In the world where we now communicate primarily electronically; email, text messages, and voice mail messages; attending a manager’s meeting where you see your colleagues can be an excellent opportunity to build solid relationships.
I am usually the first one to enter the conference room. Watching people is truly fascinating. Some I can easily tell are nervous and uncomfortable; then there are those that are calm and relaxed. A few are brash and exude confidence. Others are bored and apathetic to the meeting. I feel good when I see a few that appear focused, positive, and ready to listen and be engaged.
You might ask, how do I know? It is all in their body actions. In its simplest form, there are two patterns of body language, open and closed. Most of us are aware of the closed language; crossed arms, poor eye contact, pursed lips, and a scowl. Open body language displays an open heart, open hands, a warm smile, an erect posture, and the head tilts to the side. Open body language shows interest, engagement, and enthusiasm.
I have always claimed to be the world’s worst poker player. My body language clearly communicates my mood, interest, or engagement in any group setting. What often happens during the meeting and surely afterwards is how one connects with those whose body language mirrors theirs. People look for common traits amongst each other. It is natural to feel at ease and trust those who are like one’s self.
Do you want to get in synch with someone in the room? Mimic their body language. When wanting to connect with the person speaking lean in slightly, be engaged, have good eye contact, nod in approval and smile. This individual will pick up on your body language. They will want to connect with you. Don’t be surprised that at the end of the meeting, he or she comes up to you and says, “You were certainly focused, what are your feelings on the presentations of the meeting?”