Body language can be defined in two ways. It can be defined as nonverbal communication through facial expressions, eye behaviour, gestures, posture, and the like; it is often thought to be involuntary. It can also be defined as usually culturally influenced nonverbal communication using the body through facial expressions, gestures, dance, mime, and so on. Both definitions are relevant to our discussion today. Most people are ignorant of just how powerful body language is. Roughly 55 percent of human communication is nonverbal; understanding body language is a big deal. Here are some body language hacks to make yourself preferable in business:

Smiling And Maintaining Eye Contact

Smiling projects you to other people as someone who is friendly. It also makes them regard you as someone that is easy to approach. It is important to make the smile genuine; it shows if it is not. A trick you can use to smile genuinely is to delay it. As in, ordinarily, think about a smile before you make it. Instead of immediately smiling, delay or suppress it and then let it out. This will come off as more authentic. Couple this with eye contact; maintain as much eye contact as possible. Do not overdo it, though. Maintaining eye contact shows the other person that you are paying close attention to them. It will also show them that you have nothing to hide. Thus they will esteem you as honest and transparent. To buttress all these elements, you must occasionally refer to the other person by name. It usually makes the other person feel special in some way, so throw it in here and there.

Head Tilting And Slightly Leaning In

When engaging with other people, you want to exude openness and trustworthiness. One way to achieve that is by tilting your head and slightly leaning in (or towards) the other person. You would not do this if you were lying or hiding something. However, do not make it weird. For example, the head tilts should not be too pronounced. The same applies to leaning in; it should not invade the other person’s personal distance. It should all come off as subtle, natural but noticeable. You should also throw in head nods when listening. This reassures the other person that you are actively listening. You can alternate that with verbal nods as well. As you may have noticed, the thrust is to show that you are genuinely interested in what the other person is saying. This invokes your much-needed likeability.

Mirroring And Open Posture

Mirroring is when you deliberately imitate the other person’s mannerisms. It could be how you will be seated or standing, gestures, reactions, etc. It can also extend to what they say too. For instance, you can repeat what (or part of what) the other person would have last said before or as you respond to them. Interestingly, it can happen naturally and unaware if fully engaged with the other person. A caveat is not to make the mirroring too obvious lest it come off as creepy to the other person. Having an open posture applies to whether you are seated or standing. The idea is to have an upright posture without crossing legs or arms. The opposite of this may come off as disrespectful or arrogant. Open posture shows that you are open, interested, and actively listening. Closely related to your open posture is always to make your palms visible. Again it serves the same purposes as aforementioned.

Use Slow And Steady Paces

A particular popular personality exists in a certain country (I will not mention the name). The truth is he is quite knowledgeable in his field. However, I have one huge turn-off: he speaks too fast. Speaking too fast can ruin other people’s perceptions of you. The same applies to using a pitch that is too high. For example, if you are talking to someone, the conversation must be localized to just the two of you. If others can eavesdrop, then you are being too loud. It can just be a turn-off or unsettling, like the example I gave. It can also come off as an indicator that you are hiding something. It can even affect the other person’s ability to grasp your words. The same goes for your gestures or general body movements. You should aim to make slow and steady paces.

To top it off, you must make appropriate occasional touches. This may not always be doable, though. You have only to apply it when it is okay to do so; use your discretion. The overall aspect of our discussion is to exude genuine interest. For instance, make sure your feet should point to the other person. Naturally, your body does that when keenly interested in what the other person says. It is akin to reaping what you sow or getting what you give. If you truly show interest in the other person, you will get it in return. It is also important to know when it is time to abort or to even converse with someone in the first place. Sometimes it may not even be about you since someone can be going through something. That is why active listening is crucial in light of all these body language hacks.