Communication is not only verbal but also includes mimics and gestures. Therefore, you should be careful about how you use your body when expressing yourself if you don’t want to create any conflicts between your body language and the point you are trying to make. Below you can find the most common mistakes to avoid at work in order to give a professional image to others.
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1. Avoiding eye contact
When speaking with an audience or with a coworker, avoiding eye contact makes you look unprofessional. It also shows that you have lack of confidence or lack of interest to the topic. Moreover, others can interpret this situation as you have something to hide. In order to avoid this kind of perception, you should always sustain eye contact especially when you are making a point. When someone else is making their point, you can slowly nod your head to show that you are listening and interested in the topic.
2. Crossing your arms
Crossing your arms shows that you are not open to others as well as you want to put a distance between yourself and others. This is generally perceived as a defensive position. In order to give others a warm, positive feeling always keep your arms open. If you are sitting, you can keep your arms on the table.
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3. Checking the time or watching the clock
Checking the time every few minutes gives others the feeling of either you are in a hurry or you would rather be somewhere else. This is very disrespectful and perceived as if you are not interested in being there and are anxious to leave. Therefore, when you are in a meeting or speaking to your coworkers try not to look at clock very often.
4. Bad body posture
Having a bad posture such as dropped shoulders or a lower neck can indicate that you are not interested in what is going on around you besides you are bored. Always stand straight or sit up straight when speaking to somebody. Also, keep your head high. This shows that you have confidence in yourself plus you are a professional.
5. Weak hand shake
A weak hand shake can be perceived as you have lack of confidence or you don’t care much about the person you are shaking hands with. Try to greet the people with a firm hand shake. However, don’t forget that a hand shake that is too firm can be understood as an aggressive movement. Therefore, try to find the right balance.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.