Your body language covers a larger portion of your communication.
Good body language can help you to communicate more effectively inside as well as outside your workplace.
The very initial step in improving your body language is to be aware of your actions.
If you are aware of your actions you know exactly what it is to be improved upon.
Being self aware of your day to day expressions and movements and how what kind of messages they convey to you is essential because you want to convey to others exactly what you want to express.
This will minimize misunderstanding and miscommunication between you and the other person.
Here are 8 simple tips on how to improve your body language:
1. Wear a big and sincere smile
It is very important to have a believable smile on your face to convey that you are sincere, happy and a confident person.
The easiest way to practice is with a mirror or get your best friend’s opinion on your facial expressions.
Many people hesitate to smile because they are embarrassed about their teeth or they are not used to wear a smile on a frequent basis.
Visiting a dentist can help them to solve their problems.
In my case, I wasn’t really aware that I look quite serious when chatting with others until my career mentor points this out to me.
Since then I try to smile whenever I can, either interacting or listening to others.
Don’t try to fake it because it will be very obvious.
Instead have the intention of being friendly and attentive to the other party and naturally your smile will express this as well.
2. Make eye-contact
Eye-contact while speaking conveys your attention and enables others to listen to you and to let them know that you are paying exclusive attention to them.
Also making eye-contact while listening conveys your interest towards what others are saying.
Hence making eye-contact can initiate a good conversation as well.
A person who fails to maintain proper eye-contact can put doubts in the mind of the other person.
Proper eye contact helps to portray your inner self confidence and your attentiveness.
It is advised to try practicing it with your friends first.
However if still are uncomfortable looking directly into people’ eyes (due to cultural factors), try focusing on the point between their eye-brows so that they may not know the difference.
3. Sit-straight or stand-tall
If you want to improve your body language it is very important to be aware of your sitting postures as well.
Either sit-straight or stand-tall.
Try to sit forward which can help you to avoid slouching.
It will also make you look more interested and attentive of what is being said.
Practice it and then apply it so that it seems natural.
In fact, your physical postures affect your emotions and consequently your attitude.
So pay attention on how you sit or stand.
As always, practice, practice, practice until it is second nature to you.
4. The right handshake
A limp handshake indicates lack of confidence and difficulties in dealing with confrontational situations.
Your handshake should be firm.
At the same time avoid a hard grip and don’t try to break the bones of the other party.
Remember, giving handshakes is part of your first impression and others can tell a lot by how you shake their hands.
5. Mind your head
Keep your head straight with a pleasant expression on your face when speaking with someone to convey your attention and interest.
You can tilt it towards slightly towards the right side or left side.
Nodding your head in acknowledgement is also considered good while speaking but don’t overdo it.
The key is to let the other person know you understand what they are saying.
6. Manage your limbs
Avoid crossing your legs or arms.
Crossing your legs or arms indicates that you are negative or defensive towards the conversation and/or situations in general.
Nobody likes to talk to a person who shows an impression that he/she is in a bad mood or defensive mood & don’t want to get disturbed.
Hence keep your arms down and feet planted on the ground.
You will notice that people starts responding to you in a much more positive way.
Most of these movements are unconscious so practice is always the best solution.
7. Slow down
Confident people are never in a rush.
They are always at ease with others and with themselves.
Slow down while walking or talking which can make you appear more calm and confident.
Don’t convey the attitude of being too impatient unless you have to.
Show that you are appreciative of the other person.
People like others who care about their time and conversational content.
8. Mirror others
Another great way to improve your body language is to learn from people you admire and respect.
Pick someone whom you admire the most.
Notice how they talk, how to present and how they deal with others.
Just by observing others who you admire, you can learn a lot from them.
Remember that improving body language is not hard.
It all boils down to being more aware of your postures and then adjust them to better express your intentions and subtle communications to the other individual.
Practice with good friends and in time you will improve your body language.