Mastering Body Language: A Manager's Guide to Non-Verbal Communication Success
Updated: Mar 26
The ability to properly understand body language can be considered a soft skill that every manager must have. Most managers usually feel that this type of talent is not essential. So, they spend all their time and energy learning hard job skills.
This shouldn't be the case. Managers shouldn't ignore body language and other non-verbal communication as it can significantly impact performance and overall productivity in the workplace. It also goes a long way to determine how others perceive the manager. To help you master this, I have come up with a sort of guide that'll be able to point you in the right direction.
• Have The Right Posture - When standing or sitting, you want to be straight and relaxed. Make sure your shoulders aren't stiff. You need all the flexibility you can get, and it'll make you appear more confident.
• Always Keep Your Head Raised - Make sure you keep your eyes on the horizon and that your head is always held up straight. Exude confidence. You're the boss, after all.
• Try Always To Maintain Eye Contact - Do you want always to make a connection? Ensure you keep eye contact at all times. Doing this helps you gauge the response of whom you're talking to. As well as maintain the steady flow of the conversation.
• Have The Right Facial Expression - Through your expression, one should tell that you're genuinely interested in what is happening and that you're emotionally present. When having a conversation, it is vital that the other person feels you're 100% present. It isn't polite to have divided attention while someone is talking to you, and it'll say a lot to the person about the kind of character you possess.
• Normalise Nodding - Well, you don't have to become a lizard at this point, and do it enough to show that you're genuinely listening to and interested in what is being said to you. This will encourage the person to continue the conversation as they'll feel that they have your undivided attention.
• It's All About The Gestures - Sometimes, the need may arise to make some gestures as the conversation wears on deliberately. You can practise using hand gestures to complete descriptions of what you're talking about. By doing this, your words carry more weight. Also, avoid constant touching the face when talking as it could distract the other party.
• Normalise Hand Shakes - It is believed that there's a higher likelihood that people you meet will remember you if you shake hands. It's a form of a physical connection. So, if you're the personal "I'm all about my space type", then you'll need to make changes.
• Take Up Space - Nothing screams self-confidence as much as this, and it also shows that you are comfortable in your skin. When around your employees, it is essential that you do this. They'll immediately be able to sense the aura and will further acknowledge that you're truly the one in charge.
• Tone Down On The Crossing - When you make a habit of crossing your arms or legs when sitting, you put up a defensive front, which shows a lack of self-confidence. Remember, you want to come across as comfortable, commanding and confident, and crossing your arms and legs only does the opposite.
• Avoid Raising Your Voice - Your pitch should range from moderate to low. Talk in a slow, clear, but audible manner. Don't raise your voice, and the tone of your voice should not come across as cold or distant The best way to experience a massive improvement in your body language is by becoming aware of it. You should pay close attention to how you sit, stand, behave while talking to someone and the kind of gestures you make while holding conversations. As they say, practice makes perfect.
So, your mirror should be your best friend during this period. You'll be able to see how you would look while talking to a real person. It's perfect because it allows you the opportunity for a lot of fine-tuning before going out into the real world.
Mastering your body language as a manager is essential for creating a strong presence and fostering effective communication with your team. By paying attention to your non-verbal cues and making adjustments, you'll build trust, rapport, and a more cohesive work environment for everyone. So, start practising and embrace the power of non-verbal communication in your leadership role.