The language our bodies speak is often more impactful than the words our mouths speak.

So says Denise M. Dudley, PhD, corporate trainer and entrepreneur. “Our bodies are actually revealing more about our messages than our voices ever do…how we’re delivering the message is…probably more important than our words, if we intend to be understood.

Dudley encourages us to dial into our seven channels of communication
– facial expression
– eye contact
– posture
– hand gestures
– voice tone
– voice loudness
– verbal content
and match your mind to your mannerisms.

How?

1. In business, there are two times when assertive eye contact shows confidence…when giving instructions and when sharing information. Assertive eye contact indicates that what you are saying is both intentional and purposeful. Assertive eye contact also helps to ensure that the other person in the conversation feels connected with and at ease with you.

2. Glancing upward or rolling your eyes comes across as your being untrustworthy. By avoiding eye contact, you indicate that you are not engaged, you are distracted, you wish you were elsewhere and/or you simply don’t like them. Rolling your eyes in any language or culture throughout the world indicates that you are sarcastic, dismissive, disapproving and rude.

3. Having good posture indicates that you are open and available. Shoulders back; spine straight.

4. “Folded arms signal that you are unapproachable…closed… not wanting to communicate…” says Dudley. Get a sweater or pen or notebook and hold it in your hands so your hands have something to do.

5. Sheryl Sandburg, FaceBook CEO, encourages all of us to “Lean In.” Leaning in is also universally understood that you’re ready, that you’re all in, that you’re interested, committed and listening. According to Dudley, “Leaning in encourage the other person and gives them positive reinforcement while they’re speaking.”