Yes it is possible that you may be compromising your career without even knowing it. Let me tell you the story of young executive, his name is Rahul. Coming from an upper middle background Rahul is a very hardworking and ambitious person. He has always been an outstanding student, cracked the IIT and did his Bachelor’s in engineering as well as MTech from IIT. As expected he got a lot of offers in campus placements and soon after joined a leading organisation. His hardworking and sincere nature soon gave him a good name in the company. There were many others who had joined the organisation along with Rahul but he was considered to be the most promising.
Rahul was always a person who did not speak much and he liked to just concentrate on his work He would stroke his chin and narrow his eyes whenever any idea was taking shape in his mind. He liked to give full concentration to his ideas. While in meetings he would sit relaxed and bit slumped in his chair and would say hmmm off and on while listening to the speaker. He normally talked without moving his hands much and if he did move his hands his fingers were rather close to each other. He rarely if ever raised his voice or complained. When making a point he tended to look at his hands and fingernails. In his interactions with his seniors he would sit without much movement, deference to authority.

It’s been three years since he has been in this organisation and he felt it was time he got a promotion. A lot of his colleagues who had joined with him have got higher positions. Whenever he talked to his seniors about this they said yes they were thinking about it but something or the other happened. He was beginning to feel disappointed and frustrated, what have I done wrong?

This is what was happening without Rahul really knowing it. His gesture habits and his body language were sending signals to others which were detrimental to his career. Let us see what were these gestures? and how they were damaging Rahul’s career without him even knowing it:

1. Stroking your chin or touching your nose when interacting : this sends signals to others that you are disapproving of what they are saying. It also implies that you are sitting in judgement over what the other person is saying. At times the signal being picked from this gesture is of non-sincerity. So in a nutshell if this is a habit with you , its time to change it otherwise people who matter in office will not have a very positive view of you.

2. Slouching in meetings: Slumping or slouching in chair is a habit which can become so ingrained that many a times you won’t even realise that you are doing so. And this could have serious repercussions on your career. Such a gesture is interpreted as total disinterest and disrespect so be careful.

3. Watching your fingernails while talking: This is another of very common habits. Sometimes we all do it simply because we are used to it. But when we do this at workplace while interacting with others it conveys boredom and this puts the other person off completely.

4. Narrowing your eyes during interactions: This is an expression we all adopt every now and then but when it becomes a regular expression while interacting it conveys strong disapproval. Now obviously if you often narrow your eyes while talking the signal goes that you are disapproving and that is not good for the other person’s self-concept.

5. Little or no gap between fingers when you are talking: It is a proven fact that people who talk with their hands close to their body convey the message that they are not open to suggestions. The same impression gets conveyed when you keep your fingers close together while moving your hands in a conversation. And this can brand you as a person who does not want to grow.

Now an obvious question that comes to mind is that if people did not like your gestures why nobody pointed it out. It’s simply because even they don’t know what is creating this negative image of you because the body language is picked up at the subconscious level. So it’s time to take a hard look at your gestures, ask a close friend, make your video but figure out what is your body language.#gestures

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