Workplace Stress – Could Identifying Body Language Help Reduce It?

Being able to understand and recognize body talk is becoming more necessary and useful in today’s’ workplace. It can make the difference between getting a client or not. It provides information that should never be ignored because in the end, it could damage the performance of a company. For example: if during a presentation you notice the client is drumming his pen on the table — a sign of boredom, or his feet are crossed — a sign his mind is closed, then you aren’t following the cues. Not knowing what your clients or others are thinking could seriously damage your business and future business relationships. Knowing when to change strategies is the lynch pin to securing an account.

Here’s a prime example: “During a negotiation meeting with union leaders, a manager whispered to his colleague that an agreement was about to be reached and hence they need not relax their conditions any further. He was proven right within five minutes. A calculated guess that just turned out to be lucky? No, the manager had seen one of the main union leaders unbuttoning his coat – a sign of openness, friendliness or willingness to reach an agreement.” – Anil Bhatnagar

Body language tells it all. It’s the successful business person’s secret weapon. It can even set the tone of the workplace. Employees are not always truthful with you. They can be standing there smiling, agreeing with what you are saying, but if they fail to look you in the eye they are not on board. Body language is the most reliable indicator of actual behavior.

You want a staff that is energized and willing to fall into line with company objectives. You have to know how to detect dissatisfaction and discreetly manage it for change.

The biggest problem with leadership communication is the illusion that positive change has occurred. Many corporate leaders resort to commands, not communication. It’s the old because-I-said so form of leadership and it does not work. This form of communication creates toxic emotions that can quickly spread and cause conflict between people and departments, increase absenteeism, lower productivity, and add workplace stress or even result in a mass exit of employees. Managers and CEO’s can avoid conflict if they are tuned into what is NOT being said. Watch peoples body language as they come into work. Are they smiling and saying “good morning” to others or are they shuffling in, head down, slowly inching their way towards their office or work area? By being able to read others, you help to set the tone for the day by addressing the situation in a compassionate manner. This doesn’t mean you have to know what’s going on with someone who is obviously unhappy, but by acknowledging the fact that you sense something is wrong, you make that person feel cared about. You don’t have to fix the person, you just have to be interested in them as an individual. Watching their body language will help you to keep your workplace a more pleasant one to work in.

Learning how to detect problems by simply watching a person is imperative in all aspects of business. With signs and signals people are non-verbally telling you what they need. If you don’t learn this unspoken language you most certainly will lose out.

And lastly, the same rule applies to employees who represent your company. It’s not safe to give employees free-rein with customers if they cannot effectively ‘read’ them. Intention detecting is necessary when it is important that every effort and every dollar pays off.

If you can detect what people are thinking by reading their body language you’ll always be a winner!

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