Communication involves the process of conveying across a message which can be your thought, opinion, view or feeling. But sending across the right message with the right attitude is termed as effective communication. Most of the times, lack of proper communication skills will tend to send cross the wrong message resulting in bad communication.
Communication can be of many types with the five major types defined as Written, Oral, Verbal, Electronic and Non-Verbal, termed in short as WOVEN. The last type of communication and more specifically body language is our topic of importance here.
Body language is a form of non-verbal communication which comprises of the body movements, postures, expressions, facial reactions, gestures and eye movements. This form of non-verbal communication uses the subconscious mind and visual perception to convey and receive messages. It is a very popular notion that only 7% of our communication depends on the words we use, the rest 93% depends on the language the body speaks. By visualising the body language the listener can determine the mood of the sender and can analyze the seriousness of the message.
Body language is a subtle reaction that is sent by the body based on the information that needs to be conveyed. Though most of the times body language convey positive information, it also conveys negative tones at times. You can convey to the sender either you are interested in his conversation or that you are utterly bored based on your body language. The below are ten tips to improve your body language so as to send a positive message through it.
1. Fiddling - This is one major habit that many people exhibit. Some people tend to get impatient at times and would start playing with their watch or pen or mobile. If fiddling is a habit that is deep rooted in you, find out ways to put an end to this habit. Try to focus and concentrate on the message communicated and keep your hands clear off things.
2. Tapping – Just like fiddling, tapping or moving your hands and/or legs continuously can cause the sender to become distracted and irritated. Whether you are a sender or a receiver of information, it is not advisable to display actions like twitching, scratching, drumming or tapping on the floor or the table as this will also tend to distract the sender. Hence, keep your hands and legs in a formal position and project a straight posture when you listen to someone.
3. Clock Watching – In between a lecture when you look at the clock, it would make the sender assume that you are not interested in his talk. So avoid looking at the clock and pay complete attention to the sender.
4. Eye Contact – Look at the person’s eye when you talk to an individual. Such kind of an action will instill genuineness in your communicated opinions.
5. Staring – Knowing how to stare or blink is equally important as establishing an eye contact. Once you have established eye contact, make sure that you blink occasionally and do not stare continuously as it would indicate that you are bored of the conversation.
6. Body Position - An effective communication requires special attention on body position. Stand straight and tall when you say something, it improves your confidence levels.
7. Smile - Introduce a smile on your face when you are in a conversation. When you talk with a smile on the face, it improves voice clarity and also makes you feel relaxed and peaceful.
8. Arms crossed – Arm position also forms a part of body language. When your arms are crossed, it is one of the negative responses your body can provide indicating that you are on a defensive mode. Thus keep your arms open and be in a relaxed position to inform the listener that you are open for discussion.
9. Touching your face – Do not touch your facial parts with your hands when in a discussion. Such a kind of practice will show that you are timid and are not confident on what you are hearing or saying. So keep your hands off your face. Your hands are better kept along the sides of your body.
10. Hiding your hands – People who hide their hands are believed to be hiding secrets in a discussion. Such people lose the trust of the other person. Thus keep your hands along the sides of your body and keep them open.