What does your body language say about you?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Magnets USA®

By Rebecca Cranwell

Don't let your body language hide who you really are.

In my frivolous youth, a friend—Erica—and I decided we were going to have a little competition: see who could get the most phone numbers during our night out on the town.

Erica is beautiful. More beautiful than me, I’m not ashamed to admit it. However, to my surprise, the tall, dark, handsome, and incredibly charming Erica turned into a whole different animal when placed outside her comfort zone. She leaned nervously against the bar with her hands clasped awkwardly in front of her. Eventually, a brave pair of gents sauntered nervously towards us and sparked a conversation with…me!

I get it, I was the easy one to talk to because I’m not gorgeously intimidating; however, the interaction revealed more than that. We both learned how important body language is.

Whether you’re out on the town or trying to sell a house: people are people, and they don’t want to be around someone who seems uncomfortable, angry, or negative. Be genuine and comfortable with yourself; people will return the favor.

Be aware of the message you’re sending with your body. Do you unconsciously scowl all the time or do you offer up a hearty smile to those you encounter? Are you crossing your arms and blocking human contact? These are all things you may be doing—without even thinking about it—that could cost you business.

Body Language Don’ts:

  • Frown or scowl - try to always be aware of your facial expression. It’s all too easy to scowl or grimace maniacally - especially when you’re exploring the recesses of your mind. If you catch yourself frowning, just flip that baby upside down and keep truckin’.
  • Tense up - it’s easy to ball up your fists or raise your shoulders when you’re nervous. Be aware of your body. If you notice yourself tensing up, just remind yourself to relax.
  • Fidget - figeting is also easy to do on an unconscious level. If you fidget, try keeping something in your hand to remind you NOT to fidget. Hold a pen, or a glass of water - just don’t click your pen over and over.
  • Lean forward too much - also be aware of where your body is. Some people are “close talkers,” which is uncomfortable for everyone involved. Be sure you’re not invading anyone’s bubble. You should be about an arm’s length away from your acquaintance.
  • Cross your arms - crossing your arms literally creates a barrier between you and everyone else. It also says “leave me alone.”

 Body Language Do’s:

  • Smile - when you’re smiling, people aren’t afraid to approach you. Practice smiling in the mirror, so you know what a good looking smile feels like. A genuine smile is as much in the eyes as it is the teeth. If you find it hard to smile genuinely in any given situation, try to think of someone you love or that one time your smacked your brother in the face with a water balloon. That’ll do it.

  • Relax your hands and arms- easier said than done, I know—but pay less attention to your hands. Just let them hang comfortably by your side. You don’t look as weird as you feel, I promise. If you can’t get your mind off how awkward your arms feel, again - try holding something - like a glass of water or a pen.
  • Keep your shoulders loose and relaxed - when tense or stressed your shoulders will contract and shrivel into your neck like some kind of turtle. Remain cognizant of where your shoulders are—they shouldn’t be by your ears.
  • Maintain eye contact - don’t stare anyone down, but also don’t let your eyes dart nervously around the room. Normal eye contact should last anywhere from 2-5 seconds.
  • Stand up straight - confident people rarely slouch. It’s easy to slump over or rest all our weight on one side. Try to keep your shoulders back and your head up. Power stance time.

Confident body language will help both your personal and business lives.

Body language is an essential element to any business person’s image and reputation. Try your hardest to become aware of your body in a positive sense. Don’t beat yourself up if you catch yourself leaning against a wall somewhere with your arms crossed—just fix the situation. Perk yourself back up, smile and uncross those arms!

Take an in-depth look at body language and signals.

This all being said, body language isn’t just about how you behave when you’re around a person. Body language is also conveyed by the image you present.

Do you distribute Calendar Magnets or Business Cards with your picture on them? If so—make sure your body language in the picture demonstrates how you want to be seen: confident and professional.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog with tips on taking a great business photo.

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