Communication whether it be verbally or virtually is something we discuss often as it relates to your success in the workplace. Something that often gets overlooked though, nonverbal communication.
Nonverbal communication is what your body is expressing to those around you. Nonverbal communication is guided by culture, so it may vary in countries outside of the United State. These nonverbal codes can help you become an overall better networker and communicator.
Kinesics are all those physical gestures we use to communicate, such as facial expressions or hand gestures. If used in the right way, it can be a handy tool when speaking publicly (or when speaking with a colleague) to make you appear more well-informed. To help you move with more purpose, practice ahead of time for interviews and presentations.
If you are using a slide show or note cards with talking points, give yourself small cues that will help you remember to gesture. Small gestures are the most effective and look the most unintentional and fluid.
Proxemics and Body Language
Proxemics is a fancy way of saying the amount of space that people feel it necessary to set between themselves and others. It’s important to make sure the distance between you and a colleague in a meeting gives you the right amount of space to connect, but also room to breathe.
When it comes to body language, your posture speaks volumes about your personality and how comfortable you are in your own skin. Make sure to sit up straight and open your shoulders up, and you will radiate confidence. A genuine smile is also key – an authentic smile makes your audience feel more at ease.
Appearance is a vital nonverbal skill in the workforce that can be used while networking and interviewing. As human beings in today’s society, appearance is one of the first things we analyze to make inferences about others. We all know the saying.. if you look good, you’ll feel good – and you will interview well. Professional clothing not only boosts your confidence, it also shows your potential employers that you mean business. “Neatness costs nothing and pays dividends,” said Stewart and Cash, in their book, Interviewing: Principles and Practices.
More often than not, nonverbal communication skills are just as important as how you respond to interview questions. If these skills are used properly, they can convey a strong sense of confidence that will surely impress your potential employers and professional connections.
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