How Body Language Influences Success

“The most attractive thing about you should have less to do with your face or body and more to do with your attitude and how you treat people.”

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“The most attractive thing about you should have less to do with your face or body and more to do with your attitude and how you treat people.”

By Germany Kent.

Body language has a strong impact, both physical and psychic. Knowing how to handle it will help us increase self-esteem and work performance.

Body poses are a rich source of non-verbal communication, although they go much further. The way we sit, get up, greet, touch our hair or stand listening to someone directly influences the behavior, the image that others create of us and even in the hormonal production.

Body language has a strong impact, both physical and psychic, so that controlling and managing it correctly, depending on the context in which we find ourselves, can make the difference between success and professional failure. According to the latest research, the various poses are associated with physiological changes related to performance and self-confidence.

Standing with your hands on a table and slightly leaning forward, with your hands on your hips or sitting with your back and shoulders straight, increases testosterone levels and reduces those of cortisone (the stress hormone). And, as the psychologist Sian Beilock qualifies in his book Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal about Getting It Right When You Have To, “there is hardly a separation between body and mind, as they used to believe. Our way of moving and placing our body affects the way we think, the confidence and the perception of others about us.”

Physiological changes

High levels of testosterone are related to greater confidence and more aggressive behavior, as the Power Posing study concludes: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance.

On the other hand, the low production of cortisone, by means of postures in which it is a question of occupying as much space as possible, avoiding crossing one’s legs or arms, counteracts expressions of nervousness and, therefore, also stress. Other so-called power pose (positions of power or authority) have to do with facial expressions, or rather the absence of them, since the more gestures we make with the face or the more we touch it, the more the feeling of insecurity.

Various poses are associated with hormonal changes related to performance and self-confidence Touching the nails or crossing the fingers also denotes a lack of confidence, like placing the feet inwards or hiding the hands (either in the pockets or in the lap). Sitting with your legs together is not a sign of safety or control. Some questions that, if taken into account, can determine the outcome of a job interview, according to the experts. Gesturing is positive to give a sense of productivity and competence, as well as walking fast, but as long as you do not abuse them and try to practice moderation.

Empathy and credibility

The latest psychological studies give more and more importance to these positions, because on them depends the empathy that is generated in the interlocutors to demonstrate more or less passion and credibility. Two key aspects to achieve work or life success. However, as these experts qualify, it is difficult to break the habits of body language, so there are few of the top executives who have a coach in power pose.

The poses of power also have a direct relationship with the risks we take. The more we are given to take these positions of authority, the less complex will be when making risky decisions. Likewise, the expert Dana Carney, professor of psychology at Columbia University, adds that “they help to concentrate and think more clearly”. “I have heard many anecdotes about people who started using poses of power in their daily lives and not only helped them protect themselves from the physiological response to stress, but, in a job interview, they got high grades and better jobs to those who opted in the beginning, “says the teacher and coach.


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