Your boss asks how things are going. “Fine,” you smile. You can’t quite bring yourself to look him in the eye as you deliver this jumbo-sized lie but, what the hell, it’s not as if he can tell you’re fibbing, so it doesn’t make any difference. Or does it? The truth is, no matter what you say, your body language will reveal your true feelings as surely as if you came to work holding a big banner saying, “Help! I hate my job.”
“What we say with our bodies is at least as important as what we say with our voices,” says occupational psychologist Dr Cary Cooper. “The way you stand and sit, the direction of your eyes and the intonation of your voice are all part of your range of non-verbal communication.”
“A genuinely happy and enthusiastic worker would have looked his boss directly in the eye as he replied to his inquiry. Even if his manager doesn’t realize why he’s not convinced by the answer, he’ll know something’s not right.” “Slouchy posture and drooping shoulders are a sign of someone who’s feeling ‘under it’ and quite literally overloaded,” he explains. “Like the image of Atlas carrying the world on his shoulders, people with hunched shoulders and rounded backs are struggling with a weight of work that is overburdening them.”
“People who shuffle their shoes along the floor as they go are invariably bored,” says Dr Cooper. “Their couldn’t-care-less gait reflects their listless, can’t-be-bothered attitude.” Crouchers, says Dr Cooper, hide behind their desks all day and never get up unless they have to. Some even rearrange their desks to create a physical barrier between themselves and their colleagues.
Keen, fulfilled employees are as easy to spot as demotivated, miserable ones. Management consultant Dr Paul Cassinder says those of us who are unhappy at work and giving off the wrong signals can reverse our state of mind by adopting positive body language. “Most people get bogged down occasionally at work. But minds can be tricked and, if you’ve allowed yourself to fall into a dreary state, take action now.”
CHOOSE THE BEST OPTION (A, B, C or D) FOR THE FOLLOWING WORDS FROM THE TEXT
A acting B lying C showing off D pretending
A disguise B block C conceal D show
A Upright B Arrogant C Composed D Floppy
A curved B unbalanced C broad D straight
A Caring B Kind C Friendly D Enthusiastic
CHOOSE THE CORRECT ANSWER A, B, C or D
6. What we say with our bodies:
A. can tell what we feel about our job.
B. can be as important as coming to work with a banner.
C. can help us communicate with cur boss better.
D. makes things worse at work.
7. Your bad posture:
A. will make your manager realize something is not right.
B. can mean you don’t want to look your boss in the eye.
C. can mean you’re carrying a big load on your shoulders.
D. can mean that you feel you can’t cope with your job well.
8. Workers who drag their feet:
A. don’t use enough body talk.
B. can’t care less about their friends.
C. can’t be bothered to lift them.
D. are usually fed up.
9. Some employees use their desks:
A. to keep out of fights.
B. as an excuse so they never get up.
C. to hide themselves.
D. to get into trouble.
10. You can make yourself feel positive again by:
A. speaking your mind.
B. talking to your manager consultant.
C. allowing your psychologist to help you.
D. walking, talking and standing tall.