Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions

Body Language: Understanding Facial Expressions, Gestures and More

Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Language is not all about words—our body language also plays a very important role in how we communicate with others.

Body language is made up of facial expressions, gestures, posture, and other non-verbal cues that convey a lot of meaning, either consciously or subconsciously.

The good news is, many aspects of body language are common across cultures, and you’ll be able to understand many of these non-verbal cues instinctively. However, some expressions and gestures are culturally specific, and are very worthwhile to learn! 

While you’re learning a new language, it’s important to also find out a bit about the body language commonly used alongside it. Let’s take a look at:

  • Facial expressions
  • Gestures
  • Learning the basics
  • Putting it all together

Facial expressions

Facial expressions play a huge role in communication. While many facial expressions are broadly understood, common practices can vary across cultures.

Overall, it’s helpful to understand which facial expressions are most prevalent. For example, in Japan, it’s not quite as common to smile or frown as it is in the United States. Instead of expressing emotions with the eyebrows and mouth, the eyes play a more important role in nonverbal communication.

So if you’re in Japan, and you flash a smile at everyone who passes by but don’t see any in return, this could be why. It’s important to have this cultural context so you can adjust your expected baseline for interactions accordingly. 

Gestures 

Across the globe, there’s a wide variety of gestures used to enhance communication. A great place to start learning these is with common greeting gestures for the language you’re learning.

For example, the handshake is a popular way to say hello in many countries.

However, in France, la bise—or an exchange of kisses on the cheek—is a more traditional greeting used for family, friends, and colleagues. 

In Japan, bowing is the primary way to greet someone in-person, whether you’ve met them before or not. The bow indicates respect, and it’s typical to bow to about a 45 degree angle.

After common greetings, it’s helpful to learn about a few additional everyday gestures. For example, how do people typically indicate a positive reaction? Do they use a “thumbs up”? The “thumbs up” gesture can actually be offensive in some areas, such as Australia and Greece, so it’s good to be aware of these cultural differences before you begin using any gestures. 

Finally, there are often very specific gestures that may be used during a conversation. For example, when French people want to show that they’ve “had it up to here,” they move their hand over their head from front to back. In the U.S., a similar gesture is used to show that something “went right over our head,” so it’s helpful to know that there’s a different connotation.

These types of gestures are more advanced, so don’t feel you need to learn them all right away. If you encounter them, try to use context clues to figure out what you think the intended meaning is. 

Learning the body language basics

So, what’s the best way to learn more about body language? 

If you’re learning a new language on your own, a great way is to watch movies, TV shows, and news channels from that country. While you’re watching, pay close attention to the body language that’s used. 

If you have a language exchange partner, or a native speaker who can help you practice your new language, then they’re a great resource to learn from. You can observe the expressions and gestures they tend to use, and ask them directly for more detail about what’s most common.

Whether you’re observing the screen or asking your partner, here’s a basic list of what to try and learn more about:

  • How should I greet someone I know? 
  • How should I greet someone I don’t know? 
  • How often do people smile, laugh, or frown? 
  • How much eye contact do people make? 
  • Which gestures are considered offensive or rude? 
  • Which gestures are really positive? 
  • Which gestures are used most often?

Putting it into practice

Once you’ve learned more, try to pair these body language basics with your new language skills. The key isn’t to be perfect right off the bat—remember that a little effort can go a long way!

The more you observe media in your new language, or practice conversing with native speakers, the more you’ll pick up. Before long, common facial expressions and gestures will be second nature!

Источник: https://blog.rosettastone.com/body-language-understanding-facial-expressions-gestures-and-more/

Understanding Body Language: 55% of Communication (Prof Albert Mehrabian)

Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions

Body language refers to the nonverbal signals that we use to communicate. It is the unspoken element of communication that we use to reveal our true feelings and emotions. From our facial expressions to our body movements, the things we don’t say can still convey volumes of information.

Why Does Nonverbal Communication Matter?

Your nonverbal communication cues—the way you listen, look, move, and react—tell the person you’re communicating with whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport. When they don’t, they can generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.

If you want to become a better communicator, it’s important to become more sensitive not only to the body language and nonverbal cues of others, but also to your own.

4 Main Types of Nonverbal Communication

The many different types of nonverbal communication or body language include:

Haptics (Touch). We communicate a great deal through touch. Think about the very different messages given by a weak handshake, a warm bear hug, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on the arm, for example.

Proxemics (Space).

Have you ever felt uncomfortable during a conversation because the other person was standing too close and invading your space? We all have a need for physical space, although that need differs depending on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship. You can use physical space to communicate many different nonverbal messages, including signals of intimacy and affection, aggression or dominance.

Paralinguistics. Paralinguistics refers to vocal communication that is separate from actual language. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. When you speak, other people “read” your voice in addition to listening to your words.

Things they pay attention to include your timing and pace, how loud you speak, your tone and inflection, and sounds that convey understanding, such as “ahh” and “uh-huh.” Think about how your tone of voice can indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.

Kinesics (Body movement & posture, gestures and eye contact)

Body movement and posture. Consider how your perceptions of people are affected by the way they sit, walk, stand, or hold their head. The way you move and carry yourself communicates a wealth of information to the world. This type of nonverbal communication includes your posture, bearing, stance, and the subtle movements you make.

Gestures. Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. You may wave, point, beckon, or use your hands when arguing or speaking animatedly, often expressing yourself with gestures without thinking.

However, the meaning of some gestures can be very different across cultures. While the OK sign made with the hand, for example, conveys a positive message in English-speaking countries, it’s consider offensive in countries such as Germany, Russia, and Brazil.

So, it’s important to be careful of how you use gestures to avoid misinterpretation.

Eye contact. Since the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is an especially important type of nonverbal communication.

The way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction.

Eye contact is also important in maintaining the flow of conversation and for gauging the other person’s interest and response.

Watch following 1-hour webinar on the prelude of the 4 Types of Non-verbal communication:

3 Ways Body Language Impacts Leadership Results

Body-language savvy is becoming part of an executive’s personal brand. Great leaders sit, stand, walk, and gesture in ways that exude confidence, competence, and status. They also send nonverbal signals of warmth and empathy – especially when nurturing collaborative environments and managing change.

Good body language skills can help you motivate direct reports, bond with audiences, present ideas with added credibility, and authentically project your personal brand of charisma. That’s a powerful set of skills for any leader to develop.

1.    You make an impression in less than seven seconds

In business interactions, first impressions are crucial. Once someone mentally labels you as “trustworthy” or “suspicious,” “powerful” or “submissive,” everything else you do will be viewed through such a filter. If someone s you, she’ll look for the best in you. If she mistrusts you, she’ll suspect all of your actions.

First impressions are made in less than seven seconds and are heavily influenced by your body language. In fact, studies have found that nonverbal cues have over four times the impact on the impression you make than anything you say. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Looking at someone’s eyes transmits energy and indicates interest and openness. (To improve your eye contact, make a practice of noticing the eye color of everyone you meet.)

Research from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University discovered that “posture expansiveness,” positioning oneself in a way that opens up the body and takes up space, activated a sense of power that produced behavioral changes in a subject independent of their actual rank or role in an organization. In fact, it was consistently found across three studies that posture mattered more than hierarchy in making a person think, act, and be perceived in a more powerful way.

This is the quickest way to establish rapport. It’s also the most effective. Research shows it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of rapport that you can get with a single handshake. (Just make sure you have palm-to-palm contact and that your grip is firm but not bone-crushing.)

2.    Building trust depends on your verbal-nonverbal alignment

Trust is established through a perfect alignment between what is being said and the body language that accompanies it. If your gestures are not in full congruence with your verbal message, people subconsciously perceive duplicity, uncertainty, or (at the very least) internal conflict.

Neuroscientists at Colgate University study the effects of gestures by using an electroencephalograph (EEG) machines to measure “event-related potentials” – brain waves that form peaks and valleys. One of these valleys occurs when subjects are shown gestures that contradict what’s spoken. This is the same brain wave dip that occurs when people listen to the nonsensical language.

So, in a very real way, whenever leaders say one thing and their gestures indicate another, they simply don’t make sense. Whenever your body language doesn’t match your words (for example, rocking back on heels when talking about the organization’s solid future, or folding arms across the chest while declaring openness) your verbal message is lost.

3.    What you say when you talk with your hands

Have you ever noticed that when people are passionate about what they’re saying, their gestures automatically become more animated? Their hands and arms move about, emphasizing points and conveying enthusiasm.

You may not have been aware of this connection before, but you instinctively felt it. Research shows that audiences tend to view people who use a greater variety of gestures in a more favorable light.

Studies also find that people who communicate through active gesturing tend to be evaluated as warm, agreeable, and energetic, while those who remain still (or whose gestures seem mechanical or “wooden”) are seen as logical, cold, and analytic.

That’s one reason why gestures are so critical to a leader’s effectiveness and why getting them right in a presentation connects so powerfully with an audience.

I’ve seen senior executives make rookie mistakes. When leaders don’t use gestures correctly (if they let their hands hang limply to the side or clasp their hands in front of their bodies in the classic “fig leaf” position), it suggests they have no emotional investment in the issues or are not convinced about the point they’re trying to make.

To use gestures effectively, leaders need to be aware of how those movements will most ly be perceived. There are two common hand gestures and the messages behind them:

There is an interesting equation of hand and arm movement with energy. If you want to project more enthusiasm and drive, you can do so by increased gesturing. On the other hand, over-gesturing (especially when hands are raised above the shoulders) can make you appear erratic, less believable, and less powerful.

Arms held at waist height, and gestures within that horizontal plane, help you – and the audience – feel centered and composed. Arms at waist and bent to a 45-degree angle (accompanied by a stance about shoulder-width wide) will also help you keep grounded, energized, and focused.

Watch for more types of hand gestures:

Conclusion

Understanding body language can go a long way toward helping you better communicate with others and interpreting what others might be trying to convey.

While it may be tempting to pick apart signals one by one, it’s important to look at these nonverbal signals in relation to verbal communication, other nonverbal signals, and the situation.

You can also focus on learning more about how to improve your nonverbal communication to become better at letting people know what you are feeling—without even saying a word.

Source:

Nonverbal Communication

5 Ways Body Language Impacts Leadership Results

Picking Up and Understanding Nonverbal Signals

Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions

Источник: https://aventislearning.com/understanding-body-language/

Nonverbal Communication and Body Language — HelpGuide.org

Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions

While the key to success in both personal and professional relationships lies in your ability to communicate well, it’s not the words that you use but your nonverbal cues or “body language” that speak the loudest. Body language is the use of physical behavior, expressions, and mannerisms to communicate nonverbally, often done instinctively rather than consciously.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, when you interact with others, you’re continuously giving and receiving wordless signals. All of your nonverbal behaviors—the gestures you make, your posture, your tone of voice, how much eye contact you make—send strong messages.

They can put people at ease, build trust, and draw others towards you, or they can offend, confuse, and undermine what you’re trying to convey. These messages don’t stop when you stop speaking either. Even when you’re silent, you’re still communicating nonverbally.

In some instances, what comes your mouth and what you communicate through your body language may be two totally different things. If you say one thing, but your body language says something else, your listener will ly feel that you’re being dishonest.

If you say “yes” while shaking your head no, for example. When faced with such mixed signals, the listener has to choose whether to believe your verbal or nonverbal message.

Since body language is a natural, unconscious language that broadcasts your true feelings and intentions, they’ll ly choose the nonverbal message.

[Read: Effective Communication]

However, by improving how you understand and use nonverbal communication, you can express what you really mean, connect better with others, and build stronger, more rewarding relationships.

The importance of nonverbal communication

Your nonverbal communication cues—the way you listen, look, move, and react—tell the person you’re communicating with whether or not you care, if you’re being truthful, and how well you’re listening. When your nonverbal signals match up with the words you’re saying, they increase trust, clarity, and rapport. When they don’t, they can generate tension, mistrust, and confusion.

If you want to become a better communicator, it’s important to become more sensitive not only to the body language and nonverbal cues of others, but also to your own.

Types of nonverbal communication

The many different types of nonverbal communication or body language include:

Facial expressions. The human face is extremely expressive, able to convey countless emotions without saying a word. And un some forms of nonverbal communication, facial expressions are universal. The facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are the same across cultures.

Body movement and posture. Consider how your perceptions of people are affected by the way they sit, walk, stand, or hold their head. The way you move and carry yourself communicates a wealth of information to the world. This type of nonverbal communication includes your posture, bearing, stance, and the subtle movements you make.

Gestures. Gestures are woven into the fabric of our daily lives. You may wave, point, beckon, or use your hands when arguing or speaking animatedly, often expressing yourself with gestures without thinking.

However, the meaning of some gestures can be very different across cultures. While the “OK” sign made with the hand, for example, usually conveys a positive message in English-speaking countries, it’s considered offensive in countries such as Germany, Russia, and Brazil.

So, it’s important to be careful of how you use gestures to avoid misinterpretation.

Eye contact. Since the visual sense is dominant for most people, eye contact is an especially important type of nonverbal communication.

The way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction.

Eye contact is also important in maintaining the flow of conversation and for gauging the other person’s interest and response.

Touch. We communicate a great deal through touch. Think about the very different messages given by a weak handshake, a warm bear hug, a patronizing pat on the head, or a controlling grip on the arm, for example.

Space.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable during a conversation because the other person was standing too close and invading your space? We all have a need for physical space, although that need differs depending on the culture, the situation, and the closeness of the relationship. You can use physical space to communicate many different nonverbal messages, including signals of intimacy and affection, aggression or dominance.

Voice. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it. When you speak, other people “read” your voice in addition to listening to your words.

Things they pay attention to include your timing and pace, how loud you speak, your tone and inflection, and sounds that convey understanding, such as “ahh” and “uh-huh.

” Think about how your tone of voice can indicate sarcasm, anger, affection, or confidence.

There are many books and websites that offer advice on how to use body language to your advantage. For example, they may instruct you on how to sit a certain way, steeple your fingers, or shake hands in order to appear confident or assert dominance.

But the truth is that such tricks aren’t ly to work (unless you truly feel confident and in charge). That’s because you can’t control all of the signals you’re constantly sending about what you’re really thinking and feeling.

And the harder you try, the more unnatural your signals are ly to come across.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have no control over your nonverbal cues. For example, if you disagree with or dis what someone’s saying, you may use negative body language to rebuff the person’s message, such as crossing your arms, avoiding eye contact, or tapping your feet.

You don’t have to agree, or even what’s being said, but to communicate effectively and not put the other person on the defensive, you can make a conscious effort to avoid sending negative signals—by maintaining an open stance and truly attempting to understand what they’re saying, and why.

How nonverbal communication can go wrong

What you communicate through your body language and nonverbal signals affects how others see you, how well they and respect you, and whether or not they trust you. Unfortunately, many people send confusing or negative nonverbal signals without even knowing it. When this happens, both connection and trust in relationships are damaged, as the following examples highlight:

believes he gets along great with his colleagues at work, but if you were to ask any of them, they would say that Jack is “intimidating” and “very intense.” Rather than just look at you, he seems to devour you with his eyes.

And if he takes your hand, he lunges to get it and then squeezes so hard it hurts.

Jack is a caring guy who secretly wishes he had more friends, but his nonverbal awkwardness keeps people at a distance and limits his ability to advance at work.

Arlene

is attractive and has no problem meeting eligible men, but she has a difficult time maintaining a relationship for longer than a few months. Arlene is funny and interesting, but even though she constantly laughs and smiles, she radiates tension.

Her shoulders and eyebrows are noticeably raised, her voice is shrill, and her body is stiff. Being around Arlene makes many people feel anxious and uncomfortable. Arlene has a lot going for her that is undercut by the discomfort she evokes in others.

Ted

thought he had found the perfect match when he met Sharon, but Sharon wasn’t so sure. Ted is good looking, hardworking, and a smooth talker, but seemed to care more about his thoughts than Sharon’s.

When Sharon had something to say, Ted was always ready with wild eyes and a rebuttal before she could finish her thought. This made Sharon feel ignored, and soon she started dating other men. Ted loses out at work for the same reason.

His inability to listen to others makes him unpopular with many of the people he most admires.

These smart, well-intentioned people struggle in their attempt to connect with others. The sad thing is that they are unaware of the nonverbal messages they communicate.

[Read: Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship]

If you want to communicate effectively, avoid misunderstandings, and enjoy solid, trusting relationships both socially and professionally, it’s important to understand how to use and interpret body language and improve your nonverbal communication skills.

How to improve nonverbal communication

Nonverbal communication is a rapidly flowing back-and-forth process that requires your full focus on the moment-to-moment experience.

If you’re planning what you’re going to say next, checking your phone, or thinking about something else, you’re almost certain to miss nonverbal cues and not fully understand the subtleties of what’s being communicated.

As well as being fully present, you can improve how you communicate nonverbally by learning to manage stress and developing your emotional awareness.

Learn to manage stress in the moment

Stress compromises your ability to communicate. When you’re stressed out, you’re more ly to misread other people, send confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals, and lapse into unhealthy knee-jerk patterns of behavior. And remember: emotions are contagious. If you are upset, it is very ly to make others upset, thus making a bad situation worse.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, take a time out. Take a moment to calm down before you jump back into the conversation. Once you’ve regained your emotional equilibrium, you’ll feel better equipped to deal with the situation in a positive way.

The fastest and surest way to calm yourself and manage stress in the moment is to employ your senses—what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch—or through a soothing movement.

By viewing a photo of your child or pet, smelling a favorite scent, listening to a certain piece of music, or squeezing a stress ball, for example, you can quickly relax and refocus.

Since everyone responds differently, you may need to experiment to find the sensory experience that works best for you.

Develop your emotional awareness

In order to send accurate nonverbal cues, you need to be aware of your emotions and how they influence you. You also need to be able to recognize the emotions of others and the true feelings behind the cues they are sending. This is where emotional awareness comes in.

[Read: Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ)]

Being emotionally aware enables you to:

  • Accurately read other people, including the emotions they’re feeling and the unspoken messages they’re sending.
  • Create trust in relationships by sending nonverbal signals that match up with your words.
  • Respond in ways that show others that you understand and care.

Many of us are disconnected from our emotions—especially strong emotions such as anger, sadness, fear—because we’ve been taught to try to shut off our feelings. But while you can deny or numb your feelings, you can’t eliminate them.

They’re still there and they’re still affecting your behavior. By developing your emotional awareness and connecting with even the unpleasant emotions, though, you’ll gain greater control over how you think and act.

To start developing your emotional awareness, practice the mindfulness meditation in HelpGuide’s free Emotional Intelligence Toolkit.

How to read body language

Once you’ve developed your abilities to manage stress and recognize emotions, you’ll start to become better at reading the nonverbal signals sent by others. It’s also important to:

Pay attention to inconsistencies. Nonverbal communication should reinforce what is being said. Is the person saying one thing, but their body language conveying something else? For example, are they telling you “yes” while shaking their head no?

Look at nonverbal communication signals as a group. Don’t read too much into a single gesture or nonverbal cue. Consider all of the nonverbal signals you are receiving, from eye contact to tone of voice and body language. Taken together, are their nonverbal cues consistent—or inconsistent—with what their words are saying?

Trust your instincts. Don’t dismiss your gut feelings. If you get the sense that someone isn’t being honest or that something isn’t adding up, you may be picking up on a mismatch between verbal and nonverbal cues.

Evaluating nonverbal signals

Eye contact – Is the person making eye contact? If so, is it overly intense or just right?

Facial expression – What is their face showing? Is it mask and unexpressive, or emotionally present and filled with interest?

Tone of voice – Does the person’s voice project warmth, confidence, and interest, or is it strained and blocked?

Posture and gesture – Is their body relaxed or stiff and immobile? Are their shoulders tense and raised, or relaxed?

Touch – Is there any physical contact? Is it appropriate to the situation? Does it make you feel uncomfortable?

Intensity – Does the person seem flat, cool, and disinterested, or over-the-top and melodramatic?

Timing and place – Is there an easy flow of information back and forth? Do nonverbal responses come too quickly or too slowly?

Sounds – Do you hear sounds that indicate interest, caring or concern from the person?

Authors: Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., Lawrence Robinson, and Greg Boose

Last updated: October 2020

Источник: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships-communication/nonverbal-communication.htm

Body Language: Beyond Words – How to Read Unspoken Signals

Understanding Body Language and Facial Expressions
 

Communication is made up of more than just the words we use. It's maintaining eye contact with the person you're talking to, slouching on a video call, or your hand movements as you speak.

Nonverbal cues such as tone of voice, gestures, and posture all play their part. In this article, we define what body language is – and how you can interpret it to understand and communicate with people more effectively.

Click here to view a transcript of our Body Language video.

What Is Body Language?

Put simply, body language is the unspoken element of communication that we use to reveal our true feelings and emotions.

It's the relaxed facial expression that breaks out into a genuine smile – with mouth upturned and eyes wrinkled. It can be a tilt of the head that shows you're listening, sitting or standing upright to convey interest, or directing attention with hand gestures. It can also be taking care to avoid a defensive, arms-crossed posture, or restlessly tapping your feet.

When you can «read» signs these, you can understand the complete message of what someone is telling you. You'll be more aware of people's reactions to what you say and do. And you'll be able to adjust your body language to appear more positive, engaging, and approachable.

The Science of Body Language

You've probably heard the statistic that only seven percent of a message is conveyed through words. And the other 93 percent comes from nonverbal communication.

It's taken from Mehrabian's Communication Model, which also states that body language is more important than tone of voice and choice of words when communicating true feelings. But Mehrabian makes clear that his study dealt only with communications involving feelings and attitudes. So, it is not applicable in all cases.

However, it does help to explain why it's so tough to gauge sentiment when we can't see people – on email or messaging apps, for example.

How to Read Body Language

Being aware of body language in others means that you can pick up on unspoken issues or negative emotions. Here are some nonverbal signs to look out for.

Body Language Examples From Difficult Conversations

Difficult conversations are an uncomfortable fact of life. Perhaps you're dealing with a rude customer, giving an employee negative feedback, or negotiating a contract.

Situations these are often complicated by feelings of nervousness, stress, or even anger. And, though we may try to hide them, these emotions often show through in our body language.

If someone is exhibiting one or more of the following behaviors, they'll ly be disengaged, disinterested or unhappy (see Figure 1):

  • Arms folded in front of the body.
  • Minimal or tense facial expression.
  • Body turned away from you.
  • Eyes downcast, maintaining little contact.

Figure 1.

Being aware of these signs can help you adjust what you say – and how you say it. That way, you can make the other person feel more at ease and open to persuasion (see Figure 2).

Figure 2.

The Body Language of a Bored Audience

When delivering a presentation, or collaborating in a group, you want the people around you to be fully engaged.

Here are some clear indicators that they may be bored by what you're saying (see Figures 3-6):

  • Sitting slumped, with heads downcast.
  • Gazing at something else, or into space.
  • Fidgeting, picking at clothes, or fiddling with pens and phones.
  • Writing or doodling.

Figure 3.

Figure 4.

Figure 5.

Figure 6.

You can re-engage people by asking them a direct question, or by inviting them to contribute an idea.

Body Language Analysis – Projecting Positivity

Positive body language supports your points, helps you convey ideas more clearly, and avoids sending mixed messages.

Here are some basic postures that you can adopt to project self-confidence and openness.

Body Language for a Good First Impression

These tips can help you to adjust your body language so that you make a great first impression:

  • Have an open posture. Be relaxed, but don't slouch! Sit or stand upright and place your hands by your sides (see Figure 7). Avoid standing with your hands on your hips, as this can communicate aggression or a desire to dominate (see Figure 8).
  • Use a firm handshake. But don't get carried away! You don't want it to become awkward, aggressive, or painful for the other person.
  • Maintain good eye contact. Try to hold the other person's gaze for a few seconds at a time. This will show them that you're sincere and engaged. But avoid turning it into a staring contest! (See Figure 9).
  • Avoid touching your face. If you do while answering questions, it can be seen as a sign of dishonesty (see Figure 10). While this isn't always the case, you should still avoid fiddling with your hair or scratching your nose, so that you convey trustworthiness.

Figure 7.

Figure 8.

Figure 9.

Figure 10.

It's easy to miss some of the subtleties of body language. So, check out our Body Language Video for more advice on how to interpret and convey signals effectively.

Body Language Examples for Effective Public Speaking

Positive body language can help you to engage people, mask any presentation nerves, and project confidence when you speak in public. Here are a few tips to help you do this:

  • Have a positive posture. Sit or stand upright, with your shoulders back and your arms unfolded by your sides or in front of you (see Figure 11). Don't be tempted to put your hands in your pockets, or to slouch, as this will make you look disinterested.
  • Keep your head up. Your head should be upright and level (see Figure 12). Leaning too far forward or backward can make you look aggressive or arrogant.
  • Practice and perfect your posture. Stand in a relaxed manner, with your weight evenly distributed. Keep one foot slightly in front of the other to help hold your posture (see Figure 13).
  • Use open hand gestures. Spread your hands apart, in front of you, with your palms facing slightly toward your audience. This indicates a willingness to communicate and share ideas (see Figure 14). Keep your upper arms close to your body. Take care to avoid overexpression, or people may focus more on your hands than your ideas.

Figure 11.

Figure 12.

Figure 13.

Figure 14.

If you notice your audience's concentration dip, lean slightly forward while you speak. This suggests that you're taking them into your confidence and will help to regain their attention.

Body Language for Interviews and Negotiations

Body language can also help you stay calm in situations where emotions run high, such as a negotiation, performance review or interview. Follow these suggestions to defuse tension and show openness:

  • Use mirroring. If you can, subtly mirror the body language of the person you're talking to. This will make them feel more at ease, and can build rapport. But don't copy their every gesture or you'll make them uncomfortable.
  • Relax your body. Maintain the appearance of calm by keeping your hands still and breathing slowly.
  • Look interested. If you're asked a complex question, it's OK to briefly touch your cheek or stroke your chin. It shows you're reflecting on your answer (see Figure 15).

Figure 15.

Body language expert Amy Cuddy recommends striking a «power pose» for two minutes, in private, before a stressful situation. It tricks your body's hormone levels so you feel more confident and less stressed. Her mantra is, «Fake it till you become it.» You can read our full review of her book «Presence» here.

Virtual Body Language

You can apply much of the body language guidance above to video calls, too. You'll just have a little less space – and body – to work with! Here are some ways to show your enthusiasm and to help make call attendees feel comfortable and receptive to your ideas:

  • Get your camera set up right. This means you're close enough to show interest but not too close to invade people's virtual space. And leave room to gesture without hitting the screen!
  • Tidy your workspace or find a quiet area for your video call. That way, you'll minimize distractions that could take your eyes off attendees.
  • Maintain eye contact. Look into the camera as if you're looking into someone's eyes. If it's a group call, looking around the participants will let you gaze without staring.
  • Use facial expressions. Your face is front and center on a video call, so maintain a slight smile throughout. Raise your eyebrows to show engagement, and avoid frowning.

How Do You Use Your Body Language?

The tips given in this article are a good general guide for interpreting body language, but they won't apply to everyone.

For example, people may have a  different cultural background from you, and positive gestures in one county can be negative in others.

So, reflect on how you use your body language – and avoid making assumptions! If you're getting mixed signs from someone, ask them what they're thinking. After all, interpreting body language should be a complement to talking and listening attentively, not a replacement for it.

Body language is the range of nonverbal signals that you use to communicate your feelings and intentions. These include your posture, facial expressions, and hand gestures.

Your ability to understand and interpret body language can help you to pick up on unspoken issues or negative feelings in others.

You can also use body language in a positive way to add strength to your verbal messages.

Photographs in this article © Mind Tools/Toby Phillips.

Источник: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/Body_Language.htm

Psychologydo
Добавить комментарий

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: