Monday Motivation: Better Body Language

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on July 27, 2020

Monday motivation, we need it, stat! We’re all weighed down by the strife in the world and need a boost. Here’s a pick-me-up to launch your week on the right foot. Studies show that your morning mood affects your productivity all day. Grit Daily is here to get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists – it’s time for Monday motivation!

Communication matters

You may be thinking, “We live in a COVID virtual world anyway. Nobody can really see my body language when we’re all on a zoom call.” Fair enough. The more people that are in a zoom room, the smaller the video tiles and the more difficult it is to make out the facial gestures or other antics of the participants. But what happens where there are just two of you? Or three or four? Monday motivation is focused on becoming a better communicator – body language style.

We’ve all heard the expression, “actions speak louder than words.” This is true, especially when it comes to body language. Crossed arms reportedly indicate that we’re closed off and non-receptive to whatever the other person is saying or doing but it can also be self-soothing and a self-hug because the person feels vulnerable. Looking away suggests disinterest whereas avoiding eye contact invites distrust and suggests non-truths are being uttered. Fidgeting by leg pumping or cracking knuckles suggests that our focus is elsewhere and not on the conversation. Rapid blinking and eyebrows up suggest intrigue or confusion – something that’s particularly important for teachers who are giving online classes in this era of distance learning. Even on zoom, you can see when somebody is looking down at their phones or reading their emails on the screen instead of being focused on the video call.

Monday motivation tips for better non-verbal communication

These body movements seem innocent enough and making them occasionally will probably not compromise your relationships but, if you find yourself doing them often, it’s time to think about long-term consequences. Non-verbal communication *is* communication, negative or positive outcomes though it may have. That choice is up to you. To save the day – and your friendships – Monday motivation has some tips for you!

#1 – study the eyes

Are they looking at you, down or away? Blinking excessively (more than once every 10 seconds or so)? Scrunched up with intensity? Are there tears welling up in the middle of the lower eyelid? Tip – if you don’t want to cry, look up, it redirects the tears away from the lower middle of your eye towards the corners which reduces the likelihood of a tear falling down your cheek. Watching someone else’s eyes as you speak to them does a few things: it keeps you focused; it tells them that you’re interested in listening to what they have to say; and it queues you up to how they are responding to whatever you’re sharing.

#2 – is the head tilted?

A slightly tilted head suggests comfort, ease and interest. Tilting one’s head is a commonly “mirrored behavior” where if one person relaxes, and communicates this via a tilted head, the other person will likely emulate the behavior. If the pupils are widely dilated and hands are reaching forward with a tilted head, that could suggest romantic interest.

#3 – are the shoulders up or down?

Non-verbals are instinctive and it takes self-discipline plus practice to block our bodies from making gestures that give away how we’re feeling. Loose shoulders suggest comfort and relaxation. If the person (men do this more often than women) lifts the collar of their shirt or hoodie to ventilate, that suggests discomfort and unease – something that you said has left them on edge.

So, the next time that you think, “It’s just a zoom call, nobody’s really watching me,” think again!

Extra bits

If you like podcasts, well, wouldn’t you know, we’ve got those, too! Three of them, in fact: 1) Like a Boss with snappy insights; 2) wine down and chill; and 3) Monday motivation. All three are available on all streaming channels including Apple, iHeart Radio, Spotify and more. Tune in! Finally, if you like my writing, check out my new novel, The Battle for Humanity, it’s a thriller you won’t be able to put down.

Check out our podcast

Have a fabulous week!

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnist at Grit Daily and a podcast host (The Grit Files, which aims to shine the spotlight on female founders). She is a content marketer, founder of the WORKtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personal and professional development to address gaps in soft skills - communication in particular. In her consultancy practice, she helps clients with content and strategy. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us." 

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