11 Body Language Mistakes Many of Us Make At Work

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11 Body Language Mistakes Many of Us Make At Work Picture this: for the past three months, you’ve been eyeing that promotion. So, you go the extra mile, adding some extra hours to work, delivering top-notch services, conquering your set targets, and much more. There’s no reason why shouldn’t be rewarded with a promotion.

But, when your boss announces the promotions, you are baffled that it went to your colleague instead. You end up thinking — what could have possibly gone wrong? The ugly truth is, it had nothing to do with the quality or the quantity of the work you churned out. The answer lies within you — it’s your body language.

The right body language is very important in a workplace. This is because a considerable part of our communication is done through non-verbal behavior and acute expressions. In fact, 55% of our message is communicated through non-verbal signs (1).

So, here are some common body language mistakes that you should avoid in order to be more confident at work:

1. Sitting Leisurely Like You Were At Your Home

1. Sitting Leisurely Like You Were At Your Home

We all love slouching at home on our favourite chair or couch. We are so accustomed to doing this that we end up slouching at the workplace too; which, my friend, is a bad idea! A relaxed and lazy posture at work may suggest that you are lousy and lack energy. That’s the kind of vibe the fellow employees or the boss would frown upon.

Besides, sitting upright actually strengthens your back muscles. (And also keeps your boss thinking that you are focussed.)

2. Rolling Your Eyes

2. Rolling Your Eyes

Life may present us with innumerable people who make us roll our eyes, but as long as you’re doing it in your head, it’s okay. Rolling your eyes at work or at home will land you in trouble. It will portray you as a rude person. Your friends might laugh it off, but if you roll your eyes at work, you may end up offending your colleagues and bosses. Mark this body language with a danger symbol in your head. It’s a strict no-no!

3. Getting Too Close

3. Getting Too Close

One of the most important facets of good body language is to maintain enough distance from your colleagues such that, both of you have a personal boundary that isn’t crossed. Invading another’s personal space and making them feel uncomfortable is a bad idea.

4. Sneaking Into Your Office

4. Sneaking Into Your Office

Entering your workplace without greeting anyone is an unmannered thing to do. Never sneak in in an attempt to avoid any interaction with your colleagues. Instead, respect them and acknowledge them, for only then will you be respected too.

5. Wearing Boredom On Your Face

5. Wearing Boredom On Your Face

We understand that it is very natural to feel bored at times, especially when you are feeling under the weather. But then, we also suggest that it’s best to hide your emotions while at work, especially when the emotion spells boredom. Else, your boss would trade you off for a much more active person.

6. Isolating Yourself At Work

6. Isolating Yourself At Work

Always remember that working as a team is easier and more beneficial than working alone. Make an effort to talk to your colleagues and establish a positive bond with them. Staying away will only make them feel that you lack interest at work.

7. Constantly Leaning At Work

7. Constantly Leaning At Work

Body language and body postures tell a lot. In fact, when at work, you are constantly observed and nothing you do goes unnoticed. So, if you often find yourself leaning on walls, tables, chairs, etc., you need to stop. Leaning is interpreted as a sign of weakness. On the other hand, standing or sitting upright is taken as a sign of confidence and strength.

8. Hands Behind Your Back

8. Hands Behind Your Back

Hand gestures are important, especially when it is pertaining to work. Keeping one’s hands behind the back and cancelling out any hand gestures while communicating suggests that the individual isn’t trustworthy. And being trustworthy is crucial at work. We are not demanding you to gesticulate all day, but just try to keep your palms and hands open most of the times.

9. Looking At Your Watch Too Often

9. Looking At Your Watch Too Often

The rudest behavior would be to constantly check the time on your mobile or watch while having a conversation with your colleagues. It would make the other person feel that you are either bored or just want to leave.

10. Not Paying Attention To A Conversation

10. Not Paying Attention To A Conversation

No matter how disinterested you are in a meeting or any conversation that involves your workmates, you need to pay attention to it. Engage in it with not just your eyes or ears, contribute to the conversation with your opinion too. Stop throwing tantrums at the workplace!

11. Not Smiling

11. Not Smiling

Smiling is infectious and smiling at work creates a positive aura. Frowning will not just give you wrinkles, but also discomfort the people surrounding you. You smiling can set off the mirror neurons in the other person, accustoming them to smile back at you.

When you walk into a room, your body language is the first thing that’s noticed. Therefore, it’s important to cultivate positive body postures. Have you found yourself erring? Or do you have a colleague whose body language at work irks you? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Your Thoughts are Welcome