Infographic: The best body language for business situations

Have you ever considered that your body language could help you snag a raise, win a new client or customer, or peacefully disagree with an adamant colleague? Here’s how it works.

When someone first meets you, it only takes 7 seconds for that person to make a judgment about you.

That gives new meaning to the adage, “You only get one chance to make a first impression,” doesn’t it?

While what we say in certain situations is clearly important, body language plays a less obvious, yet critical role. The gestures and movements you make can encourage new clients or customers to trust you, help you emphasize certain points in a presentation, or show your boss you’re on the same page.

An infographic from Gengo discusses the importance of body language and explains what your movements should be in certain business situations to achieve success. Take a look:

Situation: Presenting a pitch

  • Goal: Coordinate your body language to your content.
  • What to do:
  • Move toward the audience—not the slides—on important points.
  • Avoid looking at the screen or computer.
  • Focus on the audience.

Situation: Disagreeing without making enemies

  • Goal: State your opposing view, but use body language to support the person you disagree with.
  • What to do:
  • Smile and nod frequently.
  • Raise your eyebrows to show you’re receptive.
  • Appropriately touch the person in a non-threatening way.

Situation: Asking the boss for a raise

  • Goal: Align yourself with your boss to show agreement.
  • What to do:
  • Focus completely on your boss.
  • Keep your face and torso pointed toward your boss.
  • Mirror her behavior, then initiate new body language.

Situation: Meeting a new client

  • Goal: Establish a relationship and build trust as quickly as possible.
  • What to do:
  • Mirror the client’s behavior.
  • Don’t back away when the client speaks.
  • Stay close, but not too close.

Check out the graphic for more:

(View a larger image.)

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