Inside the seemingly endless treasure chest of necessary business analyst skills you must have to accelerate your career, there lies the forgotten art of body language.
As a communication skill, body language is often the predecessor to successful requirements elicitation, establishment of expertise, and a host of many other benefits. The problem is, people—business analysts, especially—have forgotten how to convey their body language, even though we all pick up on it subconsciously.
There aren’t many IIBA-endorsed courses that handle this vital topic. That’s why I’ve included it as part of my upcoming, 12-week course, Mastering Business Analysis Fundamentals.
Here are a few body language skills that coincide with an effective conversation. The term “effective conversation” refers to a meeting or interview that gives you the required information to perform job responsibilities at a vastly higher level.
You stand tall with shoulders pulled back.
Nothing commands respect quite like good posture, but in the age of “computer posture,” most people find themselves walking around with a sad slouch. When you stand tall and pull your shoulders back, you project an air of authority. Your stakeholders will see a confident expert with a mission to accomplish.
Your eye contact remains consistent.
Eye contact seems awkward to many people. That’s because you can read a lot about a person when you look into their eyes. This body language technique ensures that people listen to your thoughts and ideas. When it comes to conversations and requirements elicitation interviews with stakeholders, consistent eye contact will come in handy.
Your hand and arm gestures are deliberate.
Use your hands to illustrate a point! Not that you have to be overly theatrical in your hand and arm gestures, but subtle yet deliberate movement will reinforce what you say.
Your speech sounds slow and clear.
Think of all the great speeches in history. Martin Luther King, Jr. never spoke as if he was in a hurry, and neither should you. Speaking slowly and deliberately makes people want to listen to what you have to say. They’ll consider the content of your presentations and interviews as worthwhile, and your job will become much easier as a result.
Your tone of voice remains moderate to low.
No one listens to loud mouths or whisperers. There’s a delicate balance between the two, and when you find it, people will listen to what you have to say.
Body language is only one skill business analysts use. Are you ready to learn every skill required to reach that senior level position and earn a higher salary?