Back to Basics: Body language

Posted: Dec 31 2014

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Here at Team Challenge we know that in the modern corporate world we are encouraged to stand out, speak up and communicate with vigour at all times.

In fact, we put so much emphasis on what we say and how loud we say it that we often overlook other important forms of communication, specifically non-verbal communication. This can prove to be more powerful than any other sort.    

Non-verbal communication is important in team settings for several reasons.

Not only does it put verbal communication into context, but it communicates feelings and deeper meanings.

It can also indicate underlying issues or barriers.

Now, it can be hard to spot the subtler aspects of body language, but it is not impossible.

In a team environment you need to be aware of the tell-tale signs of barriers, in order to address issues before they escalate.

There are lots of body language tricks and tells, all of which indicate different issues.

So read on for more about what to look out for when it comes to three of the most common communication issues within teams. Visit Team Challenge today to discover our indoor team building activities and inject some life into your office!

Defensive people: 

  • The psychological barrier is communicated with bodily ones, even if they are subtle
  • Little to no hand gestures or arm movements; those made are clipped, close to the body
  • Minimal facial expressions
  • Body will be positioned so that it is turned away from you, even if only by an inch or so
  • Folded arms will be placed across the body to form a barrier
  • There will be little to no eye contact; the individual in question will more than likely look down the whole time

Disengagement in group settings:

  • Other than the obvious lack of chatter and engagement, there will be ways to spot a significant lack of attention or focus
  • Heads will be bowed, either eyes will be looking down or there will be a physical show of the top of their head, with their eyes and face parallel to the table/floor
  • There will be limited eye contact, eyes wandering, or eyes glazed over
  • Fiddling is a big clue; either representative of boredom or general disengagement. Look out for those picking at their clothes, chewing or tapping pens or fiddling with whatever is available
  • A lack of concentration or minds being elsewhere will result in people writing or doodling on their notepads, instead of scribling notes
  • Posture will be slumped and will look like they have physically given up

These are just a few of the non-verbal communication clues to watch out for at work.

Most of the time, people should be smiling and relaxed in their body language.

On the odd occasion that there are barriers and issues though, you will need to be aware of what the non-verbal warning signs are.If you feel as though your team members are displaying body language that suggests a divide or an underlying issue, why not try to reinforce the bond with a fun team building event? 

Here at Team Challenge Company we offer an array of different team building events and activities that serve to develop skills, improve team dynamics and identify both individual and group action points.

So browse our site or get in touch today to see how you can help your team strengthen and develop.

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