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How to Reinvent Your Body Language

Reinvent Your Body Language

While providing executive coaching or any of our leadership development programs, we can’t help but notice that many of our clients transform their body language as a result of what they learn in the programs. We have literally seen many people walk out of our Perth campus with remarkably different body language than when they walked in.

However, not everyone “cures” body language that may be holding them back through subconscious and intrinsic means. Fortunately, we have some simple techniques that one can consciously apply to foster more effective leadership.

Two Important Minutes

It is common knowledge that emotions affect body language. What a lot of people don’t know is that body language can affect emotions. Professor Amy Cuddy of Harvard recommends standing in a “power pose” for at least two minutes to combat self-doubt, nervousness or intimidation. Professor Cuddy recommends the “Superman pose,” holding one’s arms to the sky, or simply standing tall.

Energy Matters

If you are preparing to lead a group or an individual, check your energy level. Then, make a conscious effort to increase your energy by whatever level is comfortable. Think back to those who have inspired you. Did they talk in a monotone or were they dynamic? Summoning more energy will take the slump out of your shoulders and empower you to move.

Smiling, Positive Attitude

Always smile whenever possible. Not only does it send positive messages to those you are leading, it prevents you from going the other way and scowling, grimacing or otherwise supplying negative input to your employees. In a stressful situation, a smile can sometimes be the difference between a positive outcome and a negative outcome.

Smiles, like frowns, are contagious, especially when they come from leaders. Choose a happy workplace; it will be more productive.

Change Your Angle

Many people can be intimidated when a superior faces them directly while talking. While the leader may interpret his or her own stance as “friendly” or “attentive,” the subordinate can often interpret it as “menacing” or “intimidating.” If you think you may be intimidating a subordinate, try a slight offset of up to 45 degrees with your body, while still maintaining eye contact.

To learn more techniques for effective leadership, call Integral Development today on 1300 176 789.

Ron Cacioppe

Ron Cacioppe is the Managing Director of Integral Development and holds a BSc, an MBA and a PhD. He has taught in the Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University, Curtin University and the University of Western Australia.

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