Watch your back posture
Thanks to computers and office chairs designed by sadists, the human spine is having a hard time. It doesn’t have to be this way! Set regular reminders to straighten up your back, adjust your arms, and maybe take a minute to pace around. Not only will this help keep you awake and agile, but you’ll also project a lot more confidence.
The pathological transformation of a human greeting into some kind of mad power waltz has done no good for the world. A warm smile and firm grip are all you need to come across calm and confident. Avoid the wet noodle handshake by keeping it dry, and disengaging first. It doesn’t make you look weak, it makes you look normal.
You’re stiff and robotic
If you hyper-fixate on how your every movement is being perceived, you’re likely to come across as stilted and robotic. The idea of focusing on these in first place is rooted in pseudoscience. Even expert lie detectors, trained to recognize the smallest micro-expression for signs of dishonesty, are less reliable than a coin toss. Try to avoid overthinking it, let your natural rhythm take over.
You hold too much eye contact
It’s completely natural for the eyes to wander during a conversation. At work, there aren’t many reasons to try and Medusa stare your way into somebody’s soul, they just want to know what you thought of the presentation. It helps a lot in conveying a point for the eyes to follow your expressions and body movement, it shows you’re engaged with your own words.
You’re a close talker
Personal space is something you should respect everywhere, especially in the office. Even though you’re likely good friends with many of your co-workers, you should try and avoid body language that’s too physically imposing. Leaning in to talk closer to somebody’s face, even if trying to emphasize a point, can trigger a deeply unpleasant reaction.
You slouch your shoulders
Your back could look like a marble statue chiseled by Zeus himself, and it won’t be worth anything if you don’t carry your shoulders properly. Relax your body and take a deep breath in, notice where your shoulders sit, and try little adjustments to see what feels comfortable. You should feel open and comfortable in a way that comforts others, not scares them.
You (literally) point fingers
The finger point is a very neutral gesture in most circumstances. It’s how we give directions and draw attention to things. Even in conversation, it’s usually reserved for light-hearted exaggerations, which is why it comes across as unpleasant and passive-aggressive when used at work. It feels accusatory, like you’re being singled out in a supposedly cooperative environment.
You focus on looking confident instead of feeling it
Fake it until you make it can be sound short-term advice, but it quickly falls apart when people get to know you. No matter what you say, your body will naturally reflect how you feel. Even if they notice, your co-workers can’t help you develop if you pretend you don’t need it. True confidence will come from accepting that!
You worry you fidget too much
Not being able to sit still isn’t nearly as annoying as some would have you think. At work, surrounded by adults who have real things to care about, the fact you shift about sometimes isn’t going to stand out. Regardless, it’s a good idea to try things that help you focus on your own productivity. Try chewing gum or some kind of fidget gadget.
You carry your stress physically
Most of us do this, and it’s bad for our physical, mental, and social health, so we should probably stop. It often manifests as a general sense of rush or frenzy, like something NEEDS to be done in the next five minutes. Managing your stress mentally is hard, but doing so will mean your body language and the way you come across will be much more positive.