Tag Archives: Communication

Body Language Mistakes You Might Be Making At Work

Communication isn’t just verbal. During conversation, you may be saying very few words but giving off dozens of non-verbal cues and hints. These cues are just as important as your words, however, and may be crucial to your interactions and success at work. Even though you are meeting deadlines and are dedicated to your job, it may be your actions that are separating you from your next promotion. Below are some of the most common body language mistakes that you could be making without even noticing that you make them: 

Fidgeting 

One of the most distracting body language mistakes made in the workplace, fidgeting may be anything from playing with your pen, twirling your hair, or tapping your feet. These habits can make your colleagues think that you aren’t completely tuned into the conversation, and they can distract others that are. Instead, try to channel your energy into making eye-contact, keeping your hands visible, and sitting up straight to better engage in conversation. 

Bad Posture 

Slouching at your desk is easy after long hours at work, but it can also convey that you aren’t as put-together as you’d like to be. Even worse, it might make you seem negative or bored at work, telling your colleagues and bosses that you aren’t excited to be there. If you find yourself slouching often, use your desk chair to your advantage by sitting as far back as possible and using the back rest as support. This will align you with your chair and keep you from exhibiting bad posture. 

Crossing Your Arms 

Even if crossing your arms has nothing to do with the person you’re speaking to, it might make them feel that you are being closed off in the conversation. Separating yourself in this way can convey that you aren’t engaged or aren’t friendly, which will make your colleagues feel less comfortable when talking to you. To avoid this, try to keep your hands by your side and orient your body towards the person you’re talking with to show openness and engagement. 

Lack of Eye Contact 

Not making eye contact with others at work tells them that you’re too busy to converse with them or are not interested in talking. Additionally, looking at the floor or tilting your face downward can show that you are insecure. If it is your phone that keeps you from making eye contact, put it away. Instead, try to smile and look people in their eyes when passing them in the halls or holding conversation. 

Being Overly Casual 

In today’s world, businesses are becoming more casual and adopting modern values that encourage comfort and happiness. With this, comes more casual dress and attitudes at work. However, people often take this a little too far and end up walking down the office halls like they’re in their own homes. Remember to carry yourself with confidence and poise around the office. 

If you’re unsure of other body language mistakes you may be making, ask peers for feedback. Another helpful tactic is to identify someone you admire at work and take note of their habits. Above all else, be aware of how you are presenting yourself in the workplace, as this can be vital in your success. 

Quiz — What’s Your Communication Style?

Each of us has a set of general behavior patterns. These patterns express themselves in our personalities and in the way we communicate with others. Sometimes, it can be hard to work alongside those who do not share our same behavior patterns and communication preferences. If we can identify how we communicate with others, it makes us aware of how we are perceived and can make it easier for us to work with people who are different from us. We can then avoid unproductive behavior and learn how to control our communications in the workplace and in life.

Take the quiz below to learn about your communication style and understand communication preferences different from your own. Select the words and phrases that best fit how you communicate with co-workers, bosses, and peers. There are no right or wrong answers, so answer honestly.

1. When I talk to others, I like to…
a. get straight to the point
b. talk
c. share only what I want other people to know
d. include a lot of details

2. My communication is directed toward…
a. getting results and answers
b. being friendly with peers
c. cooperating with others
d. precision

3. I like communication that is…
a. straightforward and blunt
b. positive and happy
c. calm and relaxed
d. logical and relevant

4. Sometimes I may be…
a. blunt
b. very subjective in my descriptions
c. slow to share information
d. strict in my interpretations

5. I have been accused of…
a. not listening or paying attention to others
b. talking too much or taking over the conversation
c. procrastinating
d. being tentative or slow in conversation

6. When I am in a discussion, others…
a. know where I stand and what I believe
b. know I am enthusiastic and positive
c. know I don’t like to be surprised
d. know I desire information and facts

7. My greatest weakness in communicating is…
a. reacting too quickly
b. speaking without preparation
c. my desire for personal attention
d. my need for all of the details

 8. I don’t like conversations that…
a. I can’t control
b. don’t accept my viewpoint
c. are not cooperative and collaborative
d. create stress or drama

9. I like conversations that are…
a. stimulating and interesting
b. optimistic and positive
c. sincere and genuine
d. controlled and logical

10. I feel best when I am…
a. telling others what to do
b. smooth and poised
c. listening to other people
d. following a plan

MOSTLY A’s — DIRECT
When communicating, you like to feel that you are in charge. You like difficult assignments, a challenge, and quick results. You can be very decisive in your conversations and are not afraid to take action. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to be too brief, which sometimes comes across as blunt or may make you a poor listener. You are driven by independence, power, and quick results.

MOSTLY B’s — TALKATIVE
When communicating, you like to persuade others. You like to be popular, successful, and positive. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to speak without preparation, oversell ideas, and give more information than necessary. You are driven by influence, acceptance, and public recognition.

MOSTLY C’s — SINCERE
When communicating, you like sincere and genuine conversations. You like to be a member of a group. You need stability, appreciation, and time to adjust to ideas. You typically do not tell all of the information that you know. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to need too much personal attention, respond slowly, and are turned off by an aggression. You are driven by feeling needed and like to be asked, not told, what to do.

MOSTLY D’s — ORGANIZED
When communicating, you like to be thorough. You like low-risk situations, cooperation, organization, and following rules. You are logical in your conversations. You may need to improve your communication because you tend to be excessively detailed and are slow to trust. You are driven by cooperative relationships, long explanations, and clarity.