How body language trumps IQ, another article by Travis Bradberry on LinkedIn (DAVE: I’ll try to keep my personal comments in parenthesis). Lack of confidence can hold you back more than lack of brainpower. This is especially true during difficult conversations, presentations, and other high-pressure moments (I’m skeptical of style over substance, but we shall see).
Positive body language includes appropriate eye contact, active engagement/listening, and targeted gestures that accentuate the message you’re trying to convey. Studies show that people who use positive body language (PBL) are more likeable, competent, persuasive, and emotionally intelligent. Here’s how it works:
Positive body language changes your attitude – because it has a powerful impact on your hormones.
PBL increases testosterone – improving your confidence, causing others to see you as more trustworthy and positive. PBL can increase testosterone levels by 20%.
PBL decreases cortisol, which is a stress hormone that impedes performance and creates long term negative health effects. Decreasing cortisol levels minimizes stress, enabling you to think more clearly, particularly in difficult and challenging situations. PBL decreases cortisol levels by 25%.
PBL creates a powerful combination – at the same time decreasing cortisol and increasing testosterone, creating the clarity of mind and confidence ideal for dealing with tight deadlines, tough decisions, and massive volumes of work (my job, my life). These people are known to thrive under pressure. PBL helps make you this way even if it doesn’t happen naturally.
PBL makes you more likeable. Body language is a huge factor in how you are perceived and can be more important than tone of voice or even what you say.
PBL conveys competence. (I hate to see people learning back in meetings. This portrays laziness and disinterest. I try to lean forward or at least sit up).
PBL is a powerful tool in negotiation – even virtually (aka video conferencing).
PBL improves your emotional intelligence. Your ability to effectively communicate your emotions and ideas is central to your emotional intelligence. People with negative body language have a destructive, contagious effect on those around them. Working to improve your body language has a profound effect on your emotional intelligence.
Summary: We often think of body language as the result of our attitude or how we feel. The reverse is also true: changing your body language changes your attitude.