In meetings who is it that you’ve observed as having the most admirable demeanor? More importantly, what do they do that gives you that impression? It often boils down to their body language and the quality of their spoken words. What’s so interesting is that usually there are so few of each and yet it still leaves others with a positive imprint. It seems that these suave individuals pack a punch by maximizing on the less is more philosophy. There are specific reasons behind the impressions made by others and it stem from how we perceive body language.
Research from Albert Mehrabian on the topic of body language has shown the correlation between a person’s command of the spoken word and the number of gestures used to communicate their message. These polished pros learned to speak in short sentences, revealing little emotion requiring minimal gesturing. Even at times of high pressure, they remain relatively motionless. The impact on others is the person has a sense of control and confidence. From these impressions, it’s easy to attribute judgments of their higher intelligence and status. The image maybe greater than reality, but this could be a safe assumption.
In contrast, this same research revealed that a person who is highly animated using a lot of gestures can actually be emphasizing their lack of power and aptness for intimidation. This body language displays a reactionary stance. Regretfully the judgments made by others from these impressions are that the person is lower status and lesser skilled. Again, it may not be true, but it may contribute to an observer’s intuition. The pattern that constitutes the use of one’s body language follows the thinking process and emotions of the person. Think it first, respond in gestures second. You can change your body language, and therefore impressions made on others by changing your thoughts of how you view yourself.