Did you know that you can become a better manager by taking a few minutes right now to learn how to read body language? It’s true. Accurately reading an employee’s body language will drastically increase your understanding of him or her. If you understand people, you can manage them effectively. This will likely result in increased productivity and more positive relationships with workers.
Become a Better Manager By Learning to Read Employees’ Body Language
They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. That may be true, but body language is another portal into a person’s soul. Here are a few ways to discover more about your employees by reading their body language:
- Pay attention to posture – People’s posture will tell you all you need to know about them in the moment. Slouched posture suggests feelings of intimidation or defeat. Employees with this posture probably need either encouragement or for you to take a gentler approach to managing them. An employee with good, natural-looking posture probably feels comfortable around you.
- The eyes have it – Have you ever wanted to know if an employee’s smile or laughter was genuine? You’ll never wonder again once you understand that true delight crinkles the eyes. “When it comes to smiling, the mouth can lie but the eyes can’t. Genuine smiles reach the eyes, crinkling the skin to create crow’s feet around them. People often smile to hide what they’re really thinking and feeling, so the next time you want to know if someone’s smile is genuine, look for crinkles at the corners of their eyes. If they aren’t there, that smile is hiding something,” wrote Travis Bradberry in his article 8 Great Ways to Read People’s Body Language.
- Don’t forget about feet – When you are speaking with an employee, make it a point to look at the placement of his or her feet. If they are close together, that’s a sign that the person is hesitant or feeling unsure about something, reported Carol Kinsey Goman, contributor to Forbes. In her article 12 Body Language Tips for Career Success, she mentioned that standing with feet wide apart suggests confidence. Can you imagine how helpful it could be to you to know if employees are either insecure or confident during your conversations? That information could help you communicate in ways employees will be truly receptive to.
Body language is simply amazing. It can tell you if someone is happy or sad, fearful or self-assured, intimidated or trying to be intimidating. Learning to read body language is a skill that will be helpful to anyone in a management position. This skill can maximize a manager’s communication with those in and out of the workplace.
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