What is Body Language?

Body LanguageWhat exactly is body language? Body language is a culmination of a variety of factors that describe the way you carry, move, or hold your entire body. The way you choose to move your body says a lot about how you feel or what you are thinking at any given time.

Today I want to clarify exactly what body language entails:

  • The physical position of your body (where you stand, how you stand)
  • The proximity between you and the person you are speaking or working with
  • The look or expression you display on your face
  • The way you move your eyes or focus your eyes on objects or people
  • Your gestures in touching yourself and/or the people you are talking to
  • The way you fidget with inanimate objects (like pens, clothing, etc)
  • The way you are breathing (shallow, heavy, fast, etc).

Some people, including body language researchers, tend to leave voice inflection out of the overall picture. This is a huge mistake as a person’s vocal volume, voice pitch, and pace of speech (amongst other factors) can also say quite a bit about how they feel. While a person’s voice isn’t exactly a visible, physical sign it shouldn’t be discounted. Neither should things like the rate of a person’s heartbeat. They’re less noticable but speak volumes.

As a manager it is important for you to gain a great understanding of body language and how to read it on others. Understanding the motions or postures a person makes will give you a huge advantage when it comes to communication, as you’ll be better able to anticipate people’s thoughts or needs. It will also make you more aware of yourself during conversations as well.

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy by imagerymajestic of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Updated on: 25 November, 2009

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