All About Body Language

Relaxed Body Language = Confidence

The relaxed body language used by a factory worker is vastly different than the body language used by a manager in the hospitality industry. This is why body language is so important in the job interview.

If you don’t believe this attend a few networking meetings. The professionals at the top of their career can always pick out the eager young prospect who is ‘following the career development books.’ Both by what they say and whether they act like a manager, student, or someone who has learned ‘on the job.’

This new Candidate has learned what needs to be done, but are limited to the body language and communication style at their current career level. Unfortunately younger prospects never receive any help or mentors because they haven’t reached the ‘give and take’ or collaboration level of their careers.

Managers don’t have time for ‘takers’. If you want a mentor then develop a set of skills that he/she needs. Then learn how to demonstrate them in a way that will win the mentor’s respect.

You learn body language from your peers. If you limit yourself to your current peers then you limit your communication style.

Here are a couple ways that body language can be misinterpreted. To a person low on the learning curve, being relaxed or leaning forward may ‘sound’ like good advice.

Too Relaxed = Disrespect or Arrogance

Restaurant managers need to possess a high EQ, (emotional quotient). They learn how to interact with expressive/artistic personality types, including other managers. You need to understand more than the Robert’s Rules of Order, you need to know how to communicate with other expressive people without offending them.

1. Chatting or texting during a meeting.

2. Scrolling through your tablet or phone, or using your laptop when not instructed to(where others are not).

3. Doodling on your note pad. This can also include taking notes when the speaker feels they are making a strong, valid point.

4. Rolling your eyes, sighing, leaning on your hand, showing any boredom body language, or yawning.

5. Stretching your arms out to the side and placing them behind your head, or crossing them on your chest. This might be okay on its own, but if you also sigh, roll your eyes, or look at your watch or clock, the message is, “You’re boring me.”

6. Mirroring might work when selling to the average consumer, but it can be construed as patronizing when in a job interview or when used with a type A personality.

Remember that when you are in a job interview, or a meeting, that the person in front of you expects a certain level of respect and affirmation. They want to see strong ‘active listening’ skills.

Moving Forward Body Language = Boredom and Disrespect

These five actions tell others: “I’m ready to bolt… “  “I have finished with you.” “I have more important things to do ….”

1. Glancing toward the door.

2. Looking at your watch or up at a clock..

3. Taking one step sideways toward the door from a standing position. This can include shifting your weight in a chair that can be seen as an act of moving away or putting distance between you and the speaker.

4. Point #3 can include moving one foot in front of the other. As your torso moves slightly in the direction of your foot you are giving the impression that you’re on your way out.

5.  Looking from side to side while others are talking. You’re scanning to see who’s going to get up first so that you can quickly follow. This can be mistaken as ‘taking control’ or as an aggressive move.