The Small Business Chron says that about 65 percent to 75 percent of all the communication we do happens non-verbally. We also use a lot of these nonverbal cues to get a gauge on how the person we’re conversing with is feeling. We rely on those cues to help us determine if our co-workers or employees are mad and upset or happy and content.
So for instance, if you have trouble making eye contact with people and you’re new at work, some of your colleagues might find you untrustworthy or think you don’t like them. That could make your office life difficult until you dispel that perception. That’s why it is important to make sure your body language and speech are saying the right things about you. Given the way technologies like video conferencing are on the rise, it’s now more important than ever for employees to know how to conduct themselves online and in video meetings. So here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
If you tend to slump; that could be taken as a sign of fatigue, lack of confidence or disinterest, says the Business Insider, even when that’s the furthest thing on your mind. So always be aware of your posture. Stand tall, with your chest slightly out and your legs slightly apart, with the weight evenly distributed. This can immediately make you look more confident, at ease with yourself and as a result, much more trustworthy and credible.
Not In Sync
The best teams are the ones who are completely in sync. You talk the same language, mirror each other’s tempo, tone, voice and even posture and movements. In some cases, you might even finish each other’s sentences. That kind of bond, that closeness, is crucial in creating the kind of team that delivers a consistently winning performance. And body language plays a huge factor in that. If you aren’t in sync with the rest of your team mates, they could take that as a sign that you aren’t interested, you’re looking down on them, you’re deliberately setting yourself apart from them and all that could lead to conflict and friction at work. So the last thing you want is that kind of trouble at work. No worries though; if you’re observant enough and know how to read cues right, you’ll be able to settle into the team’s rhythm in no time.
Lack of Facial Expressions
Say you’re getting a performance review; most people communicate what they feel or think through raised eyebrows or by nodding their heads, leaning forward or saying “uh huh, uh huh.” If you don’t do any of that, your superiors might feel that you don’t care about the results of your performance review at all. Worst, they might even feel that you don’t care about the work in general or that you feel bad and this is your way of showing them that the review doesn’t matter to you. Nothing derails your career faster than a superior thinking you don’t care about the work at all. If you don’t want your superiors or team mates to think that you’re being uppity or snobbish at work, then getting your body language right matters.
Stress and exhaustion often comes through your body language and facial expressions, and they come in pretty loud and clear. Your complexion is lackluster, your eyes look tired, you can’t focus right and you don’t pay attention. That’s really not the kind of look you want, especially if you’re dealing with a potential client or long-time customer. There are plenty of things that could stress you out and one of them is certainly the lack of knowledge about the video communication system that you are using. So make sure you master an audio video communications system like BlueJeans—a reliable product in the industry—before you make your video calls. If you know how to use that system, you won’t be in a mad scramble, trying to find which control or what features to use. You’ll be confident, relaxed and ready for the meeting ahead.
No Eye Contact
We all know this. In every culture, eye contact is a constant. Holding eye contact while you talk to someone, whether through online or live meetings, can have a massive positive effect on how people perceive you. It can instantly make you look trustworthy and credible, two qualities you want your employers, clients or team mates to feel about you. Lack of eye contact, though, could be seen as shifty, insecurity or signs that you aren’t a person to be trusted, all of which could hurt you professionally.
Perceptions affect the way people treat each other. So if you want to improve your image at work or the way people perceive you, start by changing your body language and facial expression.