Body language expert shares tips of engagement in dating, job interviews and other key encounters
Non-verbal communication can constitute more than fifty percent of our interaction with others; use it to your advantage.
Align your gestures with spoken content said body language expert. Picture Hein Kaiser
Non-verbal communication can constitute more than fifty percent of our interaction with others, and its importance cannot be underestimated.
David Allen, a Body language expert, said that there are several aspects of engagement, rules of thumb, which can be a useful guide to managing dating, job interviews, meetings, and other key encounters.
A lot of non-verbal communication demands respectfulness and good manners. “That is the first step, getting past the ego,” said Allen. “We all want respect, but never want to be the person to show it first. Be that person, because taking the lead, or initiative, could give you an early lead in any interaction.”
A respectful greeting is more than just words, it is also body language. A firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a sincere smile set a positive tone. This non-verbal communication conveys respect and openness to the conversation from the get-go.
Show the other person that you are listening. “Achieve this through active engagement cues like nodding in agreement, leaning slightly towards the speaker, maintaining eye contact, and occasionally paraphrasing what the speaker said to show understanding,” said Allen.
Using body language in various contents on top of respectfulness, like in a job interview or interrogation, demands attention.
“Detecting deceit can involve observing inconsistencies between spoken words and body language, such as forced smiles, avoidance of eye contact, and fidgeting. Skilled interviewers watch for micro-expressions that flash briefly across a person’s face and can indicate hidden emotions,” said Allen.
Effective body language in public speaking includes moving around the stage to engage with the audience, using hand gestures to emphasize points, and varying facial expressions to convey emotions related to the speech content.
Positive Body Language
When working in the service industry, like a waiter for example, being conscious of and positively using body language could have a substantial impact on your success, such as tipping quantum.
Allen said that positive body language is critical. This includes maintaining a pleasant facial expression, using gestures that indicate attentiveness, and showing enthusiasm in interactions, which can significantly enhance customer experience.
Beyond that, displaying a sense of confidence will in turn solicit confidence in you. Posture is important, said Allen.
“Upright posture, whether sitting or standing, conveys confidence. A confident individual often occupies their space comfortably, without slouching or appearing defensive with crossed arms or legs,” he said.
“Also, maintaining steady, but not intimidating, eye contact is a hallmark of confidence. The way a person walks, with purpose and a relaxed demeanour, also speaks volumes about their confidence level.”
The facial expression
Animated facial expressions and gestures that align with the spoken content can demonstrate passion and engagement with the topic of conversation and consistency between what is being said and the accompanying facial expressions and gestures enhances credibility and relatability.
When you give a compliment, the same rule counts. “The body language accompanying a compliment, such as a smile or a slight nod, can enhance its sincerity. The way compliments are delivered, genuinely and without expectations, can reflect emotional intelligence,” shared Allen.
And at the same time, acknowledging your own shortcomings can be as powerful.
“Using open gestures, maintaining a relaxed posture, and making eye contact while discussing one’s own shortcomings can convey vulnerability and self-awareness, traits often appreciated in social interactions.”
Pair all of this with non-confrontational body language and remain mindful of speaking of competitors or ex-partners and lovers, when in a dating situation, without negative body language like frowns or dismissive gestures. It suggests maturity and a non-belligerent nature, which makes you more attractive to others,” noted Allen.
Being mindful and practicing the tips and hacks that Allen shared can go a long way to tipping the scales of any situation in your favour.
“Remember, as a rule of thumb,” he said, “to be authentically interested in someone else, and what they are saying, and pair your body language with that. Be respectful, because that is how you leave the starting blocks, already a winner.”