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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Body Language Secrets of Powerful People - Part 1
The effective use of body language plays a key role in communication. The entire list was created after a lots of research after studying the popular personalities and studying lots of people's body language. Even in US Presidential Elections, the contestants body languages are read, analyzed and understood by experts. Powerful body language works like a music and has immediate effects. Here are first part of ten tips for powerful body language, after researching the world class leaders and coaching people around the world:
1.Eye Contact Conveys Confidence
You know the feeling. When a person makes eye contact with you, especially when you are talking, you feel important to that person, and your confidence in that person grows. People who meet your gaze seem sincere and trustworthy, while those who don’t seem either dishonest or lacking in confidence. However, too much eye contact can be uncomfortable. It can feel like an intrusion or an act of aggression. Powerful leaders instinctively know how long to look at you and how long to look away, and do it naturally. Studies suggest the proper amount of eye contact in the U.S. and many other countries should be between 50% and 60 % of the conversation, mostly when listening.
2. The Firm Handshake
The perfect handshake is brief, firm but not tight, and uses the whole hand, not just the fingertips. It conveys that the person is confident, extroverted, and positive. This can’t be emphasized enough. A handshake creates an immediate impression, and you only get one chance to create that first impression. Powerful leaders shake hands in a way that says, “I am strong and in control.” And in my experience, most people that have a poor handshake have no idea. I recommend you ask a trusted friend or colleague for honest feedback (or come to one of my live keynotes or seminars, and I'll personally let you know!)
3. Take a Powerful Pose
Strong leaders convey their self-confidence and strength subtly but clearly through their posture. An outstretched, open posture projects an image of power and confidence. Legs slightly apart, hands on hips (think super man), or making a wide gestures make you look like you are in charge. But it not only makes others think that, it makes you think that, too! By practicing power poses before presentations or meetings, you boost your confidence and subconsciously tell the audience you’re in control, confident about the future, and able to set goals and act. Their Body Language shows who they are.
Even in animals, they tend to show power through explaining their body, through several ways. Human, a social animal is no exception for this.
4. To increase participation, look like you’re listening
If you want people to speak up, don’t multitask while they do. Avoid the temptation to check your text messages, check your watch, or check out how the other participants are reacting. Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact. Leaning forward, nodding, and tilting your head are other nonverbal ways to show you’re engaged and paying attention. It’s important to hear people. It’s just as important to make sure they know you are listening. Their Body language shows how much the are interested in you.
5. Create a pose that you are ready to act with full of energy
People with their hands held at waist level were more comfortable than those with hands chest high. It shows you are ready to execute tasks and you have lots of energy. Energy is an essential aspect for a powerful leader. And do always remember to keep your chin up.
NLP says, if you are not feeling energetic, you just copy the body language of yourself when you feel energetic. The mind automatically tries to generate some energy for you. That way also, it will be useful for people who wants feel the power.
6. To stimulate good feelings, smile
A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly. Most importantly, smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. Psychology tells, confident people smiles frequently. Smile also increases likeability which will help you to influence other people. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.
7. To show agreement, mirror expressions and postures
When clients or business colleagues unconsciously imitate your body language, it’s their way of non-verbally saying that they like or agree with you. When you mirror other people with intent, it can be an important part of building rapport and nurturing feelings of mutuality. Mirroring starts by observing a person’s facial and body gestures and then subtly letting your body take on similar expressions and postures. Doing so will make the other person feel understood and accepted. Do it only for few seconds. Do it subtly. More importantly, don't over do it. Mirroring other people body language is widely used by Sales people and it is part of their earlier stage training.
8. To improve your speech, use your hands
Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca’s area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we’re talking, but when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking. At the same time, make sure you do not bring your hand before your face.
Psychology says, people who bring their hand before their face is strategy to cover their face in a subtler way. It shows lack of confident, nervousness and even worse, in some cases you are lying.
Whenever I encourage executives and others to incorporate gestures into their deliveries, I consistently find that their verbal content improves. Experiment with this and you’ll find that the physical act of gesturing helps you form clearer thoughts and speak in tighter sentences with more declarative language.
9. To learn the truth, watch people’s feet
When people try to control their body language, they focus primarily on facial expressions, body postures, and hand/arm gestures. Since the legs and feet are left unrehearsed, they are also where the truth can most often be found. Under stress, people will often display nervousness and anxiety through increased foot movements. Feet will fidget, shuffle, and wind around each other or around the furniture. Feet will stretch and curl to relieve tension, or even kick out in a miniaturized attempt to run away.
Studies show that observers have greater success judging a person’s real emotional state when they can see the entire body. You may not know it, but instinctively you’ve been reacting to foot gestures all your life. It is always better even to study the smallest of the body languages.
10. To sound authoritative, keep your voice calm and be sure what you say
Tone down your voice and keep a moderate, calm with confident tone. Be sure what you say. Psychology says, people respects leaders who are sure about what they say and what they do. Press on important phrases by slightly raising the tone or slightly reducing the tone. More importantly, talk less when not required to. If you have watched powerful people, they do not waste their words in unwanted discussions.
If you follow these 10 simple and powerful body language tips, you’ll be able to increase your nonverbal impact in the workplace. You may think, why should a natural leader should have it. If you observe, many people develop this over the period of time automatically. Of-course, there will be few exceptions, as always.