Body language and cell phones

What does your body language say to others when you are head-down in your electronic device?

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, author, and Harvard professor, inspired many of us with her TED talk on body language, especially with her demonstration of the power pose. Recently, when promoting her new book, Presence, in an NPR interview, Cuddy pointed out that it is impossible to strike a powerful pose while texting.

Think about it. What is your posture when you are engrossed in your cell phone ? not when you are on a call (who does that?) but when you are texting or tweeting or surfing. Where is your head? Where are your eyes? Where is your focus?

cell-phone-1049899_1920

Head down, neck bent, eyes on the device in your hand ? what message are you sending with this body language?

When you are physically in a room with other people, you should be making eye contact with them. Your focus should be on the people in front of you, not on the virtual world in your hand. You should be present with the people who are attempting to communicate with you in person. Of course, you may also need to convince them to put down their devices and talk to you!

When you are engrossed in your electronic device, you are sending a distinct message to everyone in the room with you, with your body language and with your actions, that whatever is going on virtually is much more important than interacting with them personally.

Try striking a power pose while checking your Twitter feed. Can?t be done. Now, put down the phone, raise your head, and focus on what?s going on in your presence.

No texting at the table! It?s good for your posture, good for your body language, and good for your interpersonal communication efforts.

Focus on being present with others and then let me know how it goes for you (in that order).

Related articles

Unplug, de-stress, reconnect

Imagine being surrounded by a calm sea, a gorgeous sky, a breathtaking sunset, and . . . people on their cell phones. Seriously? If you had a chance to be totally unplugged and away from the distractions of electronics, would you take advantage? On a recent vacation, a surprising number of my fellow cruise ship […]

Learn More

What Can’t Be Read . . .

What can?t be read can hurt your business. Social media posts, articles, marketing pieces, anything that reflects your business, must be written in a way that makes it readable. What does that mean? It means that the words should flow easily. It means there should be no typos or grammatical errors. Most importantly, it means […]

Learn More

Tip of the Week ? No texting at the table!

Comments from the conference room, from the board room, and from across the desks of frustrated business people: ? They were sitting right next to each other and texting each other! ? I can?t get my meeting attendees to pay attention. I always have to follow up the meeting with an email explaining what I […]

Learn More