Research has shown that people can learn to feign emotions and lie but they can never be able to control the subconscious signals that their bodies give out. The human mind tends to interpret and understand these hidden languages and reacts to them on a subconscious level. A person may look authoritative judging simply from his body language and the signals that he gives out. It is by acknowledging these facts that we learn how to pass out messages to people without them even knowing by communicating to their subconscious minds. These methods can be used in schools, churches, homes and definitely, in business meetings.
Nonverbal communication in a meeting is done in very many ways. It is done through the eyes. The eyes can be used to convey various signals by varying the eye contact time and the mode of looking at the people in the meeting. Eyes are the most effective of all body language tools. The body’s posture also communicates a lot as it can be used to show aggressiveness, intimidation, confidence and even disapproval. For example crossed arms hint at an aggressive and rather held back nature while arms at the back show submission or discipline. It is therefore important to understand one’s audience and try to acquire a suitable posture for the situation at hand. Facial expressions and gestures are also used extensively not only in meetings but in day to day lives by humans in communication.
Many times when leading a meeting, as the leader one may be called upon to call the meeting to order. This may not be possible by verbal means and non verbal cues may be needed. This can be done by taking an aggressive posture and gesturing at the attendants to calm down and listen up. Such an act demonstrates maturity and control over the meeting with probably even more effectiveness than talking.Important topics in a meeting can be emphasized by giving a prolonged and distinguishable gesturing when talking about the topic. This allows the attendants’ subconscious to associate these topics with some level of difference that eventually translates to their importance. In cases where one is writing on a board or carrying out a visual presentation one may point or continuously pass their hands through the topic’s name. This will give great emphasis on the topic and leave an indelible imprint in the attendants’ minds.
In the course of a meeting it is always important to let the attendants know how you feel about various issues and also enable them get a hint as to whether their actions are approved or not. Approval may be shown by facial expressions that show delight such as smiling and gestures that are welcoming and also encouraging to the recipient. In cases where their actions are not approved this can be conveyed by nodding the head or showing disappointment either through the eyes, gestures or by an unwelcoming posture.
The flow of information can also be regulated by showing approval to encourage the contribution of more of that kind of information. In the case where the person addressing the meeting wants to cut short the flow of aspecific type of information he may show disapproval to discourage the contributors from giving more of that kind information.
Body language is an important aspect of every meeting and it can not only be used to manage the meeting but also gauge the feelings of those being addressed plus the mood at hand. This art is a very important tool for ever prospective and current meeting leader, and there is no excuse for not perfecting it.