Body language plays a key role in the job selection process either to select or
reject a candidate. Most of the training in body language focuses on the external
physical aspects of what should be the correct language that one’s body should speak.
The way to train in body language is to start from inside and then to move to outside.
Instead of trying to position our body in a certain way to look confident, one should
first attempt to feel confident. Rather trying to paste a smile on the face, one
should feel the desire to smile from within, the outward manifestation of the smile
will automatically follow and this smile would be much more genuine and impressive
than put on one. Don’t cross your arms or legs- it is a closed gesture
EYE contact is one of the most important aspects of dealing with others, especially
people we've just met. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in
what they have to say. eye contact than this and you can be too intense, any less
and you give off a signal that you are lacking interest in them or their conversation.
POSTURE is the next thing to master, get your posture right and you'll automatically
start feeling better, as it makes you feel good almost instantly. Next time you
notice you're feeling a bit down, take a look at how you’re standing or sitting.
Chances are you'll be slouched over with your shoulders drooping down and inward.
This collapses the chest and inhibits good breathing, which in turn can help make
you feel nervous or uncomfortable.
HEAD position is a great one to play around with, with yourself and others. When
you want to feel confident and self assured keep your head level both horizontally
and vertically. You can also use this straight head position when you want to be
authoritative and what you're saying to be taken seriously. Conversely, when you
want to be friendly and in the listening, receptive mode, tilt your head just a
little to one side or other. You can shift the tilt from left to right at different
points in the conversation.
ARMS give away the clues as to how open and receptive we are to everyone we meet
and interact with, so keep your arms out to the side of your body or behind your
back. This shows you are not scared to take on whatever comes your way and you meet
things "full frontal". In general terms the more outgoing you are as a person, the
more you tend to use your arms with big movements. The quieter you are the less
you move your arms away from your body. So, try to strike a natural balance and
keep your arm movement’s midway. When you want to come across in the best possible
light, crossing the arms is a no in front of others.
LEGS are the furthest point away from the brain; consequently they're the hardest
bits of our bodies to consciously control. They tend move around a lot more than
normal when we are nervous, stressed or being deceptive. So best to keep them as
still as possible in most situations, especially at interviews or work meetings.
Be careful too in the way you cross your legs. Do you cross at the knees, ankles
or bring your leg up to rest on the knee of the other? This is more a question of
comfort than anything else. Just be aware that the last position mentioned is known
as the "Figure Four" and is generally perceived as the most defensive leg cross,
especially if it happens as someone tells a you something that might be of a slightly
dubious nature, or moments after. (As always, look for a sequence)
ANGLE OF THE BODY in relation to others gives an indication of our attitudes and
feelings towards them. We angle toward people we find attractive, friendly and interesting
and angle ourselves away from those we don't, it's that simple! Angles includes
leaning in or away from people, as we often just tilt from the pelvis and lean sideways
to someone to share a bit of conversation. For example, we are not in complete control
of our angle neither at the cinema because of the seating nor at a concert when
we stand shoulder to shoulder and are packed in like sardines. In these situations
we tend to lean over towards the other person.
HAND gestures are so numerous it's hard to give a brief guide but here goes. Palms
slightly up and outward is seen as open and friendly. Palm down gestures are generally
seen as dominant, emphasizing and possibly aggressive, especially when there is
no movement or bending between the wrist and the forearm. This palm up, palm down
is very important when it comes to handshaking and where appropriate we suggest
you always offer a handshake upright and vertical, which should convey equality.
Distance FROM OTHERS is crucial if you want to give off the right signals. Stand
too close and you'll be marked as "Pushy" or "In your face". Stand or sit too far
away and you'll be "Keeping your distance" or "Stand offish". Neither is what we
want, so observe if in a group situation how close are all the other people to each
other. Also notice if you move closer to someone and they back away, you're probably
just a tiny bit too much in their personal space, their comfort zone. "You've overstepped
the mark" and should pull back a little.
EARS , yes your ears play a vital role in communication with others, even though
general terms most people can't move them much, if at all. However, you've got two
ears and only one mouth, so try to use them in that order. If you listen twice as
much as you talk you come across as a good communicator who knows how to strike
up a balanced a conversation without being me, me, me or the wallflower.
MOUTH movements can give away all sorts of clues. We purse our lips and sometimes
twist them to the side when we're thinking. Another occasion we might use this movement
is to hold back an angry comment we don't wish to reveal. Nevertheless, it will
probably be spotted by other people and although they may not know the comment,
they will get a feeling you were not to please.