How you carry yourself can make or break your communication goals. All human beings radiate subconscious signals that naturally let others understand their character, mood, and status. By making these signals conscious, you are able to choose how you portray yourself to others. The good news is that you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to accomplish this.
In this article, we look at 4 ways in which you can use body language to influence other people in your life.
Give a smile
A smile is a simple gesture, but one that can go a long way towards influencing others. Body language enthusiasts have often said that a smile is a powerful tool to connect with the people around you. With a big smile written on your face, you portray yourself as approachable, warm and confident. This means that people will have an easier time trusting you and thus listening to what you have to say.
If you’re serious about building positive relationships and using body language for influence, you should start with a smile. Keep in mind that a genuine smile shouldn’t come off as an effort. It should show in your mouth, as well as your eyes and other facial features. If you feel that you’re in a very bad mood, think of times when you were very happy. This way, you should be able to reproduce a genuine smile.
Master the power posture
Multiple studies have demonstrated that practicing the power posture can give your confidence a boost in the right direction. The most effective power posture is the ‘star-shape’. Stand with both your legs and arms spread out wide. You might want to practice in private, and then get used to it without coming off as weird. Keep in mind that the more space you occupy, the more ‘powerful’ your posture.
If you want someone to say ‘yes’, give them a nod before you even pose your question. When you do this, people will subconsciously feel compelled to do it back. Borrowing from psychology, people will unconsciously mimic each other whenever they are in rapport.
You can practice slowly and then perfect this with time. Start by giving a nod while they talk, as if you are agreeing with a statement they have made. This done, give a nod when making statements of your own, and watch to see how the other person nods back. Just as long as someone is already nodding, they will be more likely to agree with the proposal you’re about to make.
Point with your feet
When you point your feet towards someone, it shows that you like or are interested in them, which helps build trust. If you want to influence someone to select something over another, try pointing your feet in its direction. If you want to end a conversation, try pointing your feet in the other direction.