Igniting Workplace Enthusiasm

Michael Crom: Body language could undermine your positive words

August 5, 2011 12:24 PM
Question: This week the department that I work within received a new boss.  Management within our company was looking to make some changes, and a new person was hired to run my department.  I want to make sure that I get off on the right foot with my new supervisor. What are the best ways to do this?
Answer: It is important to stay positive and be enthusiastic.
It's also important to recognize how you communicate nonverbally.
Many times people might say positive phrases but send conflicting messages through their body language.
Here are some tips that will help you open up on good terms with your new boss:
  • Maintain eye contact. It's important to maintain eye contact when speaking or listening.  Eye contact shows that you are interested when listening and confident when speaking. Not giving eye contact can project insecurity and dishonestly.
  • Be relaxed and open. Relax your arms and keep them uncrossed.  Crossing your arms makes you come across as closed off and protective. By uncrossing your arms, you will appear open and easier to talk to.
  • Nod in agreement. By nodding your head, you show that you are listening and — more important — giving positive nonverbal feedback.
  • Take notes. Taking notes is another way to provide positive feedback and show that you care about what your new boss is saying.
  • Lean closer. A slight lean toward your boss shows that you're involved and interested in what the person is saying.
  • Maintain relaxed posture. You should always maintain good posture; however, you shouldn't look stiff.  Relax your posture; you will look calm and confident.
Michael Crom is executive vice president of Dale Carnegie Training. For advice on work issues, visit www.dalecarnegie.com or email carnegiecoach@dale carnegie.com.



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