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Use Body Language to Your Advantage

Whether across the meeting room table, on the golf course or meeting over drinks, body language is an insider’s guide to how your client is receiving what you’re saying. That being said, you can combine these body language tips with your charm and good looks to ensure that you’re bringing your “A” game. Ready for success?

DO…

– Smile slowly. Researchers have found that letting a smile flood over your face as you listen and greet clients communicates sincere interest in what they’re saying. By letting a smile wash over your face rather than instantly having it plastered on gives your client the feeling that your smile is personal and genuine.

Two cheerful business people in formalwear discussing something and smiling while one of them pointing digital tablet

– Assume a power pose. Placing your hands on your hips with feet shoulder width apart, leaning over the table with both palms face down or reclining in your chair with your hands behind your head are all options. Not only do these poses flood your body with positive hormones and confidence, but they reduce stress hormones and send signals of calm confidence to your clients. Relaxed yet confident poses also provide the bonus of opening up your body, conveying to your client that you are receptive to their ideas. Double bonus!

Group Of Business People Having Board Meeting Around Glass Table

– Lean in. COO Sheryl Sandberg may have the market cornered on leaning in, but that shouldn’t stop you from throwing your hat in the ring. Leaning in shows you’re actively listening, engaged and interested. To boost the positive effect and show them you’re on the same page, mirror your client’s facial gestures and hand movements.

DON’T…

– Close off your body. When you cross your arms or legs you are 38 percent less likely to retain new information. You are also subtly covering most of your vital organs, another sign that you don’t trust your companion. Opening up your body to a broad stance calms your nervous system, amplifies your voice and helps you remember the names of your client’s nine children.

Bored mature man in formalwear holding paper and keeping legs crossed at knee while sitting at the chair in waiting room

– Constantly check your phone or watch. This may seem like common sense, but limiting fidgeting and giving your undivided attention is of monumental importance. The more you touch your face or hair, the more often the listener thinks you may be lying or feeling anxious. Show your client that you are completely engaged by fixing your gaze on their eyes and face. In our technology driven culture, demonstrating to your client that their time is being respected is paramount.

Business people waiting for job interview

– Forget about your feet. People are usually cognizant about what their face and arms are up to, but not too many concentrate on their lower half. To show you are engaged, keep both feet on the floor and pointed toward the listener. So next time you tuck into the third cup of coffee, be aware of jumpy knees or swinging ankles. You may be subconsciously telling your client you couldn’t care less about what they have to say.

While everyone’s natural body language is not the same and the translations are not foolproof, these quick tips will help you navigate client meetings with ease. Even small non-verbals can change how people perceive what you are saying. Save your unfiltered body language for the dance floor, not your client meeting.

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