We all know that some of us are more aware of the ways in which we are able to communicate than others. Not only that, but research shows that up to 93% of our communication with others is nonverbal--leaving just 7% for our verbal communication.

Given that so much of our communication is nonverbal, what 3 body language mistakes make us look really unprofessional to others and get in the way of our success? Read on to see.

1. Zoning out

Despite the fact that we may be adept at conversation, we can also get bored easily--quickly zoning out. When zoning out, your body has the tendency to engage in some rhythmic, mindless behaviors to pass the boredom, such as randomly kicking or shrugging your shoulders. You may begin playing with your hair. Be sure that all signs of disinterest remain inside, and are not manifested physically, so that people don't get the wrong idea.

2. Avoiding eye contact

We may naturally avoid eye contact in situations where we feel uncomfortable. If that's the case, the lack of eye contact can actually be read as disinterest or boredom. Taking the extra effort to look at the person you're interacting with right in the eye may feel awkward at first, but it will ultimately give off a better impression than if you don't.

3. Slouching

When in conversation with someone else, it's important to stand up tall, with your shoulders pushed back and a confident stance in order to convey that you take yourself--and your work--very seriously. While it shouldn't be necessary for you to broadcast that you are more confident than you are, it's a good step to take anyway.

Note: An earlier version of this column focused on only women.

Published on: Mar 31, 2017
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