As a leader, your words are important, but your body language is just as powerful in communicating your message. In fact, research has shown that up to 55% of communication is conveyed through nonverbal cues such as posture, gestures, and facial expressions.
Effective leaders are aware of the messages their body language is sending and use it to their advantage. Here are a few ways that body language can impact leadership communication:
- Confidence: Good posture, eye contact, and open body language can convey confidence and assertiveness. On the other hand, slouching, avoiding eye contact, or crossing your arms can give the impression of insecurity or defensiveness.
- Engagement: Engaging with your audience through body language can help build trust and connection. Nodding, leaning in, and maintaining eye contact are all ways to show that you are actively listening and invested in the conversation.
- Empathy: Your facial expression and your posture are tools you can use along with your words to show empathy. This can be especially helpful when delivering difficult or negative news.
- Authority: Standing tall, taking up space, and maintaining good eye contact can convey authority and command respect. On the other hand, fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, or slouching can undermine your authority or credibility.
As a leader, it’s important to be aware of the nonverbal cues you are sending and to use them effectively to communicate your messages. By being conscious of your body language, you can strengthen your communications and build stronger relationships.
I’m fascinated by the AI tool ChatGPT from OpenAI. I asked it if it could “write a blog post about the importance of nonverbal communication in the style of Michael Piperno.” What you just read is the output, with some minor revisions I made. Pretty incredible, right? And maybe a little bit scary?