A lot of us can now say things like ‘Back in the day…’ when it comes to working in the office.
Thinking back to those times, it was far easier to get a good idea of how someone was feeling or what they were thinking during a meeting. Seeing people in-person on a regular basis made it easier for us to understand body language and to pick up on social cues. Today, though, where 90% of meetings happen over Zoom, body language and social cues are much harder to pick up on, even if we are still seeing their faces.
Here are a few non-verbal cues to look out for during your next video conference call.
- The way they position their arms. Some people angle their cameras in such a way that cuts out your view of their arms or hands, but for those that show enough, keep an eye on their positioning. If their arms are crossed, this could mean they are not very receptive to what is being spoken about. If they are talking without any hand or arm movements at all, this could mean they are indifferent.
- The way their lips are positioned. If someone on your call continues to purse their lips, this is something you want to pick up on as it could mean they either have something to contribute but are continuously getting interrupted, or that there is something else they are unhappy about or disagree with.
- Steeping. This is when someone takes both hands and presses their fingertips together; this creates something that looks like a steeple, hence the name. If you notice this behaviour, it usually means that person feels a sense of authority and confidence.
- Mimicking. Studies show that people subconsciously tend to mimic the body movements of those we admire. If you notice someone mirroring your movements while on a video conference call, this is a great sign and could mean they respect you.