close Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn

How To Read Body Language At Work In 2022

Do you want to understand your colleagues more effectively? Here are the essential tips that will teach you how to read body language at work.
by Rob Gillham | Sep 16 2022

The importance of communication in the workplace cannot be overstated. Additionally, it’s important to consider the messages you’re sending to others through your body language as well as what you say verbally.

Certain assumptions can be supported or negated by your body language. Perception is sometimes a reality in the workplace, and this is especially relevant. As an example, colleagues may look for behaviors that support their perceptions that you don’t add value to your role due to your body language or tone. In this article, you will learn the essential tips on how to read body language read at work as well as some important hidden rules you need to be aware of.

Body Language Basics

To communicate your intentions and feelings, you can use body language, which is a form of nonverbal communication. There are many ways to communicate through body language, such as facial expressions, gestures, postures, and other movement-based signals. It is often combined with verbal communication and can be conscious or unconscious. Communication relies heavily on body language in many situations.

Some of the most common forms of body language include expressions such as smiling, frowning, and rolling your eyes. Making gestures like waving, beckoning, or counting your fingers can convey important messages. A slumped posture, a straight sitting posture, or a leaning posture away from someone are some examples. Making eye contact or avoiding eye contact. Touching each other with handshakes, hugging, or patting. A shrug or clap of the shoulders.

Why Is Body Language Important? 

You are almost certainly using body language when conversing with a coworker, presenting at a meeting, or introducing yourself to a customer. The body language we use during a workday can convey a variety of messages, including:

A person’s level of interest or focus can tell you what they are thinking. If someone makes eye contact with you, nods when you speak, or leans toward you, you likely have their full attention. People who lean back in their chairs, look away from you constantly, or fiddle with their fingers might be bored or distracted.

It is possible for nonverbal messages to reinforce or contradict what a person says. While mixed messages are sometimes inconsequential, they can also provide you with some valuable insight into someone else’s thoughts.

An individual’s level of confidence is also important to pay attention to. By practicing confident body language, you can boost your confidence by becoming more aware of how your actions affect others. Your nonverbal communication can also improve your relationships and help others make better judgments about you.

How To Read Body Language At Work Tips

Self-Awareness Is Key

Self-awareness is the third step in improving your body language communication skills. You can read other people’s body language well, but if you aren’t aware of your own, you may not be communicating effectively. Body language awareness involves being aware of how you physically interact with others and practicing being intentional with your gestures and facial expressions. Using body language to communicate interest, engagement, and professionalism can be cultivated by practicing nonverbal communication.

Empathize With Others

Body language must be considered in its appropriate context. Empathy and understanding another person’s perspective are two of the best ways to understand their body language. You can better understand what someone’s body language is communicating by considering their personality or specific circumstances.

You may think a coworker is angry or frustrated if they avoid eye contact, cross their arms, and press their lips together when you greet them. You may realize if you empathize that they are under a lot of stress because of a looming deadline. You can better understand the meaning of their body language by considering their circumstances.

Pay Attention To What You See

Observing body language is the first step to understanding it. You might be surprised at how easy it is to improve your observation skills. Body language is likely something you interpret every day without realizing it. Consider the friendliest employee you have encountered at work. When you pass them in the hall, do they smile? When you talk to them, do they maintain eye contact and nod? It is likely that their body language contributes to your perception that they are friendly.

Increasing your mindfulness will help you improve your body language observation skills. When it comes to body language, mindfulness involves paying attention to other people and their actions. By becoming familiar with others’ normal standards of behavior, you will have a better chance of interpreting their nonverbal communication.

Typically, bouncing or shaking your leg under the table indicates nervousness or unease. You can interpret your employer’s body language accurately if you observe that they always shake their leg when they are excited or interested. When you notice a coworker bounces their leg under the table regardless of the situation, you may infer that it’s just a habit they have, not necessarily a reaction to their mood.

Key Body Language To Be Aware Of

Getting Too Close To Others While Sitting Or Standing

Getting close to someone can make you feel uncomfortable or even threatening, but leaning toward them can convey that you are interested in what they have to say. Maintain a distance of at least half a meter between you and the other person. As far as personal space is concerned, different cultures have their own customs.

Keeping Eye Contact To A Minimum

When you fail to look the other person in the eye, it can convey disinterest or a lack of confidence. Take breaks during your conversation to avoid appearing intimidating or creepy. Make eye contact approximately 50 to 60 percent of the time. You should avoid rolling your eyes, as this communicates disrespect.

Refusing to engage

You could be distracted or uninterested in the conversation if you point away from the other person. Eye contact and slight leaning toward the other person are signs of engagement.


Certain movements, such as touching your face or bouncing your legs, can indicate nervousness, agitation, or discomfort if they are ongoing or repetitive. Try to keep your body movements to a minimum in order to communicate a more confident demeanor.


Facebook Twitter Tumblr Instagram LinkedIn Flickr Email Print