Body language is a powerful tool of communication. As most of us do not control our body language, it is an authentic tool to get to know a person’s true feelings and thoughts. It also allows us to understand ourselves better, as we can then decode what our body is expressing about us. Training in body language is targeted towards the building and maintaining of positive relationships at work and in life.
Reading Body Language
Interpreting body language involves paying attention to the nonverbal communication along with the verbal communication. Mostly, we pay more attention to the words being spoken by the other person and neglect the nonverbal signals. To identify nonverbal signals that others express to us and visa versa, we need to learn to decode body language. Training in body language include topics such as:
- Understanding and interpreting nonverbal signals
- Translating gestures
- Identifying common mistakes
- Knowing open and closed body language
- The role of gender
- Understanding facial expressions
- Controlling body language
- Using body language to strengthen negotiation skills
- Matching words with movements
Different people use different body signals to consciously or sub-consciously communicate with others. Posture, facial expressions, hand movements, manner of walking, ways of greetings can tell a lot about a person. When we meet a person, we take into account both the verbal and the nonverbal signals to judge their feelings and behaviour. For example, when a person is not interested in a conversation, s/he will look around and not keep constant eye contact. A person who is shy will avoid making eye contact, but will look down instead of looking around to see something of interest.
Reading the body language of others helps to quickly judge their behaviour, which provides us with important information to adjust our behavior. It also assists us in controlling our own body language to create a favourable impression.
Using Body Language Training at Work
In a work environment, knowledge about body language can provide a deep and quick understanding of colleagues, boss, and customers. Channelising the understanding towards achieving positivity in the work environment helps in building goodwill.
As we all interact with other people every day, using our knowledge of body language can help us to effectively handle other people by adjusting our behaviour accordingly. Skill building in body language is especially beneficial to those whose job requires communicating with many people. Understanding nonverbal communication can provide them with the valuable insight that can help them to successfully establish new relationships and maintain old ones. Having skills in interpreting and controlling body language enhances personal worth along with creating an environment of well-being.