Body language is a non-verbal communication where thoughts, intentions and feelings are expressed through physical behaviors, such as facial expressions, posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and use of space.
Dr. Elizabeth KASSAB SFEIR, Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Head of Department - Management, has more than a thing or two to say about the subject which she passionately preaches in her courses.
Body Language is the core of interpersonal communication. It affects every exchange between two people or more, whether personal or professional. And when directed in the right way, it allows to easily reach out to the other person.
To work on your body language, you need to determine the right role to play: whether you’re at your first job interview, pitching a new concept to Zuckerberg or interviewing Obama, each situation requires specific and proper body language, to ensure a positive outcome.
Sadly, this subject is still underestimated in our culture although we are generally known for our excessive body language: we talk loud, we kiss and hug to greet, and our arms almost talk. However, few of us are aware of body sign effects and how articulating properly or standing straight, for example, can take a conversation to a whole new level and most of all, avoid mixed signals or wrong interpretations.
Dr. SFEIR aims to help students connect with their body language for them to feel ready and self confident by the time they hit their professional life. How? By showing them how to work on their tone of voice, their posture and body gestures, and succeed in getting their message across in any meeting or negotiation. As for those who will need to adapt to a different culture as part of their job, they will need to learn further techniques to avoid a faux pas. For this matter, Dr. Sfeir gave the example of flight stewardesses who have to communicate with hundreds of travelers with different backgrounds as part of their job duties. She teaches the cabin crew of Middle East Airlines how to make sure their body language is always well perceived and understood.
Here are a few quick tips to reflect a positive body language:
- Smile, It’s contagious :)
- Stand straight;
- Avoid crossing your arms or legs and;
- Keep your palms open when doing hand gestures.
Body language proves that one can speak quite loudly without any word.