Though your co-workers and manager might not understand tiny shifts in your behavior instantly, you’re giving away many invites into your psyche, simply via your body language.

According to professional corporate trainer, business consultant, and entrepreneur Denise M. Dudley, PhD, all people communicate using seven channels: facial expressions, eye contact, posture, hand gestures, voice tone, voice loudness, and verbal content. While she explains that many professionals are picky with their word choices, very few practice or give a second thought to the other six venues.

This is a big loss, considering many studies indicate difficulty pairing sentences with sentiments. “Our bodies are actually revealing more about our messages than our voices ever do,” Dudley told Ladders. “When we’re delivering a message — any message, good or bad, large or small, how we look as we’re delivering the message is… probably more important than our words, if we intend to be understood.”

Especially in the office setting, where everything from words to presentation to inaction mean something, understanding how you’re perceived by the way you hold yourself is key. Even if you’re not intentionally sending out a particular message, your hand movements or facial expressions could tell another story.

Here, experts decode office body language and give their best tips on how to match your mind to your mannerisms:

Assertive eye contact shows confidence

Your parents probably encouraged you to always meet the eyes of friends, family members, or teachers when you were growing up, but now that your mom isn’t there to subtly reprimand you for darting your eyes, you might be slacking. Dudley says there are two times when making clear, assertive eye contact is important in business: when you’re giving instructions and when you’re sharing information. This is because when you’re being intentional and purposeful with your baby blues (or greens or browns) you’re Read More Here