Are how you stand and success related? The influence of posture, gestures and facial expressions is powerful and largely unconscious. This very fundamental form of communication goes back to our beginnings when language was non-existent. The oldest part of our brain still tunes into subtle and not-so-subtle changes in body stance and movement.
Our attention to body language may influence us much more than someone’s words, especially when we are unfamiliar with the person. This article may encourage you to pay more attention to how you tend to stand and move.
Strike a pose: The way you stand can make you more successful
By Susanne Gargiulo
Imagine your boss as a caveman. He’s running across the Savannah — chasing Palaeolithic game with a rock, wearing only a loincloth. He spots you and halts! Assuming a defensive position, his eyes carefully scan you for signs: Are you friend or foe? The verdict takes seconds for him to reach, and with no verbal language to inform him, his decision is based primarily on your body language.
Believe it or not, this is similar to what happens in office environments around the world, every day.
The power of body language
Neuroscientists who studied the effects of hand gestures related to speech found that, when a speakers gestures do not match what is being said, our brains dip into the same dip that occurs when people listen to nonsensical language. Basically, if your message is inconsistent — you stop making sense.
“In the first few seconds of meeting someone, they will determine whether you are friend or predator, and the rest of the time their brains will be gathering information to support that,” says Mark Bowden, author of Winning Body Language.
“In business, first impressions are crucial,” says Carol Kinsey Goman, international speaker and author of The Silent Language of Leader. “Once someone mentally labels you likeable or un-likeable, powerful or submissive, everything else you do will be viewed through that filter. If someone likes you, she’ll look for the best in you. If she doesn’t like you, or mistrusts you, she’ll suspect devious motives in all your actions.”