In this entry I am going to talk about the importance of understanding body language. Body language is an important aspect of communication and understanding body language can be an added advantage to help you excel in your career. As a building manager, you use up a huge percentage of your time communicating with people from different walks of lives face to face. From talking to contractors to dealing with complains and conducting meetings, you are in contact with people for most of your working hours. Understanding body language not only make you aware of the feelings of the other party towards you but it also makes you aware of your own body language and the signals you are sending to the other person. It allows you to judge the other person better and respond to them better.
In a face to face communication, basically the words you use, your tone of voice and your body language are the three main components. The non verbal part or the body language is particularly telling as it relays information about a persons feelings, attitudes and if they are telling the truth. The non verbal behaviour stems from your subconscious mind it is therefore more telling than what a person is saying as your non verbal action is sometimes not controlled consciously.
The body language you use when dealing with contractors may differ from the body language used when dealing with residents or tenants. With contractors, you may want to adopt a more authoritative demeanour whereas when dealing with angry residents or tenants the same body language may not help. You might want to use gestures showing that you are open and accepting to them so that you can win their trust. You cannot give off an air of hostility or superiority when dealing with residents or tenants for they are your customers. Therefore you need to be aware of your own body language when dealing with people.
How you respond to a person, your posture, gestures, demeanour and tone of voice has a significant impact when dealing with people. Facial expression, eye contact, attentiveness all are a part of generating an effective communication.
I truly believe that knowledge in body language can value add your service as a Building or Facilities Manager because a large part of the job basically is knowing how to manage people. In the next few entries I am going to devote my time into teaching some of the basics on body language. We will also touch on listening skills as being a good listener is just as important.