Although we forget and get comfortable at any job, body language is still an important factor in holding your confidence.
We often talk about the absolute importance of body language at work. How you hold your body is up there with nailing the interview and speaking up during meetings.
One of our favorite experts on the subject, Dr. Carol Kinsey Goman, author of 12 books including The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help—or Hurt—How You Lead, is helping us start off 2015 right with a bunch of great new tips that you probably haven’t heard before. Wow everyone in your office with these.
An Ohio State University study found that people who sat up straight were more likely to believe the positive comments they wrote about their qualifications for a job. See? Your mom was right telling you to stand up straight all those years.
Yeah, this one sounds weird, but a great excuse to get another cup of coffee. A study done at Yale discovered that participants who held a warm cup of coffee as opposed to a cold beverage were more likely to judge a confederate as trustworthy after only a brief interaction.
This is a really interesting one. Goman says when seasoned athletes under-perform it may because they’re focusing too much on their movements (which, for right handed people, is a right hemisphere brain function) rather than relying on the automatic motor skills developed through years of practice (which are associated with left hemisphere function).
A study at the University of California found that people process messages as having an angrier tone when they’re asked to read those sentences with their eyebrows furrowed. Embrace your Ernie side, instead of Burt.
A simple handshake communicates warmth and cooperation, Goman says. Harvard Business School found that people who shook on it before negotiating ended up with a more equitable deal than those who went straight to business. Plus, hand-shakers were less likely to deceive each other as the deal was established.
Scientists at Duke University discovered the optimal pleasing sound frequency to be around 125 Hz., and the lower the voice, the more authority it conveys.
A study at the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging discovered that it takes the brain just 200 milliseconds to gather most of the information it needs from a facial expression to determine a person’s emotional state. Goman says you can’t wait until you’re in the meeting room to “warm up.” You need to do that beforehand (maybe in the bathroom stall or at your desk).
A little touch here and there can do wonders. Research by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration shows that being touched increases the tips that customers leave their servers. The results were significant. Customers who weren’t touched left an average tip of 12%. Tips increased to 14% from those who were touched on the shoulders, and to 17% from those touched twice on the hand.
Research at the National University of Singapore and the University of Chicago found that participants who tightened their muscles–hands, fingers, calves, or biceps–were able to increase their self-control. Muscle tightening also gives you more willpower.