It is true that body language makes up for at least half of our communication with others. Bearing that in mind, it is important to take control of the message you are sending with nonverbal cues. In order to be an effective leader, manager, owner, or entrepreneur, it is important that you send the right message to others at the right times. Here are some messages you’re sending through your movements and actions.

Slumped Shoulders:

When you slump your shoulders over, you appear to be less confident and have low self-esteem. Even if you do not feel this way, it is the perception of others that this is the way you view yourself. Watch yourself to make sure you aren’t slumping whether it be a bad habit or you are just tired one day.

Crossed Arms:

Crossed arms is often times the universal sign for someone who feels frustrated, closed off, and unengaged in their environment. This may seem like a comfortable position to you, but it is important to not cross your arms during conversations with others. You will seem less open to their thoughts and ideas, even if you do feel ready to listen and receive their words.

Overly Tilted Head:

An overly titled head to one side or the other conveys sympathy or empathy with a situation. If you are in need to communicate that you are truly sorry that someone is frustrated, upset, or sad about something, then leaning your head to the side will communicate that you are sympathizing with them.

Fidgeting Feet:

You really cannot help the way certain situations or conversations make you feel, but if you control your body language so that it communicates something different then what you are feeling, your communication will be more successful. While talking with others, please don’t forget about your feet. If you are standing, be sure to stand still and not shift around so much. When you are shifting back and forth, moving your position often, it will convey that you are not interested in having the conversation. While sitting, try not to constantly tap your feet. This becomes too distracting and again may communicate a lack of interest.

Smiling Face:

It can be so hard to remember to smile when talking with someone. Even if you are not unhappy, lacking a smile on your face will convey that you are not interested in someone. Smiling can certainly soften others approach to you and make them more receptive to what you have to say. Allowing your face to stay relaxed will not communicate the pleasantness that a smile will.

Keep these nonverbal gestures in mind the next time you have a conversation with others in your office. Especially if you are having a conversation that is crucial, being sure your actions communicate what you are trying to express is important.