Avoid These Body Language Don'ts if You Want to Side-Step Misunderstandings

Published on 13/10/2020


Do you pay much attention to your body language?

Many people don’t really think too much about what their actions and their posture might be telling the other person they’re trying to communicate with. The truth is, your body language can easily contradict your words if you’re not careful, so knowing the types of body language to avoid is vital. 

By being more aware of your own body language you can make changes that will become second nature and habit over time. By avoiding this issue, you’re going to be facing one of the biggest barriers of communication in the workplace and therefore heading towards misunderstandings nd possible office conflicts as a result. 

Being body language aware takes time and effort, but it’s a useful skill to learn. Let’s look at a few of the body language don’ts you need to avoid at all costs. 

  • Don’t Fidget - Fidgeting shows that you’re not listening and it’s also hugely disrespectful to the person you’re communicating with. Avoid tapping, playing with pens or anything else on the table, messing with your hair, playing with your cuff, or anything else which basically shows the other person that you’d rather be somewhere else. 
  • Don’t Avoid Eye Contact - Whilst you don’t have to stare the other person out, you should make eye contact throughout the conversation. It shows the other person you’re listening to what they’re saying and that you’re not rudely ignoring them. 
  • Don’t Cross Your Arms or Legs - Having your arms folded over your body or your leg crossed whilst you’re sitting down shows that you’re feeling defensive. It can also be a sign of lying. Instead, sit or stand with your body relaxed and nothing crossed. 
  • Don’t Stand With Your Hands on Your Hips - Standing with your hands on your hips is a sign of aggression and it can put the other person on the defensive or make them feel like they’re being attacked. Instead, let your arms hang by your sides in a relaxed posture. 
  • Don’t Put Your Hands in Your Pockets - This basically shows that you’re not interested and you’re not taking the other person seriously. Again, hands by your sides is a much better option. 
  • Don’t Lean Forward Too Much - Whilst leaning sightly forwards is a good thing, because shows that you’re being attentive and you’re interested in what the other person has to say, leaning too far towards the other person could make them feel like their personal space is being invaded. A slight tilt is all you need, anything more is just too much. 

By avoiding these body language don’ts, you’ll be able to start developing your own effective communication skills and cut down on the number of times that someone else takes your intentions the wrong way or assumes that you’re not listening or interested in what they have to say. 

Far too many people don’t place enough importance upon body language, but the truth is that by showing the wrong type of body language, it doesn’t matter what words you choose to speak, they’re going to be thrown into complete doubt by the person you’re communicating with.

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