Many people think of professional communication as primarily verbal—however, our body language can also communicate powerful messages about what we are saying, feeling and thinking at any given moment. In fact, your posture, eye contact and other nonverbal cues could be sabotaging your professional development and long-term potential!
If you would like to develop a more effective presence at work—which could in turn lead to increased opportunities for advancement—consider these tips for improving your nonverbal communication skills:
- Maintain eye contact: Poor eye contact can make you seem untrustworthy or weak. According to Forbes, American business professionals are expected to hold eye contact about 50 to 60 percent of the time.
- Straighten up: Standing up straight and holding your shoulders back makes you look more assertive. Harvard Business School researcher Amy Cuddy found that just standing in a “power pose” for five minutes increases one’s testosterone levels and lowers cortisol levels. Testosterone is thought to boost confidence and cortisol is associated with stress, so keeping your chin up could actually help keep your spirits there too!
- Uncross your arms and legs: Crossing your arms and legs is associated with postures of defeat, defensiveness or low self-esteem, so keep both feet planted firmly on the ground and your arms by your side.
As an executive or supervisor, remember that the success of your individual team members also helps you reach your professional goals. To foster employee development and improve communication in your department or company as a whole, consider investing in some of Mastery Technologies‘ cost-effective online learning courses. Mastery offers a selection of courses on communication skills here. These efficient training resources can efficiently improve the quality of communication at your workplace from the comfort of your office.