Guest AuthorKhyati Gupta Babbar

Use Non-Verbal Tools to Conduct Successful Meetings

By | Khyati Gupta Babbar | Santulan Behavioural Sciences

Meetings are an inevitable part of our day to day work life. Unfortunately, many times we miss out on some important tools which can help us conduct our meetings more efficiently. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Always start your meetings with a handshake. A good handshake helps build rapport. In fact a nicely done handshake is worth 3 hours of face to face interaction. You can also read this article to learn more about handshakes.
  • We can get more output from a meeting if both the parties trust each other. You can use your hands to build trust. Keep them above the table and always visible. Scientifically, it tells the other person that you have nothing to hide.
  • Before any important negotiation, get together for a meal. Maybe, you can start your meeting after having lunch together.  Breaking bread together helps in better bonding. If that is not possible, then do not forget to offer a hot beverage to the other person if you are hosting the meeting. And if you are being offered a beverage, always take it!
  • You would have noticed often, that people carry their phones into meeting rooms. And even if they put their phone on silent they have a tendency to check it once in a while. When you look into your phone during a meeting, it is obviously disrespectful to the speaker! In addition, it also prevents you from listening with both your eyes and ears! Yes, you can listen with your eyes when you watch the other person’s body language. As far as possible keep your phone away and encourage other team members to do the same.
  • When you take up more space you come across as confident and you also feel more confident. To give yourself some extra dose of confidence, before the start of any meeting stand in the most expansive pose that you can, maybe the superman pose, for a few seconds. You will feel more confident as your body releases more of the strength hormone called Testosterone. Try it!
  • Sometimes we do not realize when we are over-stretching a meeting. Watch people’s feet! Our feet are least controlled by our brain. Hence, they subconsciously indicate what we really want to do. If you notice that people are pointing their feet towards the exit, it is time to take a break!
  • When people cross their arms, whether due to the air conditioning being too strong or them feeling more comfortable with their arms crossed, they display blocking behavior, which also inhibits them to be open. Help them uncross their arms by handing them an object, making them speak or asking them a question which requires a show of hands.
  • Do not miss the closing handshake. The last thing you say or do matters a great deal! As the conversation winds down, make sure your belongings are on the left side of your body so you can easily shake with your right hand (vice versa if your left hand is the dominant one).

Republished with permission and originally published at Khyati Gupta Babbar’s Linkedin

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