Body language can be surprisingly important. If you’re just starting out, or you’re a new manager, or even if you’ve been a boss for decades, there are a few tricks you should make sure to keep in your arsenal to appear more powerful and assert yourself in your career.
1. Make Eye Contact
Look people in the eye whenever you’re being spoken to. It’s both commanding and polite. If it makes you too nervous to look directly in the eyes, try looking at the nose or ears—just make sure your focus is on their face.
2. Delay Your Smile
Instead of smiling the second you meet someone, take one moment just to look at them and consider them for a second, then—and only then—give them your biggest, warmest smile. Even a delay smaller than one second can give an air of sincerity to your post-assessment.
3. Count Blinks
If you count your conversation partner’s blinks, you not only can increase your feelings of warmth and respect for that person by focusing your attention, but you can also ensure that you’re making good eye contact!
4. Use Your Hands
Charismatic leaders tend to talk with their hands. It makes you look commanding and powerful, so go ahead and incorporate your natural gestures into your speech.
5. Pay Attention to Posture
Make sure you’re sitting or standing upright and with your head held high. This can actually trick your brain into feeling more positive and powerful. And sends a strong signal.
6. Don’t Fidget
Try limiting the fidgeting—this includes crossing and re-crossing your legs. Minimizing your movement will often maximize your credibility and make people feel more comfortable in your presence.
7. Try the Steeple
Try putting your hands in the steeple position, with your fingertips together. This is a strangely powerful gesture that communicates confidence, listening skills, and competence almost effortlessly. Extra points if you lean back while doing it.
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