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Body Language: the Do's and Dont's

01-Oct-2019 11:00:00 / by The Insurance Institute

The Insurance Institute

Your body language can reveal a lot about you and what you're thinking. According to workandmoney.com, non verbal behaviour accounts for 55% of the messages you communicate. Being aware of your body and the movements you make can have a huge impact on your work relationships, so it is important to pay attention to your body language in different situations.

Here's some of our top do's and dont's on body language:

1.Stand tall

One of the most important body language tips we could give is to stand tall. Standing with your shoulders back and head high will not only make you look more confident, but it will also make you look better. Remember: never slouch and don't cross your arms. Slouching is one of the worst things you can do as it may make you come across as lazy or that you don't care. Similarly, crossing your arms will make it look as though you are unhappy or uncomfortable where you are.

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2.Power prime

For those of you that are unaware of what power priming is, it is when you remind yourself of a time where you succeeded in something or a time where you felt powerful. Thinking about a time like this is known to help the individual relive that positive feeling. Power priming is often used before a meeting or presentation to help increase confidence levels and self esteem of the person before speaking or greeting others. A good idea is to make a list of all of the times that you felt good about yourself in work or a time when you were praised for doing a great job on a particular project. Think about how you felt in that moment before you go to your next interview, meeting or presentation. You'll notice a huge difference in your performance.

3.Eye contact

There's nothing more awkward than having a conversation with someone who is staring at the floor or looking anywhere except at you. For some people, eye contact can be a difficult ask. But it is really important to try and look people in the eyes when in a meeting, presenting or just having a conversation. Avoiding eye contact may make the other person feel that you are uneasy or don't want to speak with them, which in turn, may make them feel uneasy too. In saying this, you should be conscious of staring. Only looking right into someones eyes for an entire meeting can be extremely uncomfortable and possibly cause for some embarrassment. Remember: never roll your eyes, this will given off the impression that you are displeased, fed up or unamused, which, is fine when talking with friends or close colleagues but expressing this type of frustration in front of your boss or manager will not go down well.

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4.Perfect your handshake

At the beginning and the end of an interview, at an event or greeting new clients, hand shaking is something we must all do from time to time. And so, getting it right is really important, particularly if it is your first time meeting someone. A bad handshake can leave an bad impression of you in someones mind and it just doesn't get the conversation off to a good start.

To perfect your handshake, try practicing with friends and get them to give you advice. Nobody likes a weak or limp handshake but at the same time, if it is too strong, you might end up hurting the person on the receiving end, and it's not a great idea to injure your new client before you've even sat down. Somewhere in the middle is good and always remember to give them eye contact while shaking their hand.

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5.Smile

According to Buzzfeed, employers tend to promote those who smile often. Smiling makes you seem more approachable and confident. When talking to someone one to one, try smiling at them more. It is also known to boost your mood and it's contagious, so if you smile, they'll smile.

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