Body check!


Everyone knows the importance of verbal skill and saying the right things – but words can easily lose their meaning if you avoid eye contact and nervously twist your hands; these are signals that are unconsciously perceived by those around you and instantly create an image of who you are. Here are the 10 most common body language mistakes that we are guilty of.

  1. Leaning back in a chair with your hands clasped behind your neck is a possible signal that you are relaxed – but also that you are completely uninterested in what I have to say.
  2. We all know that you should look into the eyes of the person you are talking to, but too much eye contact can also be completely wrong, and often mistaken for aggressiveness. Maintain eye contact for 1 to 2 seconds and then look away.
  3. Putting one hand in the other is something people often do when they feel stressed. Stop doing this if you want your projects to be approved at the next meeting.
  4. What should you do with your hands? Many of us unconsciously and out of habit stick our hands in our pockets, but this can easily be interpreted as having something to hide.
  5. Do you emphasise what you are saying by pointing with your whole hand? This is a gesture which, unfortunately, tends to bring to an end any chance of further conversation.
  6. One of the most common body language mistakes we are guilty of is touching the tip of our nose or stroking our chin when we speak. It's hard to avoid, but if you want to be seen as honest and respectable, keep your hands in check.
  7. Nodding in agreement during a conversation is nice, but don't do it all the time, as it makes you look weak.
  8. Not all meetings are fun, but the rest of the world doesn't need to know this is how you feel. In other words, stop twisting that lock of hair between your thumb and index finger.
  9. It isn't recommended to wrap your feet around the leg of the chair you're sitting on – at least not if you're more than twelve years old and want to convey the message that you're an adult who can be trusted.
  10. And remember: of course it's good to emphasise your words with gestures from time to time, but unless you're a football referee or railwaystationmaster, use small gestures!