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  • Saanya Amalean

Management Weekly >>> Getting body language right

The course of the Covid-19 pandemic has altered the work dynamic. Whilst working from home has become the 'new normal' for many employees, this often begs the question, how do we re-integrate ourselves back into the workspace? and do we even want to?

Joe Navarro, an American author and former FBI body language specialist says that employees' preferences have changed since the dawn of the pandemic. We now find ourselves both voluntarily and involuntarily standing further away, avoiding any sort of physical touch such as shaking hands and especially hugs which are being shunned, if not avoided at all costs.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to accepting and understanding your co-worker's preferences, without taking offence. It is important to be respectful and mindful now more than ever, as we have had to endure a great deal of psychological baggage over the past year and a half, and must still continue to find our way through it.

Your observational skills are vital in gauging when and how to approach a co-worker. Navarro urges employees to look for signalling signs such as eye contact and other body language. Perhaps a conversations starter or noticing if their hips turn towards you would help.

As we strive to create some semblance of normalcy, co-workers must learn to adapt to changes in behaviour, tone and conversation. All humans seek some form of psychological comfort in one form or another and if you are able to provide that, you come out the winner.

Published 30th June 2021 | 11:52 am

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