Do you know? The face alone is responsible for over 250,000 signs you make, while the body over 700,000 signs according to a report by Personal Power Information.
The silent signals you portray may be harming your business without you even knowing it. Poor body language can damage your business relationships by sending signals that you are not as trustworthy as you claim to be. They may offend, turn off or even alienate people around you.
Keeping your body language in check takes some serious effort. In most instances, you may not even know you are doing it and you may be hurting your business in the process.
Here are 14 silent signals you should consciously avoid in order to have a better business relationship with your colleagues or partners.
1. Looking Around The Room
I’m sure we’ve all talked to someone that looked around the room while you were having a conversation with them. It comes off as though they’re scouting the place to see who else they want to talk to. Don’t be that person. Treat everyone you talk to with respect.
2. Lack Of Eye Contact
People adapt to diverse communication styles, but the ability to make eye contact and smile shows confidence, interest, and puts people at ease. Rather than look around the room, make eye contacts and smile.
3. Staring At Your Phone
If you are networking, or at any public gathering for that matter, put the phone away. While phone addiction is ubiquitous now, it is still rude. Strive to engage with others at the gathering and refrain from ever overly checking your phone. Of course, if there is an emergency, there can be exceptions, but it is amazing how easy it is to make great connections when there are fewer distractions.
4. Not Listening
One major thing that makes or breaks relationships and business progress is the ability to or not listen to the other side. Authentically listening can impact a sale, employee performance and supplier relationship better than any other form of communication.
5. Talking Too Fast
Talking too fast or blinking rapidly is a sign of nervousness and distrust. Practice pausing between sentences, let people finish their sentences and look people in the eye when talking to them. If you can’t look them in the eye, try looking at them in the forehead. It looks like eye contact but it’s not!
6. Invading Personal Space
Invasion of personal space has a detrimental effect on business relationships. A classic example is men, knowingly or unknowingly, invading the personal space of women. A simple rule-of-thumb is to get no closer than 1.5 feet to a colleague, and never treat a co-worker’s personal space as your own.
7. Lack Of Response
When you’re talking with someone, make sure they know that you’re listening. This requires a certain amount of eye contact, nodding, or smiling. Even if you don’t agree with someone, it’s important to give cues that let them know you hear them. This is a basic sign of respect and not doing this leaves a poor impression.
8. Using The Word “But”
Using the word “but” can cause problems. In some cases, it can sound like you are making an excuse for something or you don’t care about someone’s issue. For example, you could say, “I’m sorry your product didn’t make it on time, but you know how this weather can be sometimes.” This statement doesn’t really show you are sorry. It is essentially putting the blame on something else for why that person didn’t receive the product.
9. Closed-Off Body Language
Being unapproachable is extremely harmful for business or any other relationship. It will prevent you from moving forward if you’re responding to people in a negative way, if you’re not engaging with others in conversations, or if your body language is standoffish or closed off to other people.
Make it a point to be open and approachable throughout your daily life; I bet you want people to feel comfortable and confident approaching you.
10. Folding Your Arms
Folding your arms as you speak is indeed a faux pas. This portrays a rather defensive stance and you don’t come off as being amenable. The best way to avoid it is to train yourself to hold your hands behind your back instead.
11. Furrowed Brows And A Scrunched-Up Face
You may not realize that furrowed brows and a scrunched-up face may come across as intimidating or hostile to your conversation partners.
That could discourage them from speaking openly with you and may cause them to get defensive. In that case, it’s important to keep your expressions neutral or to verbally reassure the people you understand and support what they are communicating.
When you have a slumped posture, it shows a lack of energy and confidence. For any type of business interaction, it’s important to show a certain amount of passion and let people know that you believe in yourself. If you’re hunched over or slumping, it sends the wrong signal. Research shows that when you have a strong posture, you feel more energetic so it’s a win both for you and the people you’re talking to.
13. Not Smiling Enough
Did you know that smiling has been proven to make us feel happier? People tend to believe the opposite. Therefore, if you maintain that beautiful smile of yours, you’ll feel more confident and will undoubtedly be more pleasant to work with. So whenever you catch yourself making a face, turn it into a smile. The rest will sort itself out.
14. Too Weak Or Too Strong A Handshake
Handshakes are often the first impression someone has of you. Too weak of a handshake signals that you’re not professional and may be new in your industry. However, too strong of a handshake could warn the person that you’re aggressive. Find the happy medium to make the best impression.
Read Also: 6 Ways To Improve Your Body Language Skill