As you no doubt already know, the way that we present ourselves to others is much more than just words. We are constantly being observed whether we realize it or not and the way that we stand or sit can say a lot about our confidence level. In the world of business it is vital that clients have faith in our ability to do what we say we will do. If we appear less than confident, it will be noticed. Even if this occurs on a subconscious level (which it often does) it is quite possible that the person we are speaking with may choose someone else to represent them; someone that gives the impression that they are confident, capable and able to “get the job done”.
Now here is something that you probably don’t already know; posture affects you on a physiological level! Believe it or not, studies show that people with more “confident” postures actually have a higher level of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol in their bodies. This will result in your feeling more assertive, more capable, more in control and others will be sure to notice. Experts suggest that you practice using correct posture for 2 minutes before actually walking into the room to meet with clients or associates. Here are 3 examples of “bad” posture and how to correct them.
Hunched Shoulders = Defensiveness
A person that is comfortable never has their shoulders raised. This is a defensive position and indicates to others that you are uncomfortable, even a bit nervous or anxious. The solution is quite simple; chin up, shoulders down! Remember the posters of all of the Superman movies? That’s the idea, and yes, you can put your hands on your hips during your 2 minute practice!
How You Sit Says a Lot
Have you ever seen someone in a seated position that looked like they were trying to sink into the chair and disappear? It’s the same look that you’ll see in a child when he/she is being corrected by a parent and know that they are in big trouble! If you sit with your legs or ankles tightly crossed or arms held tightly at your side you are being very defensive. If you are perched on the edge of your seat you are indicating that you would rather be somewhere else. In either case you are not emanating confidence and composure.
The solution is simple. Plant your legs and feet firmly on the floor and don’t cross your arms or legs. Placing your hands on your knees will help you to appear calm and relaxed and remember to lift that chin and lower those shoulders! Now you look relaxed, attentive and most of all, confident!
Neck Touching is a Sign of Insecurity
When someone is constantly touching their neck with their hands, it is a sign that they are under stress and not able to handle the situation very well. In essence, they are protecting a vulnerable spot of their body. The solution to this is simple, don’t do it! If you find that you have a tendency to perform this subconscious act when talking with others try placing your hands on your lap as suggested earlier in this blog. If you are standing concentrate on allowing your arms to rest comfortably by your side.