According to researcher Albert Mehrabian, communication is made up of (1) words, (2) tone of voice, and (3) body language, with body language assuming 55% of the total message. In other words, being skilled at reading body language may just be the closest we’ll ever come to reading someone’s mind, and who doesn’t want to be able to do that?
Being able to gauge more subtleties in communication from a client or colleague not only allows you to be more accommodating to their needs, but could help in allowing you to more effectively express yourself.
One’s ability to read body language is dependent on many factors such as E.Q., but being aware of some of these cues can go a long way in having social benefits. You already wrote it on your CV, so keep reading to be on your way to great communication skills!
When someone feels like they’re on the same wavelength as you, they’re more likely to mirror your body language, and it’s something we all do subconsciously. So if you find a client leaning back in their seat right after you, it could mean they feel bonded, and that you’re on your way to closing the deal.
A genuine smile causes the eyes to crinkle, meaning that if someone is smiling and their eyes don’t change, chances are they’re forcing it.
When someone raises their eyebrows, it can only mean one of three things: surprise, worry, or fear. As a general rule, none of those three emotions are positive in the context of work. If someone does so, it likely means they’re not 100% pleased with the situation.
If someone throws up their arms at every exclamation, then it should be a red flag to you that they’re exaggerating the truth. Controlled, rather than exaggerated gestures, are signs of confidence and transparency. The same goes for exaggerated nodding, which can be a sign of anxiety about agreeing with the other person.
Leaning into a conversation, and even tilting your head slightly is a sign of respect in that you want to give the other person your wholehearted focus and attention.
Let’s not forget to mention that research has shown you retain more information when you leave your legs uncrossed. Rather, try sitting with your legs slightly apart, which is a sign of confidence.
Being tense is an obvious sign of stress or being uncomfortable with the situation. Common culprits are tense shoulders and clenched fists.
A lot of people have the habit of touching their face or hair when talking, which gives the impression that their nervous or distracted from the conversation. Keep your hands free, and bonus points if you have your palms out at any point in the conversation, as it’s a sign of transparency and confidence.
As part of our #BeTheChange series, we sit down and discuss how people and business have evolved, with change-makers in our Garage Community.
This week, we sit down with Michelle Hong, co-founder of Rooftop Republic, a social enterprise on a mission to introduce the joys of urban farming to the city folk of Hong Kong.
Rooftop Republic has been part of the Garage Community since 2018, and they have a rooftop farm on the terrace of our Wan Chai Lockhart space.
It was great to catch up with Michelle over sustainability, social entrepreneurship, and the joys of growing your own food.
The advent of user-friendly e-commerce tools has made starting your own small business easier than ever.
With so many people embarking on their entrepreneurial journey, we thought we’d give you a reminder on how to support small, local business owners.
We encourage everyone to be conscious consumers - whether this means voting with your dollar for locally farmed vegetables, or writing a positive review for the indie coffee shop in your neighbourhood.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
As part of our focus on growth, we asked the Garage Community what areas they would like they spend more time developing. It was very clear that you all wanted to dedicate more time to your mental and physical health!
Considering that Hong Kongers have some of the longest working hours in the world, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself.
Here is a comprehensive wellbeing toolkit with guides, recommendations, and resources for bettering your mind and body.
Want to take part in this month's Community Survey? Click here.