Photo: Angela Tchou via Flickr
What if you could boost your career just by changing the way you speak, sit, and stand?
In a recent blog post, professional performance coach Dan Erwin argues that the majority of working women can do so, right now.
He identifies several natural physical behaviours that women tend to do — without even realising it — which send negative messages to their male counterparts.
A businesswoman could immediately command more authority and respect by tweaking these little habits:
1. Head-knodding: Women tend to nod their heads to demonstrate that they’re listening, but men generally only do it to indicate agreement. Too much head-knodding dramatically reduces your sense of authority.
2. Not taking up enough space: Yes, women are generally physically smaller than men. But, even if an individual is small, the right posture and demeanor can immediately command more respect. The same goes for spreading out materials across a larger space at a conference table.
3. Talking “up” at the end of a phrase: Women sometimes raise their voices slightly when they finish a sentence, making them sound uncertain. Change that intonation, and everything instantly sounds more like an authoritative statement.
4. Moving around too much: Erwin cites research that indicates “when men enter a conference room, they make 12 major movements. Women make 27.” Fidgeting translates to nervousness in the boardroom, while stillness and calmness express confidence.
5. Head-tilting: Women generally tend to tilt their heads when they speak, often without even being aware of it; this “is not a power position from which to speak,” as Erwin says. A more authoritative posture: keeping your head up and chin forward.
6. Introducing themselves too fast: Women tend to start off an interaction by introducing themselves — unfortunately, most things said within the first seconds of meeting someone are often immediately forgotten. It’s more effective to get a few other pleasantries out of the way, then say your name.
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