We all have little habits that we might be unaware of. Some of us tap our feet uncontrollably, others of us bite our nails or frequently flip our hair. Though habit to us, they’re noticeable to other people—so much so that it could cost you a business deal. Yes, these habits are a big no-no.
Here’s a list of common habits we have while engaging in formal business (and why you should stop them):
1. Talking fast... like you’ve had 20 cups of coffee. Slow it down people. By talking slowly and clearly, it shows that you have confidence in what you’re saying. And that you value the time you are spending with the person.
2. Standing with one leg crossed over or under. Watch your stance, any crossing or casual bending into your hips gives off the impression of shyness and insignificance—and you want to convey confidence.
3. Standing with your hands over your lap. Commonly referred to as the “fig leaf pose,” this position gives the impression that you are unimportant and intimidated. Instead, let your arms hang naturally by their side
4. Holding a cell phone in your hand. Now, this might be getting nit-picky. But unfortunately it’s a very common habit (considering our phones generally follow us wherever we go). Holding a phone while in a meeting suggests you don’t have time for it. You appear distracted. Put your phone away and show them who is priority.
5. Fidgeting. Fidgeters - You’re not alone. Many business people face this challenge. Pens, paper, erasers, innocent paperclips, are all so tempting to reach for and grab out of comfort. But resist! Concentrate on your breathing—train yourself to breath slowly and it will make your nervous movements disappear.
In addition to these top five, we’d encourage you to avoid these as well: weight shifting, foot or finger tapping, sitting on the edge of your chair or propping your head up with your hands. All of these subtle habits could be construed negatively in a business deal.
Once the deal is done and you’ve nailed it (give yourself pat on the back), now you are free to go home and do all of these things to your heart’s content.