The ability, People Inspiring and positively influencing is one of the key traits of being successful Executives. The right body language is an important aspect. What should managers pay attention to?

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Body language: especially important for executives

It still applies in many places Opinions: Especially the Performance counts. And that's especially true for executives. That too Appear and body language have a decisive impact on leadership success is often enough forgotten.

For this reason, many executives prepare themselves for important employees or customer meetings, Meetings or presentations, so that this is credible and convincing act, but their own appearance is often enough ignored.

Spiegelneurons and their influence on others

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Let's just think of the "Spiegelneurons ”of the brain that mimick not only behaviors but also sensations and feelings. When these interpersonal cues are denied to us and we are forced to rely only on the printed or spoken word, the whole thing suffers Communication underneath.

That explains why body language has a crucial impact on your personality Effect has as a manager. Because in order to convince and influence people, it is not enough to present convincing content. people have to too feelthat the leader is empathetic, inspirational and trustworthy. And the use of personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions and eye contact play an important role in this. Body language can therefore significantly improve your impact as a manager, but it can also weaken or even sabotage it.

The confidence of the employees arises through congruence between words and deeds

The trust that is so important for leaders also comes from a congruence between what they say and their body language. When the two don't match, people subconsciously perceive insecurity or inner conflicts. This can also be measured using brain waves, as the neuroscientists of the ColgateUniversity found:

They investigated the effects of gestures by using an electroencephalograph (EEG) to measure “event-related potentials” - brain waves that form peaks and valleys.

Incongruent body language creates problems

One of these valleys was created when the test subjects were shown opposite gestures. The same brain wave dip, the technical term, also occurs when people hear nonsensical language.

It follows that whenever your body language does not fit your words, for example, when you are looking around or fidgeting anxiously, while you want to convey confidence or open-mindedness with folded arms, this endeavor will probably fail.

10 body language tips for executives

Here are five key tips every executive should know about body language:

  1. The first impression counts: They don't have a second chance for a first impression. It might not be that blatant, but in fact you have less than seven seconds to make a first impression. Because this impression then acts like a filter for the other person's perception. This means that if someone has classified you as “trustworthy”, “suspicious”, “powerful” or “submissive”, all of your actions will from now on also be viewed through this filter. When someone has trusted you, he or she will look for the best in you. But if you are distrusted, all your actions are initially suspect.
  2. The right attitude for your appearance: But what can you do to make the best possible impression? First adjust your mental attitude. Before greeting a client, entering the conference room for a business meeting, or going on stage to give a presentation, think about the situation and make a conscious decision about the attitude you want to embody.
  3. The right attitude for executives: Just as important: Pay attention to your posture, because this can not only have a decisive influence on the way other people perceive you, but also your own way of thinking and feeling. Research from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University shows that posture expansiveness, which positions itself to open the body and take up space, activates power behaviors that induce behavioral changes in a person regardless of their actual behavior Rank or role in an organization. Three other studies show that attitude is more than hierarchy when it comes to getting a person to think, act, and be perceived in a more powerful way.
  4. Smile: Smiling is a positive signal, the potential of which is often not used sufficiently by managers. A smile is an invitation that signals friendliness and openness to your employees or business partners. But be careful: in some contexts, smiles can also be rated as aggressive, just think of the superior smile of the winner.
  5. Make eye contact: The eyes are that Spiegel of the soul, it is said, that is why a person's eyes show his energy and openness. Most people are comfortable with eye contact that lasts around three seconds, but when we like or agree with someone, we automatically increase the amount of time we look them in the eye, when you make eye contact while leaning forward slightly , show that you are committed and interested. At the same time, keep a reasonable distance from other people in business life.
  6. Interpret handshake - shake hands: Handshake is also an important tool for managers when it comes to their perception. All we have to do is remember the handshake between US President Trump and French President Macron. In this case, both wanted to signal power and perseverance. Otherwise, the handshake is the fastest and most effective way to connect to a person. This should be firm, boar no bone fractures. Studies show that it takes an average of three hours of continuous interaction to develop the same level of relationship that can be achieved with a single handshake.
  7. Gesturing - but right: If you want to sweep away and convince people, you need passion. And passionate people often underline your words with appropriate gestures. The right movements are therefore essential for the effectiveness of a manager. Science shows that audiences tend to be more positive about people who use a wider variety of gestures. Because studies show that people who communicate through active gestures tend to be rated as warm, pleasant and energetic, while those who stand still or whose gestures appear mechanical or “wooden” are considered cold. By the way: Even people who let their hands hang limply or enclose your body defensively give the impression of a lack of passion. Therefore, if you want to generate enthusiasm among your listeners, you can reinforce the gestures. But be careful, not too much: especially if your hands are raised over your shoulders, exaggerated gestures can quickly make a manager look less credible and powerful.
  8. Show hands visible: The open pointing of the hands is as an evolutionary signal deeply rooted in our subconscious mind. Because in the Stone Age one made survival decisions, which were based exclusively on visual information. If a human's hands were invisible, he would have been able to carry a weapon earlier. Therefore, invisible hands still cause discomfort and cost executives confidence in this way.
  9. Do not point your finger: Recently someone in my circle of friends posted a picture of themselves on Facebook during a speech in which he pointed at the audience with a finger. That should mean dominance, but it seemed rather irritating to me. Because aggressive pointing with the finger can indicate that a manager has lost control of the situation. At least the gesture seems more like parental scolding and therefore more ridiculous than dominant.
  10. Grounded gestures: Arms held at waist level and gestures within this horizontal plane help executives - and the audience - feel centered and serene. Arms at the waist and bent at a 45-degree angle also help keep you grounded, energized, and focused.

Conclusion: use body language correctly as a leader

How you use your body language for your effect is therefore decisive for your impact as a manager - this is all the more true in times of fast-moving people Digital-Communication in which the personal impression gains more value again. And it is indispensable, especially for executives.

Personal conversations as the key to success

Because personal discussions are the key to positive employee and customer relationships. Only in personal encounters do people receive all the information they need to get a comprehensive impression - and in addition to words, this also includes all emotional nuances such as voice tone, speaking speed, facial expression and much more.

Conversely, executives are on the spot Feedback instructed to assess how well their comments are received.

Strong relationships through nonverbal communication

The nonverbal connection between individuals is sometimes even so strong that when we are in genuine relationship with someone, we unconsciously compare our body positions, movements and even our breathing rhythms with those of them.

When people don't agree with your boss's proposal, leaders need to be able to see what's happening - and fast can react. Good body language skills can help ideas to present with more credibility and your personal charisma authentic showcase. body language Expertise becomes in this way part of the personal Brand an executive.

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