Your body can change your mind, and your mind can change your behavior. Your behavior can create new outcomes.
This is a powerful concept that can help you take more conscious control of your life. There are many ways this concept could be examined, but we’re going to explore three ways that your body language affects your work life.
Tony Robbins says, “Emotion is created by motion”. The power is in the fact that, while it is very difficult to alter your emotions, most of the time you do have the power to choose whether to move your body or not.
Why should this be important to you? Because you have the power to direct your life rather than just go along for the ride.
Let’s consider a couple of examples. If you are feeling defensive in a conversation, you may find yourself folding your arms across your chest. This is a natural defensive posture. But, did you know that if you’re sitting with your arms crossed and someone starts talking with you, you are more likely to be defensive because of your body posture? It’s true!
Another example is that if you are feeling overwhelmed or find yourself in a negative state of mind, stand up tall, push your shoulders back and breath deeply 4 or 5 times. You will find that your mental outlook changes as a result of your conscious choice to change your body.
Now, how does this relate to being a powerful and confident leader?
Body Language and Leadership
In business, a leader’s body language says a lot. Ask yourself how many leaders you see that have weak body language?
One way to see weak body language is by thinking of body positions that are closed. We already discussed crossed arms, but any position where you close up and pull in, projects an image of weakness.
You rarely see great leaders with weak body language. Who wants to follow someone that projects weakness and uncertainty? Not very many.
The question is, “Were leaders born with powerful confident body language?”, and the answer is, “maybe”. You see, they may have gotten it from childhood, but they could also have found themselves picking it up along the way.
“I have been the first female in male only business roles at least five times in my career. I unknowingly demonstrate the “Presence” body language described. Interestingly, in addition to always being in the moment, I realized early in my career that I needed to act like my male counterparts and adopted their body language and the body language of other successful women. My daughter recommended this clip to me because of my powerful presence. Thanks for helping me understand.” Kathryn Kearns
There you have it–a real world example of someone picking it up as they went. As you may have heard, leaders are made. You can become something you have never been just like you can learn something you have never done. I hope that inspires or re-inspires you to grow.
If you desire to increase your ability to lead, one thing you can do is be sure you are projecting confidence through your body language. Your body language affects both yourself and those around you.
“When we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others. … We tend to forget, though, the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbals: ourselves.” Amy Cuddy
Your body language can shape who you are. S,o you can change yourself by changing your actions. That is empowering! If you are a leader, or you have the desire to move in that direction, then start by changing your body language.
How do you do that? It’s really quite simple. You can change your physiology and hormone levels simply by adopting different body postures–aka different body language.
I invite you to listen right now, or schedule 22 minutes in the near future, to watch as Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist shares how your body language shapes who you are.
Take the driver’s seat in your life. Change your body language and you can change yourself.