11 Body Language Signals within the Work Place

By: Bry Roe


Some people are lucky enough to be able to read body language. It would certainly give you an advantage to be able to tell how a person is feeling; whether they are bored, excited or nervous. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us are clueless! Reading body language accurately is a skill and if done well, can serve you very well at work.

1) Limbs Crossed

If someone you are talking to has their arms or legs crossed, they are not interested and are most probably bored – bordering on annoyed!

2) Relaxed Posture/ Leaning Back

A person leaning back in their chair whilst you talk to them indicates that they are not taking you seriously. The more upright someone sits, the more intently they are listening.

3) Rolling Eyes

Statistically, when talking to someone, if their eyes roll up to the left they are activating their memory. Up to right and they are using there creativity – so watch out as they could be lying!

4) Displaying Underarms

If you are talking to a colleague who is sitting or standing with their arms behind their head, they are subconsciously telling you that they are not threatened by you. They consider themselves superior.

5) Tongue Poke

When asking questions or making conversation, watch closely for the tip of the person’s tongue. This will usually be a quick poke and implies that they don’t like something you may have said (or you in general!) This stems from childhood, when a baby shows the tip of the tongue when refusing food. It is a signal of disgust.

6) Wide Smile

If your boss gives you a huge happy grin, showing all his/her teeth, don’t be fooled – animals bare their teeth when preparing to fight!

7) Touching The Face

Someone touching their face shows boredom or anxiety. Of course this can also mean that someone has an itch!

8) Self Hugger

You may know someone who holds their own arms (as if they were cold). This implies that they are in need of attention. This is a way of comforting yourself.

9) Spreading Out

If you notice a colleague who sits or stands with arms and legs spread out, they are attempting to show an ‘alpha’ status in the office. Similar to the animal kingdom, they are marking their territory.

10) Nodding

Nodding is a huge give-away when talking to someone. Watch the speed that they are nodding. If they nod each time your make a point, they agree. If their nodding slows down, then they have doubts about what you are saying. If they are nodding excessively – they have lost interest.

11) Jewelry Fiddling

Playing with jewelry shows a lack of confidence. The fiddler most likely needs support from a family member.

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