Like your mindset sets the context of your behavior and reaction patterns, your body language communicates your mindset in ways you may not comprehend. It is often difficult to control as your body language is a spontaneous ‘mirror’ of your thoughts, feelings and reactions. You may ‘speak’ a language but your body language speaks differently. One example here is that you may actually be seething with anger and yet concealing it well. However your fingers are clenched and you bang your glass down on the table hard and it is easy for the person facing you that you are angry, even if you put on your best smile to conceal it!
As you know, especially in the new normal drifting towards ‘all is well’ era people are skeptical. It may all look that we are racing to normalcy. Virtual meetings are converting to interfaces. Offices are stepping out of the virtual mode to a hybrid mode. For many, the 2 years of pandemic restrictions have had long lasting impact. Life doesn’t feel like normal again. Those very same human beings, who you interacted with, seem different. Everything seems to have changed. The ways we do business has changed. Human interface hinges today on empathy and connect. A positive mindset has become essential for success and also positive body language to accompany your reinvented mindset. What is body language? How do we unconsciously communicate with people? How can we make our body language work for us in today’s VUCA world?
Understanding body language
Everything is normal and you are in an important meeting, but the chairperson of the meeting, who appears to be fair and genial, ignores you when you want to make an important point. When you make your point, the same person’s eyes dart here and there, he is shifty, shakes his legs and cuts you short. He also asks about the opinion of your point made, to someone else. It is clear that for some reason he does not want to hear your opinion and ‘does not like you’. So what do you do to smoothen things out? The solution is for you to break the barrier through a ‘one on one’ with him and discuss if something is bothering him. Is it a miscommunication, misunderstanding or a misperception? If you do not take proactive action even if his body language has clearly communicated to you that a ‘barrier’ has formed between you and him, then it will fester and become worse. Gentle confrontation is the only way to smoothen things out. The human body sends out visible signs which you should look out for. If a person leans forward and talks to you and listens to you, he is interested in what you are saying and his mind is ‘open’ to you. When he talks to you but avoids eye contact with you, the person is either not telling the truth or is hiding from you.
The value of positive body language
A positive mindset adds value to your personal and work lives. Similarly positive body language makes you acceptable and opens doors and opportunities for success.
It all starts with your own state of happiness and positivity. Happiness experts propound that ‘a happy mind houses a happy body’. A positive mindset reflects on your face which is your screensaver. You look upbeat, cheerful and energetic. You become a problem solver, not a fault finder. You walk your talk and take big strides. You do not slouch when you sit but sit straight and ready. You are alert and solve every crisis objectively. You motivate others easily.
The first feel of your positive body language comes from your handshake. If its firm, friendly and your posture echoes your attitude, you can break through anyone who is ‘tough’. Actually just a positive handshake can create wonders!!
“There are four ways and only four ways in which we have contact in this world. What we do, how we look, what we say and how we say it” Dale Carnegie
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