Interpersonal Skills

Body Language

An effective communication and interaction not only requires spoken languages but also an efficient body language. The famous Jarod Kintz once said that “I am bilingual. I speak English and Body.” which is a statement which highlights the importance of body language. Body language is all about communicating messages to our listeners through our body movements, gestures and postures. If you exhibit inconsistencies between what you speak and body language, it will confuse your listeners. For example, even though you speak friendly and your sentences imply you are happy to speak to them, if you don’t have a smile on your face, then the listeners will have doubts regarding your offers and the whole deal will be endangered. People often tend to put more emphasis on body language than what is spoken. If a person smiles when he says he is sad, his words loses their value and the one who listens will take it to be a lie.

The most important factors of body language are:

Eye Contact – First and foremost is eye contact. One should maintain enough eye contact while speaking as a steady eye contact indicates confidence and willingness to connect with the discussion, and a constantly dropping eye contact implies under-preparedness, low confidence, or disinterest. Make sure while making eye contact, you don’t end up continuously staring at the other person as it may betray its purpose by giving discomfort to the other person.

Posture – The second important aspect is your posture. It is recommended to maintain a proper, and straight posture while standing and also sitting down. Being slouchy is often seen as an indication of arrogance, and unproductivity. A person with a straight posture will be seen as confident and will inspire respect.

Facial Expression – It is possible to understand a person’s thoughts if one were to study his facial expressions carefully. For example, genuinely happy people tend to arch their eyebrows, while those who smile only out of courtesy does not. The small details in your facial expressions can give unspoken messages and small details to others.

Specific Gestures – There are some universally accepted gestures such ad nodding to denote a ‘Yes’, and denoting numbers by extending fingers on your hand. These gestures should be used appropriately while speaking so that there is no inconsistence in your actions while you speak.

Physical Distance – Standing too close to the speaker or too far from the speaker can denote a sense or arrogance or intrusion just like hoe shake hands and pat on the shoulders gives a friendly message.