7 Tricks to Give You Authority in the Workplace

Why your body language is so important

Most Popular

Owning an office is about more than just eye contact and bringing in Toblerone after your holiday to Switzerland.

A recent study found that 55% of effective communication was through body language, 38% through tone of voice and just 7% accounted for the actual words said, which means we should all be aware of the effect our body language and mannerisms have on others.

Here are some hacks to improve your status on the floor, whether that's commanding authority in a presentation or getting off to a good start in a new client meeting.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1. Pose confidently

Research from Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that holding your body in expansive "high power" poses - like standing tall with your shoulders back, widening your stance or simply spreading your arms - actually raises testosterone, the hormone linked to power and self-confidence. They also lower the levels of cortisol, AKA the stress hormone.

Before a big meeting try standing in the bathroom cubicle or hallway, expanding your arm span and taking a few minutes to physically stand up straight.

Most Popular

2. Be weary of 'submission signals'

With a new boss or a potential promotion looming, we can all become a little too keen for approval from our superiors, and nothing gives this away like our mannerisms.

Take the head tilt. According to body language author Carol Kinsey Goman, tilting your head signifies sympathy and active listening but is "also subconsciously processed as a submission signal."

Similarly, she writes that while head-nodding can express encouragement and engagement it also expresses a lack of authority and power.

In other words, try and keep both to a minimum, even if you're talking to the CEO. And under absolutely no circumstances give anyone a double thumbs up.

3. Don't stand still when presenting

Keeping colleagues from day dreaming about their dinner is the hardest challenge of any presentation. This is where body language can really be your ally. It is physically difficult to ignore a person if they are moving as opposed to standing still (think about how your eyes are drawn to air stewards when they indicate the exits).

For your presentation try to vary the gestures with your head, body and hands (Tony Blair was great at this). And use the space you're in: if you're reading a slide with three points, move to three slightly different positions as you discuss each one.

4. Show your palms

Showing your palms is a sign of being open.

"When your palms are up, it signals honesty and engagement. The limbic brain picks up the positivity, which will make the listener comfortable," says body language expert, Patty Wood.

A great tip, in other words, for interviews. Just make sure they're not visibly sweating.

5. Always be first or last

People always have the clearest memory of the first and last thing that happens, while the middle becomes a vague blur.

This is true of days, weeks and - crucially - interviews, so if you're going in for a new role try and be the first or last through the door.

6. Keep both feet on the ground

Women are more likely than men to cross their legs, but there's actually a neurological reason why you should be trying to avoid it: making sure you have both feet planted means you can go between creative and rational sides of the brain more easily.

"It's not impossible, but it's difficult to answer highly complex questions unless both of your feet are on the ground," Wood says. "It has to do with being able to go back and forth easily between the limbic reptilian brain to the neocortex brain."

7. Sit next to your enemies

Unlike the classic face-to-face confrontation set up found in boxing, press conferences and, well, the  government, it is almost impossible to argue with someone if you are sitting alongside them facing the same way.

If you know someone is going to have a go at you in a meeting, deliberately sit right next to them. The proximity will make them feel less comfortable with being aggressive, and you'll have an easier time of it.

Via

What do you think?

Life
Share
9 Photos of People Having Casual Run-Ins With Their Doppelgängers at Museums
If you were wondering where you'd meet yours, you know where to look.
Life
Share
7 Most Common Beginner Workout Mistakes, And How to Avoid Them
How many of these are you guilty of making?
Life
Share
This Japanese Breathing Technique Can Help You Lose Up to 13 Kilos Quickly!
Bonus: Experts say, this technique will strengthen the body's muscles and increase metabolism too.
Life
Share
Cosmo Exclusive: Here's a Diet That'll Help You Drop a Few Kilos in Just 10 Days!
Yes, it's possible without sacrificing any Instagram browsing time.
Life
Share
This Depressed Egg Cartoon That's Taking Over Japan is the Most Relatable Thing on the Internet RN
One of Japan's most popular mascots is an egg with crippling depression...and he's cute AF!
Life
Share
7 Tips to Throw the Best and Most Stress-Free Dinner Ever!
Throwing a fabulous feast is not such a mammoth task.
Life
Share
Why Is The 'Tide Pod Challenge' The New Social Media Hazard?
Yes, we're ACTUALLY talking about the laundry detergent.
Life
Share
Not a Joke: Here's How to Buy a $1 House in Italy Right the F*ck Now
But — you guessed it — there's a catch.
Life
Share
11 Things You Need To Know About Your Vulva
You thought you knew all there was to know about vulvas? Ha, think again.
Life
Share
9 Guys on the Most Regrettable Gifts They've Ever Gotten
Sometimes the thought does not count.