Nine Bad Body Language Habits to Ditch

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Communication is key in any profession, but only a fraction of it is actually done with words.

Research shows more than half of communication comes from nonverbal cues—or body language—so the person you’re conversing with can often pick up on more of what you’re doing than what you’re saying.

Inc.  columnist Peter Economy suggests ditching the following bad body language habits to ensure you’re sending the right message.

  1. Keeping a rigid stance

Standing too stiff and with raised shoulders can make you seem uptight. Take a deep breath to relax and be mindful of your posture.

  1. Turning your body away from who’s talking

Facing the opposite direction of the person you’re conversing with can make you seem uninterested. Be sure to fully face the person to show you’re engaged.

  1. Leaning away from someone

Leaning away from the person who is talking to you can also make you seem uninterested. Lean in to show you’re truly listening.

  1. Crossing arms and legs

Crossing your limbs can make you seem stiff and unopened to the conversation at hand. Uncrossing your arms and legs can make you appear more approachable.

  1. Not using hand gestures

Not using your hands to further your speech can make you seem less credible to the listener.

  1.  Having a weak handshake

If a strong handshake demonstrates confidence and assertiveness, a weak handshake suggests insecurity and weakness in other areas.

  1. Avoiding eye contact

Looking someone in the eye while they’re talking to you shows interest and respect, but staring too long can make a person uncomfortable. Be mindful of eye contact.

  1. Blinking too much

Excessive blinking is a sure sign of discomfort during conversation.

  1. Speaking too fast

Rapid speech can make you seem nervous. Be sure to speak slowly and clearly and take pauses when necessary.

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