These 3 body language mistakes make millennials look really unprofessional


Curious to know how you may be communicating without any words at all?

Curious to know how you may be communicating without any words at all? You might want to check your body language to find out.

There are a bunch of things we can say to people through movement alone--sometimes even without realizing it. Millennials, with their built-in technology skills, may be the biggest culprits for sending off signals they don't mean to when interacting with someone face-to-face.

Here are 3 body language habits that make millennials seem unprofessional, and what can be done to prevent them.

1. Getting distracted

When people lose interest in a topic, it's usually pretty clear right away. They'll start taking part in another equally engaging activity, like texting or scrolling social media, or have their eyes glazed over with boredom. In fact, your body might even involuntarily start responding to the boredom with random foot kicking or shrugging. If your body is sending off signals that you're not at all interested, you'll appear very unprofessional--especially during a meeting or professional conversation.

2. Slouching

In contemporary millennial workforces, maintaining a rigorously stern attitude isn't really necessary. There are, however, certain limits to the relaxed vibe of the workplace, such as the behavior we exhibit at our desks when we think nobody else is watching. Studies have shown that, when people feel an emotion, it immediately reveals itself in our bodies. So, the minute you feel disinterested, discouraged, or tired, slouching is the natural response. Combat this with increased attention to how you sit, or the position you take as you finish up your work.

3. Lack of eye contact

Eye contact has always been seen as a direct way of connecting to the person you're talking to. Without it, people can feel a real disconnect between the conversation and themselves. Distracted millennials might not be aware of the fact that looking around or, worse yet, at their phones may come across as unprofessional. Without even noticing it, they may not be able to truly build relationships with the people they work with.

See the 10 worst body language mistakes during interviews:

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10 worst body language mistakes during interviews
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10 worst body language mistakes during interviews

Body language expert Tonya Reiman, author of "The Power of Body Language," previously told Business Insider that job candidates should make sure they offer the "appropriate amount of eye contact." 

"If you don't, the interviewer will assume you are either insecure, don't have an appropriate answer for the question being asked, or are being deceptive. Does that mean it's true? No, but perception is everything in a job interview."

Reiman said smiling demonstrates confidence, openness, warmth, and energy. 

"It also sets off the mirror neurons in your listener, instructing them to smile back. Without the smile, an individual is often seen as grim or aloof," she explained.

This may give the interviewer the impression that you're bored or uninterested in the conversation. Instead, keep your hands on the desk or table, and don't fidget.

In their book "Crazy Good Interviewing," John B. Molidor, Ph.D., and Barbara Parus suggest showing your palms during an interview — since the gesture indicates sincerity — or pressing the fingertips of your hands together to form a church steeple. which displays confidence, reports Business Insider's Shana Lebowitz.

Reiman previously told Business Insider you should always be aware of your posture.

"People don't realize that the job interview begins in the waiting room, but it does. So don't slouch in the chair in the reception area," she advised. "In order to be perceived as confident, you must sit or stand tall, with your neck elongated, ears and shoulders aligned, and chest slightly protruding."

This position changes the chemicals in our brain to make us feel stronger and more confident, and it gives the outward appearance of credibility, strength, and vitality, she explained.

Playing with your hair, touching your face, or any other kind of fidgeting can be a major distraction for your interviewer. It also demonstrates a lack of power, said Reiman.

This gesture will tell the interviewer you're not comfortable or you're closed off. 

"You should always keep your hands in view when you are talking," Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of "SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions Body Language and Charisma," previously told Business Insider. "When a listener can't see your hands, they wonder what you are hiding." To look honest and credible, keep your arms uncrossed and show your hands.

"When we touch our faces or hair, it is because we need self soothing,"Reiman explained.

Is that the message you want to send to your interviewer

A weak handshake may tell the interviewer that you're nervous, shy, and that you lack confidence, explains Colin Shaw, CEO of Beyond Philosophy, a customer experience consultancy, in a LinkedIn post

Ideally, your handshake should be firm, but not overbearing. "The secret to a great handshake is palm-to-palm contact," Wood told Business Insider. You want to slide your hand down into the web of theirs, and make palm-to-palm contact. Lock thumbs, and apply an equal amount of pressure.

"It's okay to use your hands to illustrate a few important points," writes Lebowitz. "In fact, research suggests that staying too still can give the impression of coldness. 

"But relying too much on hand gestures can be distracting, according to Molidor and Parus."

She says you should remember you're in a job interview, not a theater audition. 

People tend to show their dominating personality by gripping the interviewer's hand and palming it down, but this tells the interviewer that you need to feel powerful, Reiman explained. "Instead, the handshake should be more natural: thumbs in the upward position and two to three pumps up and down."

As the applicant, you should always wait for the interviewer to extend their hand first, she added. 

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