Having good body language, is a important part of being an effective leader. Whether people will admit it or not, everyone judges people by the way they visibly present themselves. Someone who has positive body language, looks like a leader. While someone with negative body language, looks unsure of themselves. No one wants to be led by a person like that. The great thing about body language is that it can be faked. Many times God puts people in places that they are not comfortable with. However, the people you are leading do not need to know you are uncomfortable. Mastering non verbal communication is an essential skill to be a good leader. This series of posts will teach you to develop leadership body language.
Body Language – Posture
One of the signs that a person is a confident leader, is there posture. Many people will tell you to have your chest out and shoulders back. While this is true, it sometimes makes people look uncomfortable and unnatural. I prefer small changes in body posture that affects the entire body.
The ‘J’ technique gives people a naturally correct body language. I got this idea from Mark’s Daily Apple. The idea is to have your torso shape like a ‘J’ with the hook part pointing backward. The best example of this is the character Daffy Duck. He has his butt slightly out, pelvis down, and torso slightly forward. The posture is not as exaggerated as Daffy Duck, just a small change. It sounds stupid, but try it out. It will make you feel naturally taller. Since you are concentrating in a small corrections in one part of the body, it can make big corrections in other parts of the body seem natural.
This is another small change that can make a huge difference in having correct posture. Stand naturally, now turn your wrists so the back of you hand faces forward. Do you see how you feel slouched over. It is not a good feeling. Now turn your wrists so the palm of your wrists face forward. You will find your shoulders naturally pulled back and your chest naturally pushed out. It is amazing such a small change can change how you feel. I am not saying you should walk around with your palms facing straight out all the time, like you are waiting to receive something. Just make sure the back of your palm is not forward and try to open your hands a little bit more than you normally would.
Hands Out of Pockets
Keep your hands out of your pockets. It tells people you do not know what to do with your hands. So use your hands when you talk and show that you are comfortable in your own body. If you absolutely have to put your hands in your pockets, put them in your back pockets. It will keep you shoulders back and will not let you slouch like having hands in your front pockets normally would.
When you are sitting is the only time that slouching is allowed. Sitting to straight can seem too stiff and unnatural. A more important aspect is to take up a lot of space. Confident people take up space, unsure people do not. Unsure people take up little space as though they do not deserve the space they have. Taking up a lot of space will show confidence. Taking up a lot of space might seem selfish of me, but the times that I am actually taking up anyone else’s space other than the air, is extremely rare. Most of the time there is plenty of space around a person. I will regularly take up the equivalent of three seats when I am sitting. If I did not use the space, no one else would use it either. Not only does it display confidence, it is extremely comfortable.
This is only the posture section of leadership body language. There are many other tips to body language that I will cover later. Later posts will go over more body language signs of a leader.
- The Silent Language of Leaders (linked2leadership.com)
- Body Language: The Silent Speech of Leaders (franklininsights.wordpress.com)