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Understanding The Importance Of Body Language At Work

5 min read
Last Updated on 16 August, 2022

Your body language speaks volumes about you before you even say a word. Everyone forms opinions about people just by looking at their physical gestures and movements. It is something that is just natural and applies to everyone.

In simple terms, body language can be defined as the physical movements, conscious and subconscious, that reveal our true feelings and emotions.

At work, body language plays an even bigger role. You must have heard the expression, “The first impression is the last impression”. Right from the start of job interviews, candidates are judged based on their body gestures and physical movements.

So, it is important to learn how your physical language affects your performance at work. Doing so will improve your chances of working for your dream company and getting to its top ranks.

This article will teach you how body language works so that you can tweak it to your advantage.

Types of Body Language

Body Gestures

These are physical movements of the head, hands, legs, and so on. These movements and gestures communicate messages with or without the help of speech. Also, physical gestures have different meanings in different cultures of the world.

Facial Expressions

Facial expressions play a crucial role in portraying true emotion, attitude, and feeling. Any kind of movement of the muscles of the face can be regarded as a facial expression.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is a very powerful communication tool. Its presence can convey interest, respect, dominance, and honesty, while its absence can convey a lack of interest and respect, submission, etc.


Physical touch is another way of non-verbal communication. It has the ability to convey positive emotions such as love, happiness, sympathy, gratitude, and even negative emotions like anger, disgust, fear, and sadness.


The physical space between two people conveys how much they like or dislike each other.

Here are some tips and facts to help you learn more about proper body language-


A smile is a universal symbol that portrays happiness. It conveys a sense of friendliness and brings people closer on a personal level. Also, it is very contagious and it’s amazing how a single smile can lighten up another person and make him smile too.

Always greet your co-workers and your superiors with a pleasant and natural smile. It makes you look confident and approachable. People are most likely to connect with people who seem happy than with people who seem gloomy and sad.

Also remember that while a genuine smile can improve relations, a fake smile can do the exact opposite.

The “Perfect” handshake

Handshakes are one of the simplest forms of non-verbal communication. A handshake may be used for the purpose of greeting, farewell, congratulating, or agreement. It tells a lot about the character of a person.

For corporate people, it is important to master the art of the handshake as a handshake can make or break a deal. A firm handshake can convey self-confidence whereas a soft one will convey submissiveness. Also, the duration of the handshake should not be too long or too short, it should be just perfect.

Maintain Eye Contact

Proper eye contact is critical in the sense that it gives people the assurance that you are paying attention to what they are saying. It implies that you are not shy or distracted and are registering everything that is being said.

Not maintaining proper eye contact can make people feel that you’re deceiving them. Also, it may imply that you are distracted and are not interested.

Always make proper eye contact whenever you are having a conversation with someone at work. It will show that you are a person worth communicating with and that will improve the overall quality of the conversation.

Maintain Good Posture

By looking at the body posture of a person, we can discern if he is healthy or sick, or confident or submissive. Emotions can also be detected by the changes in the body posture of a person.

At work, you should always maintain proper posture. Always sit upright on your chair, with your head facing forward. This will make you look confident and professional.

Proper posture will help you stand out from your colleagues and make your employer notice you. Also as an added benefit, maintaining good posture will prevent back pain and neck pain.

Speak Softly

You must have heard the phrase “Empty vessel makes the most noise”. It is a proverb that implies that people with the least knowledge talk the most and make the most noise. And compared to people who are loud and noisy, soft-spoken people are always perceived to be more knowledgeable and well-mannered.

Always, speak in a gentle and soft-spoken manner whenever you are talking with your colleagues or your superiors at work. By doing this you will come off as a person with empathy, humility, and knowledge.

Just remember one thing, being too soft-spoken can also make people think that you are shy and submissive.

Maintain the right distance

Everyone has a personal space that should be respected. Although every culture has different meanings and implications of proximity, maintaining proper proximity can be very beneficial in professional settings like business meetings.

Maintaining proper distance when approaching someone will make sure you approach them appropriately in a non-threatening manner. Some people might like getting close while communicating whereas some people may not be comfortable doing that.

A good tip when communicating with someone is to stand at an arms’ distance apart from them and face them maintaining eye contact. Standing too close to others might irritate them and cause them to feel uncomfortable.

Position your body correctly

Body positioning can play a big role in terms of communication at work. When engaging in a conversation with a colleague or a superior, it is important that you know how to position your body.

You might not even realize, but people could wrongly judge you on the basis of your body position. For instance, sitting with your legs or arms crossed may make you seem as disrespectful, insecure, or even untrusting.

Be vocal with your hands

Using your hands during verbal communication can help to convey your message more clearly and uniquely. It can help you to add structure and emphasis to your conversations.

Using hands to communicate takes up more space, and taking up more space can make you seem confident and powerful.

Practice using your hands in private before you do it at work. Also, remember to not be too aggressive with your hand motions.

Use body language to your advantage by using these tips. Feel free to leave your thoughts and queries in the comments section below.

Besides working as a content marketer at Vantage Circle, Shah Alif Ahmed is also an internationally certified nutrition specialist, competitive bodybuilder and a musician. For any queries reach out to

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