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Body talks: 4 ways to perfect your body language in the office

It’s time to think out of the (zoom) box. As we break free from the confines of our virtual meetings and step back into the office – once, twice or three times a week – we need to remember how and what our full body communicates to our colleagues.

You may have heard of the Great Resignation, where a record number of employees left their jobs because of the pandemic in search of something new. Now Canada and the world is waltzing back to the office in the Great Return.

Some of us are dancing our way effortlessly back in, while the rest of us stumble along trying to figure out how to present ourselves again. What does our full body language say about us as we step out from behind our computer screens?

Your entire body is in view again at meetings and presentations so use it to your advantage. Your body language can help you confidently, effectively and accurately convey your messages and help you succeed at work.

As workplace culture gets into a new rhythm and you head back into the office, it’s a good time to reexamine and refresh your personal communication style.

Full body language + look

No more slouching on the couch during meetings. While you swivel in the office chair, be sure to sit up straight and let your body show how self-assured, smart and open you are. Don’t forget your hands also do a lot of talking. Use them confidently to engage your colleagues. You can also lean in during meetings as you listen to others and turn your body and legs to the speaker during a presentation.

What you wear also counts. Check in with your coworkers and manager to find out what the “new normal” dress code is. Will you wear dress pants again or switch to nice jeans? Messy bun or back-to-business sleek pony? Put a little time into researching what the new expectations are in the office.

Voice

Your words matter, and so does your tone, volume, pitch and inflection. Think of how you want to present yourself and the message. Sometimes the softest voice can speak volumes. Also, consider your speaking pace when presenting in a meeting. Use pauses to emphasize your message and to help your colleagues to digest information.

New normal comfort zones

COVID has redefined each persons’ comfort level with physical touch and space in the workplace. The key is to respect each individual’s preferences – fist pump, handshake or wave? Masks or no masks in meetings? There is a lot to consider. We recommend you simply ask your colleagues what they’re comfortable with when you greet each other.

Are you looking for coaching or training on how to connect authentically with your audience, employees or colleagues in the workplace? We provide one-on-one coaching for leaders, presentation training and messaging development for people managers. Reach out to us.

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