Many body language cues are common knowledge: eye contact communicates interest and attention, crossed arms indicate that one is closed off, or uninterested. You’ve probably at least heard about the “power poses” TED Talk. But what else could you be saying without even realizing it?
Aili McConnon’s 2016 WSJ article “How Your Body Language Can Tell People You’re a Leader—or Not,” is a good place to start. The article hits 8 body language cues that leaders should be cognizant of when speaking in front of groups or interacting with employees. We may just be students, but good body language isn’t just for CEOs – check out the article, and put some of the tips into practice during your next interview or class presentation.
McConnon cites the book “What Every Body is Saying,” a nearly all-inclusive guide to body language, written by Joe Navarro. Navarro, a former FBI interrogator, knows his stuff. I know that many people aren’t big on reading (particularly non-fiction books), but I can recommend this one first hand (I read it a few years ago). It’s less than 300 pages, and each chapter covers a different area of the body (e.g. feet and legs, hands, face), using stories from his time as an FBI agent (both in interrogations and in court rooms) to illustrate various nonverbal signals. You’ll be surprised how much you can learn from nonverbal cues.
Accounting and business are people-driven industries. Directing your body language, and interpreting others’ nonverbal cues is a subtle but effective performance differentiator that will help you succeed in both work and life.