« Back to Fun Team Building Resources

Leadership Body Talk


leadership body talk, Fun Team Building with Larry Lipman

Larry’s View on Leadership Body Talk

The experts say that non-verbal communication is as important as verbal, if not, more so.

When talking about non-verbal, body language, be careful not to use this information as hard and fast rules that apply to everybody all the time.

If team members appear bored, angry, or frustrated, then they probably are!

This leads to examining the congruence between body language and verbal language. For example, laughing while describing a very painful experience is incongruent behavior and hard to do. Try it. This incongruence indicates that something is amiss.

It’s also important to be attuned to cultural differences in body language that could be present among your group. So as always, when in doubt, check out your perceptions with your people.

Effective leaders need to be conscious of the power of their own body language. For instance, using open posture; standing where you can be seen by all; moving deliberately and for a purpose; using gestures to strengthen or enhance your communication; not using podiums or other objects to hide behind; making regular eye contact with everyone; and being expressive, amplifying what you are feeling and saying with your facial expressions.


Positive Body Language

Direct eye contact (no staring)
Warm, open smile (teeth revealed)
Head tilted
Open, inclusive gestures (palms showing)
Fully facing others
Leaning forward
Upright but relaxed posture
Firm handshake
Double hand clasp handshake
Feet firmly planted
Chin up
Sitting forward
Eyebrow flash upon greeting

Negative Body Language

Eye contact not met
Tight or no smile
Down and away or dropped glances
Not fully facing, at an angle
Leaning away
Hunched shoulders
Too-stiff posture
Weak handshake
Chin into chest
Arms crossed or Legs crossed
Body sagging
Legs outstretched while seated
Absent-minded gazes