If you’re never entirely sure when to walk away from a chit-chat session or how to get that overly chatty desk neighbor to leave, you need to start paying more attention to feet. Buffer’s Leo Widrich has a breakdown of all the body language tips you can use in your day-to-day:
Carol Kinsey Goman has researched the importance of body language in the workplace for many years. One of her best tips is to watch your feet. A lot of the time, we focus on our upper body or faces, yet our feet reveal more about our emotions than we might think:
“When you approach 2 people talking, you will be acknowledged in one of two ways. If the feet of your two colleagues stay in place and they twist only their upper torsos in your direction, they don’t really want you to join the conversation. But if their feet open to include you then you know that you are truly invited to participate.”
In another example from her book Goman explains when to know that “conversations are over”:
Whenever you are speaking with a co-worker who seems to be paying attention, and whose upper body is angled toward you, but whose legs and feet have turned toward the door – realize that the conversation is over. Her feet are telling you she wants to leave. Foot positions are revealing even if someone’s legs are crossed.
This article was originally published on 99u.com.