One of the principles of personal impact is to stand out from the competition in a good way.
Research shows that when stressed, blood pressure in the face increases leading to itchiness in various parts of the face, in particular the inside of the nose. The posture of sitting on a chair with elbows on the armrest is interpreted as a person with power. As you saw in controlling emotional bias, you can feel a certain emotion simply by adopting a posture.
In a study carried out on the effect of posture on confidence, subjects were asked to think about and write down their best and worst qualities (Brinol 2009). Adopting a positive posture by raising the chest is commonly used by professional actors, public speakers and politicians who aim to appear confident in front of an audience.
When talking to someone, especially while standing, you might be holding something in your hands. In addition, holding something in your hand such as a pen and moving it around can be quite distracting.
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It seems almost incredible that, over the million or more years of man’s evolution, the non-verbal aspects of communication have been actively studied on any scale only since the 1960s and that the public has become aware of their existence only since Julius Fast published a book about body language in 1970. Charlie Chaplin and many other silent movie actors were the pioneers of non-verbal communication skills; they were the only means of communication available on the screen.
Body language refers to forms of non-verbal communication, wherein a person reveals clues as to some unspoken intention or feeling through their physical behaviour. It is about being taken seriously, leaving a positive impression and making people want to have you around and interact with you more.
The arms act like a barrier between you and the other person and indicate that you want to protect yourself from them. You can either work on reducing non-verbal signals that give you away when you are stressed, or reduce your overall stress levels.
In contrast, arms resting inside the arms of the chair next to the body lead to a poor posture indicating that the person is weak, afraid and defeated. Whatever emotional state you show in your face, others are going to pick up and feel that emotion.
If you want a person or a group to feel a certain emotion, you can initiate this feeling yourself.
When people are not feeling strongly negative or positive, the overall mood and body language tends to follow the first reaction expressed by a member of the group. During the course of a conversation, you may unconsciously use what you are holding as a barrier right in front of you. If your aim is not to distract (which is usually the case), get rid of anything in your hands as soon as you can and show your open palms to encourage openness. Hiding hands can also be considered deceptive as if you are hiding something (a weapon perhaps at least in the traditional sense). Leaning forward suggests that your full attention is on the other person and you are determined to hear everything they say.


If you heard a loud sound, saw someone passing by from the corner of your eyes or somebody dropped something, ignore them all. Download our training resources and extend your portfolio to meet market demand and deliver state-of-the-art interactive training courses.
This was a summary of the work done by behavioural scientists on nonverbal communication up until that time, and even today, most people are still ignorant of the existence of body language, let alone its importance in their lives. Each actor was classed as good or bad by the extent to which he could use gestures and other body signals to communicate effectively. These behaviours can include body posture, gestures, facial expressions, and eye movements. We always think of them as successful people who seem to know what they want in any given situation and seem to be at ease all the time. Just the way they walk, sit, greet others or stand for photo shoot suggests that they are important, influential and powerful. There are countless body language guides that claim that gestures such as scratching the nose or neck, pulling the earlobes or putting the finger on the lips are conclusive evidence that someone is lying. Research shows that we are hard wired to feel a certain emotion purely based on looking at a specific facial expression.
In turn, they will express that emotion in their own face, leading to a positive feedback loop.
One position was when their back was erect and their chest was out, which was a confident posture. Just before you face an audience or enter a meeting, slightly raise your sternum bone, hold your chin high, take several deep breaths, smile, look ahead and then proceed. Soften your expression in your own eyes to give the impression that you care a lot about the other person’s feelings and concerns.
Control your body language to maintain your current posture rather than showing immediate interest in a new distraction.
If you remain still, before long the speaker is likely to pause and ask if what they are saying is clear, naturally getting suspicious whether you are daydreaming or are actually listening to them.
Glancing at your watch, shifting weight from one leg to another, moving constantly or leaning against a wall suggests that you are getting bored or tired and want the conversation finish. When talking films became popular and less emphasis was placed on the non-verbal aspects of acting, many silent movie actors faded into obscurity and those with good verbal skills prevailed.
The recall rate for what is stated in the conversation is 40% less when the other person crosses his arms. Mirror the sitting position, arm placement, general posture, gestures, facial expression and the mood.
As stated in the body language of deception, these signals simply show that a person is stressed and don’t necessarily means that the person is lying. If you smile, the other person is likely to smile back and when you see their smile you are even more likely to smile. The other posture was when their back was curved and they were slouched forward, which was a doubtful posture. Hands in pockets would be read by your audience unconsciously as a non-verbal sign that you are unsure of your claims.


When you ignore distractions, you are sending a strong signal to others that in this environment you are most interested in them and them alone. It appears to be a form of head lowering and is probably an inborn gesture, as it is also used by deaf and blind people.
However, because there has been a lot of publicity in this area, you are better off avoiding touching your face when under scrutiny or in high-stake situations such as negotiations. If one member shows enthusiasm and feels excited about it by showing it with his body language, others are likely to follow suit and feel excited too. By imitating the same shift deliberately, you can feel confident and also appear confident.
The results showed that those who were in the confident posture, felt more confident about both their negative and positive attitudes. Avoid repetitive gestures such as swinging feet or drumming fingers which are classic signs of boredom. Shaking the head from side to side to indicate ‘no’ or negation is also universal and may well be a gesture that is learned in infancy. This helps you avoid the possibility that the other person misinterprets your body language signal as a sign that you are lying.
You may then become even more concerned and the whole atmosphere can be quite uncomfortable and negative. On the other hand, if the person who expresses the first opinion looks bored and unimpressed, others are likely to follow this negative mood too. In other words, the confident posture doesn’t necessarily make you feel positive about the future, it however makes you feel more confident about whatever you think or are about to do.
When a baby has had enough milk, he turns his head from side to side to reject his mother’s breast. If done correctly, you are likely to reduce your stress, the itchiness of your face and hence reduce the automatic need to touch your face. This could have been avoided by a simple smile or a neutral facial expression to calm the other person. Hence, if you want to influence the end result, plan to be the first person that expresses a particular emotion about what you have just experienced both verbally and with your body language. When the young child has had enough to eat, he shakes his head from side to side to stop his parent’s attempt to spoon feed him and in this way he quickly learns to use the head shaking gesture to show disagreement or a negative attitude. All these verbal and non-verbal signals will indicate that you are trustworthy and likable.
This could then increase the chances of establishing rapport and then moving on to solve problems and address issues.



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