It may be cliché to say actions speak louder than words, but it couldn't be truer. Regardless of what you're saying, if your body language isn't consistent with what you're trying to communicate, it could be overriding the intended message.
Simple behaviors you might not even be aware you're doing are constantly sending messages to those around you. Especially when you're engaging with someone, it's important to be sure that what your body is communicating is the same as your words.
Business Insider rounded up a long list of bad body language habits that can hinder effective and healthy communication. Here are three of the biggest culprits that could be getting in the way of your communication. Keep these in mind the next time you're trying to get your point across. Breaking these bad body language habits will help you better control the messages you're sending to those around you, increasing your likability and enhancing your communication skills.
Appearing distracted: Showing interest in anything but the person speaking in front of you gives the impression that you are disrespectful and rude, not to mention unprofessional if it's in a work setting. Regardless of your intentions, checking your phone or even your watch while engaging with someone will communicate to the other person you don't care about them or what they have to say.
Fidgeting: You likely aren't even aware you're doing it. Actively become aware of your body movements when you're sitting or standing. Are you continually shifting from side to side? Are you tapping your foot or constantly adjusting your clothes? According to Tonya Reiman, body language expert and author of The Power of Body Language, these nervous habits are communicating to the world that you lack power.
Adopting a defensive pose: We all know that crossing our arms is a no-no when speaking with someone, especially at the office. But other, subtler forms of defensive postures can communicate negative messages as well. Hunching over or shifting your body away from the speaker can make you seem defensive or uncomfortable, and failing to show your hands when you're speaking can make you appear untrustworthy.
Are you guilty of any of the above? Head to the comments to share your strategies for breaking these bad habits.