How important is body language to communication? Well, how important is engagement with your people. Better yet, what does body language say about the trust level in your organization and relationships?
Joe Navarro, Body Language in Psychology Today on the subject of Body Language writes, “So what is psychologically behind all of this? Simply this: Our needs, feelings, thoughts, emotions, and intentions are processed elegantly by what is known as the “limbic system” of the brain. It doesn’t have to think, it just reacts to the world in real time and our bodies show how we feel. Someone gives us bad news and our lips compress; the bus leaves without us and we are clenching our jaws and rubbing our necks.”
Rhett Power In Inc Magazine offers these insights: “Consider these five body language secrets to better engage others and help them feel both heard and secure.
The importance of eye contact is basically Body Language 101–and yet many still seem to struggle with this concept. However, you may be the best listener and conversationalist in the world, but if you can’t look someone in the eye, you are sending a wide range of messages–everything from nervousness to boredom to insecurity.
Establishing strong eye contact at the beginning of a conversation immediately communicates confidence and that you’re listening. A good rule of thumb is to follow the cues of the one you’re speaking with to ensure that they are comfortable.
Appropriately placed head nods are a valuable way to communicate that you are listening and engaged. Coupling these gestures with occasional verbal affirmations is effective as well.
Messing with your shirt sleeves, playing with rings, checking your phone or moving it from hand to hand, tapping your fingers…