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Expert Findings - Body Language at Work
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Chrm Message From: rajul Total Posts: 52 Join Date: 10/11/2006
Rank: Manager Post Date: 19/11/2006 23:19:39 Points: 260 Location: United States

Dear Colleagues,

What really matters most to your boss – posture or performance? The psychologist, Albert Mehrabian claims that it’s not what you say, but how you say it that really matters. In the 1960s he conducted extensive communication research and discovered that words account for a tiny seven percent of a message’s impact. The rest comes from non-verbal cues, such as voice tone and facial expression.

But in the real world of work how much does all this really matter? A growing number of workers use technology to communicate. Phone calls, faxes and emails don’t betray whether we're sitting up straight or lounging comfortably at our desks.

People who work from home are even more out of the picture. ‘There's a significant section of the workforce who don't need to consider their body language,’ says Kathryn Bullock, founder ‘They may still see some people but, on the whole, they can get on with their jobs, and get on with them very well, without ever having to think about how they look.

Many workers do have to deal with clients and colleagues on a face-to-face basis. Here body language plays a ‘massive role’, says Judi James, author of BodyTalk At Work: ‘Knowing how to give the right body language signals and knowing how to read those around you can actually boost your career.’ Judi explains the most common examples of bad body language:

- Tightly crossed arms, high on the chest, looks defensive and uninterested
- High-pitched, fast-paced voice may sound girly and lack authority
- Rolling on your heels looks like you are insecure and childish
- Lazing about on a chair appears arrogant and lazy
- A shoulder shrug signals that you don’t believe what's been said, even if it was you that said it!
- Playing with your hair implies an inner build-up of anxiety
- Pulling your ear gives the impression you're struggling to reach a decision
-Touching your face is a sign of nervousness or possibly even dishonesty
- Stroking your neck can make you seem stressed or flirtatious
- Wringing your hands shows concern
- Fidgeting suggests worry
- Foot tapping impatience
- Pen drumming boredom

Any comments ??

Warm Regards,

Chrm Message From: proftandon Total Posts: 101 Join Date: 10/11/2006  
Rank: Leader Post Date: 19/11/2006 23:26:58 Points: 505 Location: United States

Thanks Rajul for sharing a nice article on body language . Yes , body language is a very good measure of communication and being aware of it means having multiple communication skills. However one has to be aware that many of these gestures are are area specific , or gender specific or country specific and suitable allowance has to be made . For example hands across the chest gesture for men is considered as defensive posture while that for ladies is consideration gesture . While men position themselves in a defensive position , the ladies are giving thought to what is being presented to them . The logic leading to this gesture is also quite simple . Men are supposed to guard while ladies are supposed to be in secured surroundings . These are some of the nuances of body language which make a lot of difference .

Earlier on in my practice , I would call a person to the ring and enquire as to why he is having a defensive posture thus putting him in a corner . This resulted in getting quick results but put a lot many people on the backfoot . Nowadays I take it to mean that I have not put forth my position in a credible way so I need to tty harder or try in a different way .


Prof Tandon

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