Unless you are in a crowded room, no one likes a close talker. This time we learn how to read body language. This is a crucial skill that extends beyond networking and is beneficial in all social situations, whether at the office or a family picnic.
Body language can speak volumes about a person. Learning to master your body language and effectively reading another’s body language is the key to all social interactions.
When talking with someone, look for actions of engagement, such as head nods, forward leans, and eye contact. These are the actions that you want to casually mirror. This will create a more relaxed atmosphere. Smile, but do so genuinely. Fake smiles can be spotted a mile away.
Be conscientious of cues from the other people and be less focused on the next thing you should say! Look for disagreement cues such as leaning back, frowning, or looking away. This is a sign that it might be time to spin the wheel of topics. Try redirecting the conversation. If these cues are still present, it might be time to move on.
When engaged in social interactions, distance is key. Standing too close to someone can be an immediate turn-off, resulting in that person stepping back. You may also see tension cues such as face touching or leaning away. Touching someone is never advised during first interactions. Touch, like distance, is very intimate and shows a level of trust that is rarely achieved during a first conversation.
Many people do not know what to do with their hands. The hands can give off unintentional negative cues. To avoid this, keep your hands unclasped and relaxed. Never place them on your hips or cross your arms. These are defensive cues that are not effective in networking.
There are so many nuances to body language. Check out this TedTalk by Amy Cuddy to learn even more. http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html
Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital. As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki. Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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