How to Emit Positive Body Language
When you speak with someone, where do you look? If your answer is the eyes, well, that’s incorrect. According to body language expert Dr. Lillian Glass, direct eye contact can be uncomfortable for the other party.
Glass has spent her career helping professionals in multiple industries unravel what body language portrays to the other party, as well as the power that silent action holds. Beginning as a communication expert and working alongside those with speech and vocational problems, Glass’ background includes working one on one with A-listers such as actor Will Smith, as well as politicians, world leaders, and sports figures.
“I’ve helped them develop a practice and trained [clients] for verbal and non-verbal communication,” Glass says.
Body language can reveal a lot about an individual, and, when it comes to properly communicating with others, the tone of your voice is not the only thing that reveals your intentions. It’s important to focus on how you portray your body language in order to ensure a customer feels comfortable.
“[Shop owners] need to be genuine, really know their product well and know their intention, and it will come out in your voice and body language,” Glass says. “People can smell phoneyness.”
Glass details how to reflect positive body language when talking with a customer and instances that should be avoided as they exert negativity.
As told to Kiley Wellendorf
When you speak to someone, look at their entire face instead of focusing on one spot on their face. If you look at someone in the eye for too long, it can make them feel uncomfortable, so try to avoid maintaining direct eye contact. You do need to focus on the individual when they’re talking to you.
It’s important to have overall good face contact, where you take a few moments to look at different features of someone’s face while talking with them. I suggest focusing on elements of the face, such as the nose, for a few seconds and then looking at their whole face—it makes a whole difference.
Don’t look away during the conversation either; eye contact is good, but constant eye contact can be distracting or uncomfortable.
Speak at a good pace—not too fast and not too slow. If you want to seem approachable, then I would suggest smiling and trying to maintain a good facial expression. Keep your demeanour positive and show that you’re generally interested in what the individual is saying.
You’ll be able to tell that someone is upset because their eyes will narrow and they’ll begin to breathe differently. In the instance that someone becomes upset, never tell someone to “calm down.” Instead, let them know that you can work something out.
Put space between yourself and the person with whom you’re speaking. I would suggest standing arm’s length during a conversation so, that way, you’re not too close or too far away from the individual.
If you’re standing, stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground and your head up high. Good posture means a lot when you are talking with someone for the first time. You should never rock back and forth because that shows that a person is nervous or uncomfortable.
In addition, you may not notice it, but you should have both feet pointed toward the person you’re talking with because it’s a good sign that you’re giving the individual your full attention.
Keep your hands out of your pockets while you speak to someone and try not to be stiff. When you do use your hands, make sure that your fists are not clenched or you’re fidgeting. If you use your hands during a conversation, gesture toward your body and outward.
Always try to avoid fidgeting because it can be distracting to the person with whom you are speaking. When you fidget, it shows that you’re not interested in what the person is talking about and can come off as being rude.
Do not ever touch the person to whom you’re talking. In this day and age, you should not touch anybody while speaking to them. It’s important to show that you respect the individual and their space while in conversation.