One of the advantages of working for yourself is that you can sometimes choose the hours you work so, on Wednesday afternoon, I decided to give myself an hour or two off to watch Andy Murray’s quarter final match at Wimbledon. An earlier appointment meant I didn’t get to see the first few minutes of the match so when I switched on the television they were into the second set. I didn’t need to see the scoreboard, or even a ball hit, to know that things were not going well. One look at Andy Murray’s body language said it all. He was a defeated man.
Now if I could see that from my sitting room in Ealing then so could his opponent from the other side of the net. In fact after the match Dimitrov said that he knew Murray was not ‘on song’ even in the warm up. That got me thinking that we can sometimes be our own worst enemies.
What does this mean for business?
In business we can lose opportunities because our body language sends the wrong message. If the non verbals and the verbals are not in alignment then we can appear untrustworthy. If we don’t appear confident when we make a pitch our audience will think we can’t deliver. If we appear over confident we can be misjudged as arrogant.
The problem is we have little control over our body language so we have to get our mental attitude right. We may have to silence that inner voice that is undermining our self confidence. We may have to practice until we can deliver our pitch with confidence. We may need a morale boost from a friend, mentor or coach. We certainly need to be aware of our body language and the message it is sending.
So if you don’t get the planned outcome from exchanges with others think why not? Did your body language support your words? Did you inadvertently do something that upset your audience? Did you give the game away?