Body Language and Leadership

Body language and leadership

People you seek to influence will subtly assess your dependability, confidence, empathy, and believability. Your influence as a leader can be enhanced, supported, diminished, or even sabotaged by the way you employ your body language, posture, facial emotions, and eye contact. Only a portion of what you actually say will be used to determine how others evaluate you. But how does body language affect leadership?

Leaders’ Body Language

As a leader, you are constantly on show, whether you are addressing a small group of people in person or a large crowd electronically. What you say can persuade others, but your words can be much more effective if your body language not only aligns with your words, but also shows that you are a leader.

Making just the right amount of eye contact and smiling can help you communicate information both during and after first impressions. How you move yourself can convey whether you are confident or unsure. The manner in which you walk and carry yourself lets people know if they should even listen to you in the first place, let alone take you seriously. Exercising this kind of temporal control is invaluable when you are establishing yourself as a leader – during a first impression, a presentation, and long afterwards. Sending mixed messages can lead to confusion, an incorrect perception of who you are and what you want or need, and work not being completed,

However, you should adjust your nonverbal communication to the situation, just like you would with spoken communication.

Know Your Audience

You obviously want to be welcoming when onboarding new hires, while not being over friendly. That delineation is important when assigning tasks and ensuring work is performed in a timely manner. When leaders are negotiating, it should be noted that, in “The Definitive Book of Body Language,” Allan and Barbara Pease discovered that, after analyzing thousands of recorded sales negotiations from the 1970s and 1980s, body language accounted for the majority of the influence made during negotiations. Utilizing the appropriate body language for this type of audience could mean the difference between being awarded a multi-million dollar contract and your walking away empty handed.

Location, Location, Location

Where communication occurs can also influence the outcome. You might believe that face to face meetings yield better results than telephonic negotiations, but the Peases talk about how, although in phone talks, the strongest argument typically prevails, this isn’t necessarily always the case in in-person interactions. That is to say, it’s not just body language or words, but the way both are used no matter where you are – in person, virtual, or on the phone. Communication is a complex way of conveying information, and honestly, it’s not a skill that everyone possesses.

Body Language and Leadership

Leaders who leverage their body language in just the right way have a better chance of expressing the information they intend to. Determining that fine line can take work, though, as well as practice. If you need to work on ensuring your body language is getting your message across, let’s determine what you may already be doing correctly and what might need some work in order for you to achieve the results you want.

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