11 Body Language Mistakes Many of Us Make at Work
Many people dream of being promoted at work and do their best to be noticed by their boss. According to the laws of psychology, small things like one’s posture and gestures matter almost as much as actions do. In this article, we are going to reveal some secrets about how to get ahead at work by using the right body language.
Here at Bright Side, we’ve collected a set of body language mistakes many of us make at work. Avoiding these mistakes will get you closer to that new promotion for sure!
11. Sitting in a relaxed way
We all like to slouch at home when relaxing in our favorite armchair or sofa in front of the TV. But many of us get so relaxed at the workplace that we tend to slouch there too. Not only is it bad for your back but it’s damaging to your image as well.
This relaxed position makes other people think that you don’t care about the things you are doing because you are feeling too comfortable and therefore, lazy. Try to always watch the way you sit. A less relaxed way of sitting will assure your boss that you are very interested in what you are doing.
10. Rolling your eyes
Basically, this gesture is considered rude — no matter where you are, whether it’s at work or among your friends. However, even though your friends may not notice it, your colleagues definitely will be offended by it. And they have a good reason for it because people tend to roll their eyes when they want to show that someone around them has said or done something silly.
9. Using “fig leaf” posture
This is truly a men’s posture, holding their hands over their genital area. The second name for it is the “fig leaf” position. By doing it, you may offend your surrounding coworkers and make them feel uncomfortable, especially at work. So keep watching your hands carefully!
8. Invading another person’s personal space
No matter how friendly you are with your boss or colleagues, invading their personal space is not the best idea. Subconsciously, the person whose personal space you are in can feel threatened, distracted and simply uncomfortable. That’s why it’s important to always keep a healthy distance from the people around you of about 3 ft to 8 ft according to etiquette rules.
7. Entering the office too quietly
When you are literally sneaking into your office without saying hi to your colleagues, it’s a bad sign. They can interpret it as arrogance or that you were not brought up properly. That’s why you should always remember to greet others at least with a nod or a smile when you enter the room.
6. Expressing your boredom
We all get bored from time to time, especially if we are feeling under the weather. Nevertheless, no matter how you feel, it’s better to learn to hide your emotions at work. Otherwise, your boss might assume that it’s time to replace you with a more active person. So stop doodling and sighing and instead, try to change the activity by offering some help to your colleagues. It will distract you from the bad mood you’re in and show your boss that you are active enough to get another promotion.
5. Separating from your surroundings
We all feel shy when we start working in a new place. But if you keep physically separating yourself from colleagues by not participating in team-building activities, or always having lunch alone, that means you don’t want to create a friendly relationship with them. This implies that you are an isolated, unfriendly, uninterested person. So no matter how difficult it is, kick yourself out of your comfort zone and get closer to your colleagues (but remember to respect their personal space).
4. Leaning on surrounding objects
The research held at Stanford University has shown that standing tall makes you more powerful both directly and indirectly. Your body posture conveys a lot of information to the people around you and determines the way these people will treat you. Therefore, if you keep leaning on walls, tables, and other objects, your surroundings can interpret it as a sign of weakness. Conversely, standing straight and tall will assure them of your strength and confidence.
3. Keeping your hands behind your back
Your colleagues pay a lot of attention to your hands. A study held by Spencer Kelly, a professor of neuroscience, says that our hand gestures are as vital to communication as our words are and that keeping your hands behind your back during a conversation may cause your opponent to assume that you are not trustworthy. Being trustworthy is important, especially at work. We are not saying that you should gesticulate over-actively, but try to keep your hands and palms open.
2. Checking the time too often
Looking at your watch or mobile phone during a conversation with a colleague, boss or even a friend of yours is the rudest gesture ever. What would you think if your buddy kept checking the time every now and then during a conversation? You’d probably feel that they are bored and want to get rid of you as soon as possible. So put your phone down and watch aside while talking to people, and simply inform them that you are in a hurry and offer to continue the conversation later if you really have more important things to do.
1. Keeping your body turned away from a conversation
If you are in a meeting and keep looking at the window with your torso turned toward it too, expect some bad news. No matter how disinterested you are in a meeting, you should always keep yourself engaged in it — not only with your eyes and ears but with your whole body. Stop daydreaming and face the action!
Have you ever noticed yourself using any of these postures or gestures? Are you going to watch yourself more carefully at work from now on? Please let us know about it in the comments!