5 Major Aspects of Trustworthy Body Language
Body language is one of the aspects of human lives which symbolizes personality, character, modesty, and what not. The most powerful people in a group are not always the smartest or most knowledgeable. So, why are they the leaders? Often times, it is because of subtle body language that draws people to them.
There are body language behaviors that you can use today to exude confidence and feel more powerful:
1. Touch and Feel
Touch is the most primitive and powerful nonverbal cue. Touching someone on the arm, hand, or shoulder for as little as 1/40 of a second creates a human bond. In the workplace, physical touch and warmth are established through the handshaking tradition, and this tactile contact makes a lasting and positive impression. The perfect handshake is brief, firm but not tight, and uses the whole hand, not just the fingertips. It conveys that the person is confident, extroverted, and positive.
2. The Perfect Smile
A genuine smile not only stimulates your own sense of well-being, it also tells those around you that you are approachable, cooperative, and trustworthy. A genuine smile comes on slowly, crinkles the eyes, lights up the face, and fades away slowly. Most importantly, smiling directly influences how other people respond to you. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return.
And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way. Smiles can create leaps and bounds of development in imbibing your bright personality into the person opposite to you.
3. Brain Imaging and Conversational Gestures
Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca’s area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we’re talking, but when we wave our hands. Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking.
Before a speech or important telephone call, allow your voice to relax into its optimal pitch (a technique I learned from a speech therapist) by keeping your lips together and making the sounds “um hum, um hum, um hum.”
And if you are a female, watch that your voice doesn’t rise at the ends of sentences as if you are asking a question or seeking approval. Instead, when stating your opinion, use the authoritative arc, in which your voice starts on one note, rises in pitch through the sentence and drops back down at the end.
4. Maintain a Strong Self Confidence
Strong leaders convey their self-confidence and strength subtly but clearly through their posture. An outstretched, open posture projects an image of power and confidence. Legs slightly apart, hands on hips (think wonder woman), or making a wide gestures make you look like you are in charge.
5. Eye Contact- A Truly Important Aspect
When a person makes eye contact with you, especially when you are talking, you feel important to that person, and your confidence in that person grows. People who meet your gaze seem sincere and trustworthy, while those who don't seem either dishonest or lacking in confidence.