Simple Body Language Tricks That Will Improve Your Career
2. To make a difficult task seem easier, smile
This is basically faking it ’til you make it for your body. You’re tricking yourself into thinking you’re enjoying this very difficult task.
“No matter the task,” Goman says, “when you grimace or frown while doing it, you are sending your brain the message, ‘This is really difficult. I should stop.’ The brain then responds by sending stress chemicals into your bloodstream. And this creates a vicious circle: the more stressed you are, the more difficult the task becomes.” But if you smile, you will start eventually thinking that this work is really not so bad.
4. To maximize your authority, curb your enthusiasm
Sometimes appearing over-excited can make you look weak. “In situations where you want to maximize your authority, minimize your movements,” Goman says. “Take a deep breath, bring your gestures down to waist level and pause before making a key point. When you appear calm and contained, you look more powerful.”
5. To defuse a tense situation, realign your body
If a person is arguing with you, it’s most likely because they feel they aren’t being heard. One way to make that person feel better and show good leadership is to physically align yourself with them, either by standing or sitting next to them. Conversely, an action that will make the argument worse is to square your body to the other person or to move in closer, says Goman.
6. To increase participation, look like you’re listening
If you really want to show people you’re listening, put down your phone! Goman says you can show your focus by turning your head and torso to face the person directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding and tilting your head are other nonverbal way to show you’re engaged and paying attention.
10. To improve your speech, use your hands
Sometimes people say making too many movements with your hands connotes nervousness, but that’s only if you aren’t doing it in the right way. “Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking,” says Goman.