Do you know someone who can walk into a room and command it? This phenomenon is amazing to witness. Part of the reason these people can command a room may be because they are attractive or dressed to the nines. But another reason may be the way they enter and move about the room. They have extremely positive body language, which exudes confidence and perhaps a little elegance.
How many of these “room commanders” slouch into a room? None.
Positive Body language is an asset in the workplace as well as the social circuit. As we mentioned in Monday’s post about employee body language, communication is 20 percent verbal and 80 percent non-verbal.
What non-verbal communication cues are you projecting at work? Maybe you are uncertain. Maybe you know. Either way, you may want to improve it.
Four Pointers on Exhibiting Positive Body Language at Work
Do not let 80 percent of your potential ability to communicate positivity go to waste. How do you define positivity? How about “using characteristics such as respectful, powerful, knowledgeable, attentive, and confident”?
Here are some positive body language habits to adopt or enhance.
Mirror Others Posture or Expressions if You Agree with Them
If you have ever given a presentation to a room full of people, you may look for those who smile or laugh. Even as you are presenting, you find yourself “liking” them.
These people are showing their agreement with you by consciously, or sub-consciously, mirroring your body language. If you ever want another person to feel listened to and accepted, mirror their expressions and gestures.
When you lean in to a person who is speaking, it shows attentiveness and interest. But don’t lean in too much, as this can signal that you may be looking for approval. And let’s admit it, when someone listening to you leans in too far, it may simply feel uncomfortable.
Avoid the Liar’s Four
Research from Northeastern University found that a group of movements, occurring in a cluster, tend to point to dishonesty. Assuming you are not dishonest, it is still smart to avoid these cues for they may signal a false belief in impropriety. Do not touch your hands or face, keep your arms uncrossed, and do not lean away. Certainly never display all of them together.
The Power Pose
Research from Harvard and Columbia Business Schools has shown that if you do the following moves for two minutes you will up your testosterone and lower your stress hormone. Either kick your feet up on your desk and lean back in your chair with your hands clasped behind your head, or stretch your legs and arms wide open.
Try one, or both, of these power poses before your next meeting. Your cup of confidence may well runneth over.
Use Your Confident Stride
Anytime you walk, keep your head high, your shoulders pulled back, and your spine straight.
Need an even greater boost of confidence? Increase your gait by six inches. Walk with purpose. You will exude power and control.
Let Your Body Do the Talking
Remember the proportion of verbal to non-verbal communication when you are looking to make an initial or a lasting impression. You may not be conscious of the confidence, openness, and attentiveness you are projecting in the workplace, but everyone else in the room will be aware.
Commanding the room at your company Christmas party.