How’s Your Employee Body Language?

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Are You




Your Brains Out?

Before you throw in the frustration towel over the failure of those who work with you to follow the enlightened path of leadership you carve out, get in front of a mirror; take off your hat and toupee; and examine your brain(s).

If you’re thinking the people around you are getting dumber than horseshoes, see if maybe — just by chance — there are any big bumps on your brain that seem to be causing you to shut down the power valve on your communicating channels.

The first symptom is evident by measuring the expressions of those who work with you. If they’re yawning and listening to their watches or sextexting while you’re talking, you’re probably not giving them enough information. If they’re squinting and frowning and writing too frantically to even look up while you’re talking, you’re probably giving them too much information.

How will you know when you’re communicating just the right amount of information? People will look and act attentive. They’ll ask relevant questions. They’ll ask for examples to clarify their interpretations of your comments. They’ll ask for diagrams, resources, directions. You will see active nods of agreement and reasonably-paced note taking.

Alert, receptive people who are getting your message will sit or stand leaning slightly forward without (defensive) folded arms or legs or ankles or hands. Watch out for the guy who sprawls way back in his chair with (superiority) clasped hands behind his head! And beware the individual whose clasped hands form a forefinger “steeple” especially with forefinger-tips to her lips (which means she thinks she knows more than you about the subject, and is saving up her attack for the right, most devastating, moment)!

Those three posture-people are holding back what they really think, believe, or want to say. Don’t let them disrupt your flow or presentation. Call on them as soon as you see these body language clues. Ask for their thoughts right away. Encourage them to offer their opinions.

Then it’s your turn to listen carefully, make notes, and ask questions about their comments . Today’s leaders are those who rally teamwork by setting examples with their leadership. Active listening, observation skills, and feedback are all enormously important factors in leadership level communications.

Setting examples with your leadership requires you to communicate just the right amount of information to get things done. That means (besides listening, observation, and feedback) to process carefully what you see and hear, and to put your hat and toupee back on before you leave your mirror.

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0911

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

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3 comments so far

3 Comments to “How’s Your Employee Body Language?”

  1. Micheline Daouston 06 Apr 2010 at 2:54 pm

    In your article Your Brains Out? is it possible that you meant that If people are yawning it means that you are not giving them enough info, and if they are writing frantically you are giving too much info? Because you wrote the opposite. Just checking.


    Micheline Daoust

  2. Hal Alpiaron 06 Apr 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Dear Micheline – I love you for finding my error. Thank you so very much for taking the time and trouble to call it to my attention and to have done it with such diplomatic grace. I appreciate most of all that you have visited my blog and that you apparently thought highly enough of it (or at least that particular post) to have left me the comment. I guess I must have had my own brains out the night I wrote that. Please forgive me the inconsistency. And thanks again. You are indeed a valued visitor! Best – Hal

  3. […] OBSERVING – You need not be a kinetics expert to see that the body language that accompanies the words spoken either confirms or contradicts what is being […]

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