Gestures Are Important At Work
Positive body language is crucial for professional settings as it helps your audience feel confident about you and your capabilities. It helps establish trust as you come across as someone who knows what they’re doing. It even helps to lay the foundation for strong interpersonal networks and relationships.
Here are some tips to practice positive gestures, expressions and movements and monitor your body language in workplace settings:
If you want to show others that you value their time and thoughts, try to avoid distractions and be present. You may nod or smile occasionally if you agree with what they have to share. Continue to maintain eye contact and show them that you’ve been listening attentively. You may respond verbally when you feel that it’s appropriate to speak. Even if you’re in a meeting, put your phone on silent and take notes if needed.
Pay Attention To Proximity
You will have to attend plenty of business conferences and seminars you’ll attend throughout your professional life. You are bound to meet people—both known and unknown. You will probably want to connect with individuals, with whom you can build a mutually beneficial relationship. If you approach such people, remember not to invade their private space. Get close and lean in only if you think it’s appropriate and the other person is not displaying signs of discomfort.
Relax Your Arms And Legs
We forget to maintain an open body language, especially when we’re nervous. Whether it’s a job interview or an important business presentation, our legs or hands tend to shake. Crossing your legs or arms can be indicative of closed body language. A good way to deal with this is to do a few breathing and relaxation exercises before the interview or presentation. A brisk walk or light stretching exercises can help you feel at ease and more confident.
Empathy lies at the core of positive body language. If you want to create long-lasting, healthy relationships at the workplace, you need to learn how to empathize and be there for people. You can start by studying other’s body language and responding according to their current mood or attitude. For example, if someone is nervous or sad, you can lightly touch their arm to reassure them. Gain a deeper understanding of their body language before you change yours.
Empathy and mirroring go hand in hand. The more you understand someone’s body language, the easier it is to mimic similar behaviors and gestures. At its simplest, mirroring is to copy someone else’s gestures and expressions to empathize with them. However, don’t copy every single detail. For example, if someone doesn’t want to make any physical contact, avoid offering a handshake. Mirroring helps build rapport and acts as an effective ice-breaker.
If you want to learn more about developing self-awareness and observing others, turn to Harappa Education’s Building Presence course. It’ll teach you how to engage and connect with others in an impactful and fruitful way. The section on non-verbal cues, in particular, will help you be confident in your approach and be assertive during nonverbal communication. Let your actions speak louder than words!
Explore topics such as What is Body Language, Types of Body Language, How to Improve Your Body Language, Examples of Body Language & What is Negative Body Language from Harappa Diaries and learn to portray yourself in the best way possible.