Written by Mykel Jackson, Member Relations Intern

Has there ever been a time where you were excited to tell someone a story or talk about your business, but the way they looked and responded made you feel as though you should keep the information to yourself? How would you feel if you were excited to share a great idea with your employer that the business could benefit from, but your boss gave you a facial expression that insinuated they didn’t want to be bothered? It doesn’t always mean they don’t want to hear you out; it could be that they have a lot on their plate or they’re trying to finish an important task.

Sometimes when we are having a conversation with someone, we don’t have to speak because our facial expressions say everything we’re thinking. If the facial expression is negative, this can be a very bad thing, especially if someone is discussing their business plan or you’re talking to a client, coworker, or employee. If you make an expression that shows everything but happiness, that person could get discouraged about their idea.

To prevent any confusion about your facial expressions and use your facial expressions effectively, here’s a couple of tips:

  • When someone calls your name, it is welcoming to answer with “yes” as you are smiling. When you are smiling and have a pleasant tone, it makes others feel comfortable and capable of relaying any message and maybe even furthering the conversation.

  • Secondly, it is important that you are positive when people are speaking to you and that you are supportive of their ideas. If you want to offer criticism, make sure it is constrictive by advising the person about what they can change and explaining how they could benefit from the changes you’ve mentioned.

  • Lastly, eye contact is always required when you are having a conversation with someone. If you do not make eye contact with the person you are speaking to, they could feel as though they’re being ignored.

Along with facial expressions, body language and tone of voice are extremely important when you are networking or simply talking to your employee, employer, coworker, or guest. Making eye contact as you are talking to someone nonverbally gives the person confirmation that they have your undivided attention. According to the networking and communication skills speaker Lillian Bjorseth, your posture is one of the first key things people notice. She also states that your stomach should be in, chest out, shoulders back and head up because you’re nonverbally commanding respect. If you are doing otherwise, you could imply that you are not sure of yourself.

With that being said, when you are an employee, it is very important that you respect everyone you are working with. You should make sure that you are evaluating yourself and that you are treating everyone with the respect that you want to be treated with. 

If you are following these simple tips, your business could see positive results in weeks.

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