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Part III: Act Like a Professional > Watch Your Body Language

Chapter 26. Watch Your Body Language

Body language speaks louder than words. What is your body saying? People are either communicating an openness and receptiveness with what is happening or are closing themselves off. Watch what other people are saying with their bodies and what you are telling them with yours. If words and body language clash, what the body is saying will be believed. Here are some clues to body language and some tips to watch for:

People with folded arms and crossed legs are rejecting what they hear. On the other hand, people with open hands and postures signal acceptance.

When someone leans forward, they are actively involved with what you are saying. If they lean back, doodle, or look at the ceiling, they are not listening.

Show interest by leaning forward and looking directly at the other person. You can tilt your head to one side and nod occasionally to show understanding. Keep your face relaxed and smile.

Sitting back and joining your fingers like a church steeple indicates indifference.

Sit or stand with an upright, but relaxed posture. Slumping conveys uncertainty and uneasiness. It’s also unprofessional.

Walk with a quick gait and swing your arms.

A desk or table between you and another person will distance yourself from him or her.


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