What Is Your Body Language Saying To You?

What Is Your Body Language Saying About You?

 

We’ve all heard about how important it is to pay attention to what our body language, or non-verbal communications are saying to others. What we forget to take into account is what our non-verbal communications are saying to ourselves. Body language isn’t simply a form of communication; it can also affect our thoughts, our feelings, and our physiology.

 

Your body, yourself

You may not realize it, but your body language can influence your feelings of power and dominance. For example, when people stretch out and take up space, like leaning back with their legs outstretched and their hands behind their heads, it creates a feeling of dominance. Raising their arms up into the air like runners do when they finish a race, creates a feeling of power.

 

Conversely, when people feel powerless they make themselves smaller. They wrap their arms around themselves, cross their ankles, or hunch over.

 

It’s been established that how you carry yourself or hold yourself in any given moment has a direct correlation with how you feel, and assuming powerful, confident postures can make you feel more powerful.

 

How powerful people are physiologically different

Powerful people are generally more confident, more prone to see the bright side even in negative situations, and they’re more apt to take risks. Physiologically they’re different too. Powerful people have higher levels of testosterone – the dominance hormone, and coritsol –the hormone that gives you the ability to mitigate stress. So the questions are, can your body postures affect your hormones? If so, does it take years of practice?

 

The answer to the first question is, yes, your body posture can affect your hormones. And no, it doesn’t take years of practice to see results. You can actually see results by adopting power poses for a couple of minutes a day.

 

Increase your power through power poses

A power pose like standing with your legs about a hip width apart and your hands on your hips, or sitting with your legs extended in front of you while leaning back with your hands behind your neck can increase your levels of testosterone and coritsol.

 

You can use power poses to recharge your power levels during the day, or before a job interview, before giving a speech, before a sales call, or before an important meeting,

 

Even if it feels like holding power poses is faking power, do it anyway, because while you’re faking it you’re also forging a path for yourself to make it.

 

As Amy Cuddy says in the amazing Ted Talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,  “Don’t fake it till you make it, fake it till you become it.”

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What Is Your Body Saying During Your Interview?

You’ve done all your preparation. You know all about the company you’re applying to and you feel good about what you have to say about yourself and your experience. You’ve got what comes out of your mouth covered – but what about the rest of you?

95% of what you communicate is nonverbal. It’s important to ensure your body language is a confident and sure as the language you use verbally.

 

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Finding The Right Words

Finding The Right Words

 

So often we hear It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Generally that’s taken in the context of tone of voice and body language, but oftentimes the specific words you use to express yourself are just as important.

 

Someone asks you if you’ll be able to get a project done on time. Yes you can – so you answer: Yes I think I can or Yes I can.

 

There may not seem like a huge difference between those two sentences, but one is an absolute affirmative, while the other still has question marks attached to it. Which one would you rather hear?

 

The words you choose speak volumes about you and at the same time influence how others perceive you.

 

Indefinite statements vs. definite statements

When you say things like I think or I guess, whatever follows is automatically on weaker ground than a simple direct answer. I guess I’ll go to that seminar implies and underlying unwillingness to do it and makes you seem wishy-washy.

 

I think I’ll go to that seminar implies a lack of commitment. I should be able to go. I’m supposed to go. The listener all of those statements will still not have any idea of whether or not you actually have any intention of going.

 

Yes I’m going is clear and decisive.

 

No I don’t believe this will be of benefit to me removes any ambiguity and provides a reason.

 

If you actually don’t know, give a reason why and a time when you will have an answer. I have to check with X, I will let you know by the end of the day.

 

Avoid negative statements

If you want someone to listen with an open receptive mind, you’ll have more success if you frame what you have to say using positive words rather than negative ones.

 

Rather than Don’t always hit reply all, turn the statement around to Only hit reply all when necessary.

 

Instead of I don’t like negative people go with, I prefer positive people.

 

By removing the negative words you’re eliminating a negative undertone you may not even realize is there.

 

Eliminate can’t

You may not be able to do everything you’re asked to do, however can’t is often people’s go-to word for won’t.

 

If you actually mean won’t then say so. It’s always better to be clear with your words and intentions. If what you’re being asked is outside of your skill set or knowledge then follow up with a solution. That’s not something I’m familiar with, I will call Sarah she can help. Or I have not done that before, I will find out how.

 

Your words are a reflection of who you are. People will be more inclined to listen to and follow someone who is direct, straightforward and positive. They will trust a person who is unambiguous in what they say.