Body Language

Personality Development and Soft Skills
Barun K Mitra
© Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
What is Body Language?

Body language is a form of non-verbal communication,
which is expressed through body posture, gest...
Emotions displayed by the
body
Aggressive
Submissive

Attentive

Nervous
Upset

Emotions

Relaxed
Bored
Power

Defensive

...
Aggressiveness

Characterized by the following traits:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

Tightened jaws
Stiff facial muscles
A sombre face
St...
Aggressiveness (analysis)

• Aggressive behaviour is an undesirable
characteristic especially in professional settings
suc...
Submissiveness

Characterized by the following traits:
•
•
•
•
•

Head down
Slack jawed
Frequent nods of agreement
Poor ey...
Submissiveness (analysis)

• Submissiveness is also a negative emotion and
should be avoided in all situations.
• The more...
Attentiveness

Characterized by the following traits:
• Looking straight at the speaker
• Mild nods of head at periodic in...
Attentiveness (analysis)

• This is a crucial attribute and should be developed
consciously.
• Attentiveness in interviews...
Nervousness

Characterized by the following traits:
• Visible lack of confidence
-unsteady voice
-avoiding eye contact
-he...
Nervousness (analysis)

• Nervousness should be avoided in all situations.
• Nervousness shows lack of confidence and prep...
Upset
Characterized by the following traits:
•
•
•
•

Tightened jaws
Deliberate frown on the forehead
Prolonged disapprovi...
Upset (analysis)

• Losing control of one’s emotions, especially in a
professional situation is always undesirable.
• This...
Boredom

Characterized by the following traits:
•
•
•
•
•
•

Prolonged or frequent yawns
Eyes shut for a long duration
Loo...
Boredom (analysis)

• Boredom is another negative characteristic
that quickly creates a poor impression on
an interviewer....
Relaxed

Characterized by the following traits:
•
•
•
•

head straight, chest upright and balanced body
no folds or frown ...
Relaxed (analysis)

• This is a positive trait and creates a
favourable impression on the
interviewer or supervisor.
• It ...
Power

Characterized by the following traits:
• outstretched arms while doing a handshake to
disallow the other person fro...
Power (analysis)

• This is an important personality trait and one should be
aware of one’s power to influence.
• However,...
Defensive

Characterized by the following traits:
•
•
•
•

Tightly folded arms
Crossed legs
Frown on the face
Showing nerv...
Defensive (analysis)

• Defensiveness is a negative emotion and should be
avoided
• It generally arises out of a sense of ...
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Body language

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Body language

  1. 1. Body Language Personality Development and Soft Skills Barun K Mitra © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. What is Body Language? Body language is a form of non-verbal communication, which is expressed through body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. To understand and inculcate good body language one must be aware of the various emotions displayed by the body in response to various situations. © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. Emotions displayed by the body Aggressive Submissive Attentive Nervous Upset Emotions Relaxed Bored Power Defensive © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. Aggressiveness Characterized by the following traits: • • • • • • • Tightened jaws Stiff facial muscles A sombre face Straight staring eyes Thumping on a table Raised voice Animated gestures © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Aggressiveness (analysis) • Aggressive behaviour is an undesirable characteristic especially in professional settings such as interviews and group discussions • Controlled aggression is a useful tool to cultivate and execute in team meetings, negotiations, etc. © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Submissiveness Characterized by the following traits: • • • • • Head down Slack jawed Frequent nods of agreement Poor eye contact Constricted body posture © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. Submissiveness (analysis) • Submissiveness is also a negative emotion and should be avoided in all situations. • The more desirable characteristic of being flexible should be cultivated and practiced. © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Attentiveness Characterized by the following traits: • Looking straight at the speaker • Mild nods of head at periodic intervals • Chin and body slightly bent forward towards the speaker © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. Attentiveness (analysis) • This is a crucial attribute and should be developed consciously. • Attentiveness in interviews, meetings, and discussions with superiors is appreciated and goes a long way in creating a favourable impression © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. Nervousness Characterized by the following traits: • Visible lack of confidence -unsteady voice -avoiding eye contact -head bent down • Being restless or fidgety • Biting of nails or gripping the chair tightly © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. Nervousness (analysis) • Nervousness should be avoided in all situations. • Nervousness shows lack of confidence and preparation. • It is thus important to identify one’s abilities and cultivate them as strengths. • Practicing on your hand and body movements, voice, diction, etc, will help you to be more confident in an interview or while giving a presentation © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. Upset Characterized by the following traits: • • • • Tightened jaws Deliberate frown on the forehead Prolonged disapproving nods Walking impatiently at the back or side of the room, with head down facing the ground, and annoyed face • Eyes closed occasionally • Not having eye contact with others or having a very cold stare • Unstable or losing control over emotions (e.g., voice shaking, out-of control gestures) © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. Upset (analysis) • Losing control of one’s emotions, especially in a professional situation is always undesirable. • This is one attribute that is tested during a stress interview and the ability to remain calm under duress is a valuable asset. © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. Boredom Characterized by the following traits: • • • • • • Prolonged or frequent yawns Eyes shut for a long duration Looking around aimlessly Checking watch/mobile phone Blank stares Body bent back to a significant degree © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Boredom (analysis) • Boredom is another negative characteristic that quickly creates a poor impression on an interviewer. • One should concentrate on the task at hand and develop an interest by taking notes and coming up with logical questions. © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Relaxed Characterized by the following traits: • • • • head straight, chest upright and balanced body no folds or frown on the forehead easy and quiet breathing arms hanging loosely or confidently placed in the pocket • gentle smile showing on the face • calm eyes © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Relaxed (analysis) • This is a positive trait and creates a favourable impression on the interviewer or supervisor. • It conveys confidence and the ability to handle a task effectively • Relaxedness should however not be misconstrued as lack of interest or inattentiveness © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Power Characterized by the following traits: • outstretched arms while doing a handshake to disallow the other person from coming too close or having a firm grip • confident look (accompanying a firm and deep voice) • evaluative looks and demeanor (questioning speakers) © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Power (analysis) • This is an important personality trait and one should be aware of one’s power to influence. • However, it is easy to get carried away and misuse power. Judicious and subtle use of power is accepted and appreciated in professional setups. © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. Defensive Characterized by the following traits: • • • • Tightly folded arms Crossed legs Frown on the face Showing nervousness (while giving excuses) © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Defensive (analysis) • Defensiveness is a negative emotion and should be avoided • It generally arises out of a sense of insecurity and being overly sensitive, both of which are negative emotions. © Oxford University Press 2011. All rights reserved.

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