Saturday, 17 January 2015

Body Language: An Important Communication Tool

Body Language: An Important Communication Tool
(Adapted from an unknown source)

"The art of communication is the language of leadership."

Body language can make a big difference in your people skills, attractiveness and general mood. It is important for one to understand the etiquettes of using body language as it may be interpreted in several ways by the significant other.

Here are a few tips on how effective body language:


You must have read or heard earlier too that you should never cross your arms when at an interview or when communicating with seniors. Crossing arms are interpreted as being defensive or guarded. Keep your arms open.


If you are among a group of people, you must try maintaining eye contact with them to create a better connection and see if they are listening. Staring or keeping too much of eye contact while communicating might creep people out. On the other hand, having no eye contact might make you seem insecure.


When you feel tense it easily winds up as tension in your shoulders. They might move up and forward a bit. Try to relax. Try to loosen up by shaking the shoulders a bit and move them back slightly. Do not slouch, sit up straight. Lean but not too much. If you want to show that you are interested in what is being said and are confident in yourself, just relax and lean back a bit. But do not lean back much. It might give impression of being arrogant. Similarly, don’t lean in too much as it might give an impression of being needy or desperate. While standing, don’t stand too close. Give people their personal space.


Nod once in a while to signal that you are listening, but don't overdo it.


Don't keep your eyes on the ground, it might make you seem insecure and a bit lost. Keep your head up straight and your eyes towards the horizon. Lighten up, don't take yourself too seriously. Relax a bit, smile and laugh when someone says something funny. People will be a lot more inclined to listen to you if you seem to be a positive person. But don't be the first to laugh at your own jokes, it makes you seem nervous and needy. Smile when you are introduced to someone but don't keep a smile plastered on your face, it will give impression of being insecure.


It might make you seem nervous and can be distracting for the listeners or the people in the conversation. Try to avoid showing nervousness such as shaking your leg or tapping your fingers against the table rapidly. You will seem nervous and fidgeting can be a distracting when you try to get something across. Try to relax, slow down and focus your movements. Use your hands more confidently instead. Use your hands to describe something or to add weight to a point you are trying to make. But don't use them too much or it might become distracting.


Often when you get along with a person, when the two of you get a good connection, you will start to mirror each other unconsciously. To make the connection better you can try a bit of proactive mirroring. If he leans forward, you might lean forward. If he puts hands in pocket, you might do the same. But don't react instantly and don't mirror every change in body language. Keep a balance.


Keep a positive, open and relaxed attitude. How you feel will come through in your body language and can make a major difference.

Take a couple of these body languages into consideration when communicating next time. You will definitely create a positive impact on others leading your way to a successful relation with them.

© The blogger is an independent writer and works with Aga Khan Development Network

Monday, 12 January 2015

The Anatomy of Leading a Successful Life

‘Good things rarely come quick and easy’.

As the lifestyle of human being is becoming increasingly competitive, it is becoming more important for them to accelerate themselves by being open to change, to be willing to learn, to come out of their comfort zone and to adapt.

While at a career counseling session, I recently met one of the participants who was desperate in need of job but was not willing to work at a location not nearby his home; his absolute reason defined as that he has been used to of working near his vicinity as it saves him time that is required for commuting.

There is a well-known Chinese proverb that says that wise adapt themselves to the circumstances. Having a mind-set to be comfortable with one’s own comfort zone fosters an attitude of helplessness, making it harder for them to progress. You can only grow when you step outside your fortress and venture into the wilderness. It is imperative for one to explore out of their discomfort, being adaptable to change and to understand the importance of learning.

Being willing to give up the familiarity of the known and able to adapt the behavior increases the ability to communicate and build relationships with other people.

I would like to present the example of a Chief Operating Officer of the Procter & Gamble Company, who spent much of the past two decades in various overseas postings. In his recent interview, he stated "I did not expect to live outside US for 15 years. The world has changed, so I had to change too. When you look at my biodata, foreign languages are not my best subjects. But when you move out of your culture, you have no option but to learn their culture and their language."

Such kind of willingness to get out of one’s comfort zone and learn continuously without complaining is a way of adapting to the change and definitely marks a key difference between a successful and unsuccessful human being.

© The blogger is an independent writer and works with Aga Khan Development Network