We all do it, whether consciously or unconsciously. What is it? We all non-verbally communicate with our body. We all have our own body language that we speak with. In Body Language for Business, author Max A. Eggert defines body language, breaks down body movements and what they could mean, and how we all can become better body-lingual.
Ok, so what is body language really?
You probably just did an act of it just now as you’re reading. Maybe a movement of the eyebrow, a shoulder shrug, or leaning into the computer screen because you’re interested. Body language is communicating with others using all parts of our body whether we are talking, listening, or thinking.
Most of it is done unconsciously through facial expressions, gestures, movements, and postures. If we understand it, we can tell if someone is interested in what we’re saying, telling us the truth or lying, or how they feel about the topic of conversation. You see how important it is. But just like anything, body language has some caveats, just because someone is blinking on the double doesn’t mean they are lying, it really could be a tic.
A tip that Max offers, “go for clusters”, which means look for more than just one behavior change, see if you can spot three or four of them (e.g. sudden body movements + change in voice + hands move to mouth + smile rate increases).
In the chapter Perception and First Impressions you learn about the 7/11 effect. This effect says that within the 7 seconds of meeting someone you made 11 decisions about them. Interesting right? And when I read the 11 possible decisions that could be made, I can totally agree. Some decisions you could make are: the person’s economical level, educational level, if they’re honest, their level of sophistication, if you want to be their friend.
How can you make a better impression on an interview? Page 41 offers a ‘brilliant tip’ and says to start your interview with a powerful statement about your skills and achievements. Want to make an overall better impression?
- Maintain eye contact, as it shows confidence, credibility, and honesty.
- Smile, because it shows warmth and friendship.
- Nod slightly when meeting someone (who knew!), as it shows respect.
- Put shoulders in parallel, it shows friendship and confidence.
- Point your feet towards the other person, as it also shows friendship and confidence.
We all know how you dress is a reflection of your style…but sometimes it doesn’t reflect honestly you as a person. So the book asks, ‘does what you are wearing support who you are, or want to be, or the impression you like people to have of you?’
Body Language for Business offers valuable tips for giving a proper handshake, how to use your body language to build a better rapport, in an office space, for personal confidence, for assertiveness, when it comes to attraction (how wearing glasses can affect your attraction rating), and even goes into the hidden language of speech.
Body language speaks volumes and it’s important to know what you are communicating and what others are communicating to you because, “the most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”
About the Author:
Max A. Eggert is a psychologist and international consultant specializing in human resource management, interim management, and outplacement. He lives in Chipping Norton, Australia.
Please note: A complimentary copy of the book Body Language for Business by Max A. Eggert was provided by the PR/Marketing agency for review.