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How Body Language Matters When Building a Business Team It's figurative learning can be a major solution to getting the right people on board

By Kanan Tandi

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Humans are social animals by nature and to be a part of the larger social structure , they have to be a part of the crowd. The rule applies everywhere, even in business. An entrepreneur may be the pillar of his/her business but, to grow, he/she needs a team, good partners, and a growing clientele. Body Language and its learning figuratively can be a major solution to getting the right people on board.

Let us try and understand the application of this non-verbal communication called Body Language in depth in various areas related to business.


Hiring team members, be it interns, senior executives or service providers, entrepreneurs would ideally seek honest, loyal and hardworking candidates. But it's almost impossible for an HR or an executive to find out about these traits in the first meeting or interview. But let us make it little bit easy by applying Body Language.

There is something called a 4 second rule. When you ask a direct question, you are likely to get an honest expression. So, if you ask your candidate, " Do you consider yourself hardworking?" And the candidate makes a face and then says , "yes, absolutely." Your job is to decode that face. If you clearly read that face and tally it with the other expressions exchanged during the interview, you can identify or at least come close to identifying the real persona of a person. Mostly candidates are prepared in terms of sitting posture or have prepared the answers in pattern, but then you always have to be one level ahead. So, apply the "4 second rule' and see the answer yourself.

Connecting with Your Colleagues

Now that you have a team, it is very important to have a good rapport with them. It depends on you whether you follow an "Open door policy' or not. It is very important to demarcate the lines of "how much is too much' in this case.

If you are talking , it should not be chatting, if you are joking it should not be laughing all the time. Research says warmth and compassion is needed in order to receive admiration, but you have to accept that admiration doesn't come in a day, it has to be earned. To connect aptly and for a longer term with your colleagues, you can follow this easy 5 step formula

  • Look
  • Smile (not much though)
  • Greet ( A person who is senior and greets a junior is considered more warm)
  • Appreciate or compliment
  • Ask their opinion (It could be a casual or work related question too, just too keep the conversation intact)

Finding Great Partners

All of us look for a promising partner. We don't want someone who is handling lesser business than us, we don't want someone who is handling way more business than us. How do we identify that?

Through their Body Language. When a person is confident , one can usually see the hands talking. Just the opposite happens when the person is trying to manipulate or tell something which may not exactly be the truth, which in Body Language terminology is called as Pacifiers. Pacifiers are self soothing gestures, like where a person touches himself/herself when under stress or nervousness.

When in a networking session, identifying who is interested in your business more genuinely is a tricky one. So how do you distinguish, if someone is genuinely interested in your business or not? There are two simple methods:

  • The person asks open ended question – interested
  • The person nods (usually thrice) and it should be a slow nod – interested. If it is a faster nod, that means the person is in a hurry or might be getting bored.


It is very important for an entrepreneur to showcase their leadership skills. The most important skill under leadership is being emotionally intelligent. In simple terms it means you should know what, when and how to speak. As simple as it may look, it is actually a tough call to make, especially when someone commits a mistake in your team. Make sure the mistake is not repeated but also make sure the doer realizes the mistake.

There are some common non-verbal signs followed by successful leaders some of which are:

  • Assertive Body Language: This means, they look convincing because they feel they can. It is very important to be convinced that the idea is going to work before putting it forward to the clients or team
  • Using open palm gestures
  • How you use the space to your benefit ( personal, social and public)
  • Low pitched voice with good tempo and using pauses

Lie Detection

There is something called as gut feeling/sixth sense/intuition in every entrepreneur. This is nothing but your brain catching non-verbal signals from various scenarios and letting you know that something is not right. But don't fall for articles which tell you that nose rubbing, eye blocking, hands on the face are signs of lie. Each one of us has a different body language when it comes to lying.

Although there are various methods to find out if a person is lying through his/her body language the most important and effective is s Baselining. It is basically identifying and taking note of a person's body language and speech such as, usage of hands while communicating, expressions, sitting postures, blink rate, breathing rate, usage of specific words, laughter or smiling style.

Kanan Tandi

Director at Body Speaks Better

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