Our bodies have a language of their own and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you don’t even think about it. If that’s the case, it’s time to start being conscious because you just might be sabotaging your career without knowing it.
TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.
What follows are the 8 most common body language blunders that people make, and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.
Avoiding Eye Contact
When you don’t look someone in the eyes, it can signal deception or a lack of respect.
Bad posture signals to others that you lack confidence and have poor self-esteem or low energy levels.
Keeping distance from others
Too much physical distance, angling the body away from the person you’re speaking with or not leaning into a conversation shows that you are uncomfortable, distrustful or disinterested in the subject.
Fidgeting and touching hair
Fidgeting and playing with hair or clothes can reveal excess energy, which signals discomfort or anxiety.
Glancing at the clock
Glancing at the clock or at your watch or even looking past a person who you’re speaking with will communicate disinterest or arrogance.
This stance creates a sense of being closed off and may signal to others that you are disinterested in them or don’t buy into their message.
Scowls and frowns, often unintentional and unconscious, communicate unhappiness and disagreement.
A handshake that isn’t firm will signal a lack of authority. One that is too firm could make you seem overly aggressive.