[Updated on 1 June 2020] When it comes to business, the way you carry yourself determines your success. Your body language and charisma matter a great deal. It’s not uncommon to lose a business deal or fail an interview just because you didn’t project a winning attitude. Your body language isn’t just about the expressions, how you dress, or how you do your hair, but a lot about how you communicate with people you meet for the first time. If you are not careful, your body language might project a different image of what you intend.
According to Barbara Pachter, author of The Essentials of Business Etiquette, when people project a credible, confident, composed image, their recipients respond as if they are those things. It doesn’t matter what you feel on the inside. Some of the most successful business people in the world understand exactly how to appear more confident and make adjustments that wield more influence that help them win people over.
Does Posture Affect Self Esteem?
Let’s face it if you’ve never cared about your posture, hunching seems more straightforward, and it might be a hard task staying upright all day. But what you might not know is, according to research, besides looking sloppy, having a bad posture directly affects your self-esteem. So, lift your chin and pull up those shoulders – You’ll begin to feel the boost of self-love in no time.
In the modern world, a lot of us take a great deal of time slouching over a desk or sitting down which exerts a lot of pressure on the spine, while at the same time contributing to weakening muscles and chronic pain. Apart from the negative physical impacts of slouching, studies suggest that bad posture can affect how people view themselves. Individuals with upright postures can easily recall positive thoughts and have a much stronger self-image and spine too.
A study conducted by Ohio State University asked part of its 71 participants to sit up straight and push their chests forward, while others were asked to slouch and look down at their knees. After some time, they were asked to rate themselves as future professionals. The study found out that those sitting upright expressed positive responses on their prospects compared to those that were slouching.
Another study, published in the Journal of Neuroregulation measured the performance of 125 participants. The participants were asked to subtract by seven, starting from 964, for about 30 seconds. Half of the participants were requested to sit straight as they worked, and the other half were asked to slouch. The two groups were asked to switch posture and repeat the exercise, but this time they were asked to start from 834.
The results were quite impressive. Participants who found the exercise easy were not intimidated by the task, and experienced little difference in their performance when they sat up straight or in a slouched position. However, those who dreaded the exercise and felt it was tough from the beginning found it significantly more manageable and less intimidating when they were sitting straight than slouching.
The results make a lot of sense, curling to your middle is a classic sign of a defensive posture, protecting your internal organs from a potential threat. When you curl, you are sending a signal to your subconscious self that you are not safe. The more unsafe you feel, the more difficult it is to focus your mind on solving a problem.
Apart from that, there are varied physiological reasons why sitting up straight could hinder your performance. When you are slouching, you tend to compress space for your lungs; it reduces their capacity by up to 30 percent. This affects the amount of oxygen getting into your brain.
Therefore, sitting up straight might improve your brain functionality. It also helps you think more clearly since you’re calmer and much more confident.
How Can I Improve my Posture for Charisma and Confidence Boost?
The moment we set out to make life changes to better our well-being, we often look for ways to sneak in more movement, prioritize quality sleep, and clean up our eating habits. While these are essential pieces that make up a human being, a critical aspect of our lives that never gets credit is our posture.
Getting that good natural posture, as we have learned, offers benefits that go beyond sitting up straight. There’s a lot of evidence that shows, understanding that healthy posture can improve your confidence, performance at work, your focus, along with also offering mental health and happiness boosts.
Roll up a Scarf to Lumbar Pillow
When driving, most people tend to slump. The effect is a tight and crotchety feel. An excellent way to stop this nasty habit is to ball up a scarf and place it behind your back to keep your spine neutral, your shoulders open, and your chest up. This proves to be quite a simple maneuver, that’s effective for long commutes.
Strike a Power Pose
The next time you find yourself in a queue at your favorite coffee shop, the bank, or a supermarket, try this simple power pose. Begin by planting both your feet on the ground firmly. Make sure your legs are straight, but with a soft bend at your knees. Have your spine elongated; chest expanded with a slight pull in from your abdomen.
Ensure your shoulders are relaxed and that the shoulder blades are pulling back towards each other. This standing posture will not only increase your oxygen intake and blood flow to your brain and tissues, but it will also work to relieve the pressure on your ligaments and joints, reducing the compression on your back.
Take all your calls Standing Up
If possible, get a standing desk at work, the results are life-changing. While you might be tempted to sit down when you are tired; you get a jolt of energy and focus when you are standing up. Taking your calls standing up or working from a standing desk will significantly improve your productivity; decreasing tension from your shoulders and neck.
Exercise to Strengthen your Core
You probably already know that having strong core muscles is ideal for sitting up straight and holding onto a good posture. It’s essential to get into the habit of going to the gym or at least try strengthening your core at home. Doing sit-ups and planks works excellently as a workout routine that can be done at home. Doing planks enhances not only your core but also teaches your body how to be stable. Squats also work well to strengthen your core and back muscles.
Try Meditation and Yoga
A combination of regular visits to your chiropractor, yoga, and meditation will work wonders for your posture, charisma, and confidence boost. These practices make you conscious of when you break the habit and begin to slouch. Focusing on getting a better-looking natural posture will ease shoulder, lower back, and neck pain, helping you breathe easier. Apart from the physical gains, better posture offers a jilt of a confidence boost.
Pay Attention to Your Facial Expressions
We all know what our standard face looks like. This is the face most people will see when you are looking at them, talking or listening. Some people’s standard face is stern and doesn’t communicate the feelings they have on the inside. This can have grave career consequences since people might avoid you thinking you are mad or act defensive around you. These are not attractive attributes if you are looking to make connections. It’s, therefore, essential to pay attention to the comments made by colleagues and friends when you are listening to them speak. Do people ask if you are upset because you have furrowed your brow when concentrating? If so, try to relax your muscles or smile when meeting new people.
Invest in a Posture Corrector
Both men and women can use a posture corrector. A posture corrector is a wearable device that works to improve your posture at work. Depending on the type you choose, there are posture correction devices that have a reinforced crisscross back that works by gently pulling your shoulders while offering support to your back. There are also posture correction compression t-shirts that can be worn as an undergarment beneath your regular clothes for both men and women. A fitted posture correction neuroband t-shirt works to improve your posture since the t-shirt’s tension, and compression panels work to activate specific muscle groups in your body that help to keep your positioning more upright.
Maintain Eye Contact Talking to People
Eye contact in communication is significant; it implies that you are confident, approachable, and honest. When someone is not able to maintain eye contact or are first to break eye contact, it merely implies that they are hiding something, projecting a lower status, feeling uncomfortable, or showing submissiveness to someone they are speaking with. For better communication, make sure you are standing upright, with your chin high, shoulders back, and appropriate eye contact that is not too aggressive to make someone feel uncomfortable.
Take Breaks While Working
It doesn’t matter if you sit or stand all day; you must have breaks. You could pause now and then and walk around or stretch, and take a break from your desk. In your workplace, do all you can to encourage good posture. If you are a business owner, you can instruct your managers to train your employees on proper posture, make your workspaces more ergonomic, and post reminders.
How Does Posture Impact Success?
You have probably heard that sitting is the new smoking. In the modern world, most of us spend a lot of time sitting. Apart from health issues that arise from a sedentary lifestyle, having a bad posture will significantly affect your productivity, mood, health, and success. Standing or sitting with your chin up and your shoulder back is known as a power pose. It’s perfect for preventing back pain and improves your physical well-being as well. So, how does good posture impact your success?
Good posture improves productivity
Ask any physician, and they will tell you that poor posture is associated with back pain, which is one of the leading reasons for doctor visits in the U.S., outnumbered only by the common cold. According to studies, poor posture-related back-pains have cost taxpayers more than $7 billion per year in medicare for employees under the age of 45.
It’s important to note that good posture contributes to your productivity, and in the office away from filling disability claims. It’s also associated with other health benefits such as reduced incidents of migraines, high energy levels, higher concentration, and lower stress levels. Since most of our vital organs are located at the core; everything from breathing to circulation and digestion can be affected by your posture. Sitting down in a position where these critical organs are compressed prevents them from working at their full capacity. Therefore, by opening up your chest and core, and maintaining a good posture; your organs will expand and operate normally, improving your overall health.
Posture Boosts Confidence
According to reports, the power pose releases chemicals in the body that make individuals more confident. Opening up your chest by pushing out your shoulders and lifting your chin, testosterone. A hormone that is associated with power and confidence is released, and a cortisol hormone associated with stress is lowered. A recent study done by Ohio University showed maintaining poor posture for more than 30 minutes significantly increases an individual’s stress levels, depression, fear, and holding yourself in proper upright posture results in greater confidence lowering stress levels.
Good Posture Improves your Communication
According to psychology experts, having poor posture negatively impacts leadership. According to health and psychology studies, power posing works to make your feel more confident. Amy Cuddy, a renowned psychologist in a Ted Talk, illustrates how making yourself bigger in the animal kingdom is a sign of dominance and power. Animals will crunch and make themselves smaller when they feel overpowered or weaker.
According to Cuddy, we copy this behavior, standing tall with our hands on our hips. When we have a feeling of control and want to exude dominance over someone, and we will slouch; wrapping our hands around ourselves when we feel doubtful. Therefore, merely changing your body language and adopting the power pose will make you feel more powerful; exuding greater confidence from those around you, allowing you to have better leadership and charisma.
It is important to note that your posture is not only limited to business etiquette but also follows the same principle with every other interaction that you have. Standing up straight is not just for a good mage but will also help you breathe comfortably, making your muscles align better, reducing fatigue and pain, and will make you look slimmer and taller as a result.
You must understand the importance of conveying yourself to others through your body language. When you know what you are saying without even speaking, it can significantly set you apart, giving you an edge in business. Standing tall and practicing proper business etiquette will provide you with a competitive advantage when in the business world.