語言由字與詞所組成,表達的型式可以是寫、讀、講、聽、手語,甚至密碼。但就算沒有這些表達型式,我們仍然能夠有效溝通,因為人類的通用語言是身體。

研究發現,在你發言之前身體語言就已經替你傳達訊息。最基本的身體語言:站立挺拔表示你是主動和自信的。身體往椅子後面靠,手指頭在頭後面交叉,挺胸,是趾高氣揚的權威和權力表現。在會議中站著發言,會讓你成為會議室裡最高的人,視野為之開闊,更能夠讓與會人士聚精會神。

對於女性來說,有效運用肢體語言挑戰更大。職業女性,尤其是領導人,經常面對的兩難是–很有自信的說出想法,就被認為是男性化和霸道。用委婉語來表達自己的感受與體諒別人,妳被認為太女性化與脆弱。總有方法避開這兩難。妳的身體語言可以幫你。假如你必須堅持自己的立場,請坐直或站直,手掌向外旋轉約45 度,小小的手勢會讓人覺得你的開明。相反地,如果妳決定不需要進一步的討論,公事公辦,把手掌向下,讓桌子另一邊的對方感受你的穩定和心照不宣的想法。

頭側一邊可以傳達關注,但有時也會被潛意識地解讀為服從。不要忘了,飄忽不定的眼神等於走神,所以在面試和開會時,一定要把頭保持直立,視線往前在,讓別人看到妳的自信姿態和沉穩風度,而不必說任何話語。

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Language is composed of words and phrases. They can be written, read, spoken, heard, signed, and even coded. Nevertheless, without verbal and written words, numbers and symbols, humans are still able to effectively communicate, and the medium of universal language is the body.

Extensive research has shown that your body language speaks for you, before any words are exchanged. The basics of body language: standing tall and straight says that you (1) take the initiative and are confident. Leaning back in a chair with fingers interlocked behind your head, chest puffed up, exudes authority and power. Standing when speaking during meetings makes you the tallest person in the room, with the widest visual perspective, thus giving you the perfect opportunity to rein in the attention of your business counterparts.

For women, the challenge of using effective body language is much greater. Professional women, especially leaders, are constantly caught in a double blind. If you are assertive and speak your mind, you are considered as masculine and bossy.

If you speak in fluent euphemisms, and express your feelings and consideration for others, you are too soft and feminine.

Nevertheless, there are ways around this double standard. Remember, your body can speak for you. In situations where you must stand firmly on the ground, sit or stand upright, but rotate your palms outward about 45 degrees, because the small gesture conveys openness. On the contrary, if your mind is set on no further discussion, turn your palms downward, and let the party on the other side of the table feel your stability and unspoken thoughts.

The head tilt always (2) does the trick of expressing concern when you are feeling empathic. But a tilted head may also be subconsciously processed as a submission signal. Wandering eyes equal a wandering mind, so it’s most imperative to you’re your head straight and your sight focused during interviews and meetings. Let others get a good look at your confident posture and composed disposition, without having to say one single word.

  1. take the initiative 採取主動

想到主動,我們最直接的聯想是 active。但你要講一個人有主動的特質,用「He is active.」老外會解讀成「他很活躍」。initiative可以作名詞和形容

詞,名詞用法更常見,看兩個例句:

E.g. They are able to sort out problems on their own initiative.

他們能夠主動解決問題。

E.g. Charles is shy and does not take the initiative in making acquaintances.

查爾斯很害羞,他不會主動交朋友。

  1. do the trick 奏效

Trick在這裡是「花招」或「手法」的意思,do the trick意思是「達到想要的結果」、「奏效」,也可以用turn the trick。

E.g. The doctor’s medicine will do the trick for the patient.

醫生的藥一定會藥到病除。

(文章及圖片來源:英語島雜誌;首圖來源:James.McDowell, CC Licensed)