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7 Body Language Habits of Effective Managers

7 Body Language Habits of Effective Managers

Congratulations! You’ve reached the point in your career where you are managing other people. This means you have reached some success in your field–whether you are a stellar sales person, a seasoned financial planner, or a skilled architect.

But being deft with numbers or a killer negotiator doesn’t mean you know how to be the kind of manager people want to work for. In fact, many skilled professionals find themselves promoted into positions of authority without a clue how to convey the traits of a good leader.

If this sounds like you, it might be time to “fake it till you make it” and start taking control of the most powerful communication tool you have: your body language.

Here are seven leadership traits and the body language habits that will make your employees feel lucky to have you as their boss.

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To convey integrity, sync your words and actions.

1

    We tend to believe more of what we see than what we hear, so if you’re encouraging collaboration, don’t cross your arms or shove your hands in your pockets. If you’re extolling the bright future of a new product, don’t drop your gaze or shift in your seat. If you’re delivering bad news, don’t grin. And never give your attention, even for a second, to a text message or phone call. Better yet, leave your phone in your bag or at your desk.

    To convey authority, take up physical space.

    6

      Rather than slouch in your seat, sit up straight and tall. Deliberately extend your arms, legs, and even your belongings into the space around you. Place your hands on the armrests, stretch out your legs, or place a notebook on the table as an “extension” of yourself. When you take up space, you signal that you are engaged, present, and here to make decisions. When you curl up into your chair or shrink into a corner, you’re saying: I’d rather follow than lead.

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      To convey approachability, position yourself at an angle.

      11

        If you’re a more aggressive personality type who naturally takes up space and easily conveys authority, your employees may be intimidated by you. Your goal should be to help them feel comfortable approaching you and sharing their ideas. Next time you are in a one-on-one discussion, take note of your body position. Are you aimed straight on to the other person? Are you invading their space? If so, take a step back and stand (or sit) at a 45-degree angle. This changes the vibe of the conversation, taking pressure off the other person so they can relax, think, and regain composure.

        To convey control, keep your body still.

        4

          No matter how you might feel inside, never reveal impatience, anxiety, or boredom. Fidgeting, pacing, head nodding, leg twitching, toe tapping, face-touching, hair-pulling, chair-twirling–all of these behaviors signal a lack of self-control, which will not reassure your employees about your leadership abilities. If you’re a natural fidgeter, practice planting your feet firmly on the ground and letting your hands hang by your sides when you stand. When sitting, keep your lower body (and chair) in one place.

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          To convey confidence, show vulnerability.

          12

            People who lack confidence often use “self-soothing” body language that closes them off from others. Next time you are presenting to a group or talking one-on-one, observe your natural tendencies. Do you cross your arms, entwine your legs, put your hands in your pockets, or wring your hands? These behaviors signal insecurity and lack of confidence. Conversely, opening up your body shows vulnerability and signals confidence. So keep your shoulders back, chin up, hands by your sides, and legs uncrossed.

            To convey empathy, listen actively.

            13

              Sure, you’re busy; you’ve got a dozen things on your mind and a mountain of things to do. But if you’ve taken the time to talk to someone, don’t let your “busyness” show. Instead, make them feel like the most important person in your world. While they’re talking, make eye contact, cock your head to the side, nod, and match your facial expressions to the spirit of what they’re saying. When it’s your turn to speak, don’t be in a hurry. Pause, take a breath, nod, and consider everything you have heard. Then respond thoughtfully, repeating back the essence of what the person just said.

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              To convey high expectations, control your facial expressions.

              5

                Your facial expressions alone are capable of demoralizing your employees and diminishing their odds of success. Consider the subtle message you convey when you roll your eyes, raise your eyebrows, frown, or purse your lips. Before you enter a meeting with your employees, be sure your face is free of tension by stretching your jaw and relaxing your facial muscles. Then, keep a neutral or positive expression on your face throughout the meeting.

                How are your body language habits? Take the Quiz.

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                Sharen Ross

                Marketing Strategy Consultant

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                Last Updated on March 12, 2019

                20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

                20 Inspiring Vision Statement Examples (2019 Updated)

                There is normally a lengthy list of things you need to consider when starting a business, and if you don’t manage them properly, your excitement can quickly turn into overwhelm. What can support you to stay inspired and on the right track when starting out? You guessed it: this is your vision statement.

                What Is a Vision Statement?

                A vision statement is like a photograph of your future business, which gives your business shape and direction.

                A vision statement provides the direction and describes what the founder wants the organization to achieve in the future; it’s more about the “what” of a business. It is different from a mission statement, which describes the purpose of an organization and more about the “how” of a business.

                If you were to take a photo of your future business now, what would it look like? What do you want your business to be recognized for one day?

                You need to have a crystal clear vision when you start out, otherwise you can get easily lost in deciding the best way forward. When you are making strategic decisions for your business and even daily operation decisions, your vision statement will give you the inspiration and targeted direction you need.

                The Importance of a Vision Statement

                Without a vision statement, your business will lack motivation to keep going.

                If you don’t aim for anything, you might not hit anything. The more specific and clear you are, the better your chances are at seeing your vision turn into reality.

                The importance of a vision statement cannot be overlooked; not only does it provide long term direction and guidance, but it also gives you the inspiration and the necessary energy to keep going when you feel lost.

                Always keep your vision statement alive by revisiting it regularly and communicating your vision with other members of the team, to inspire and motivate them as well.

                How to Craft an Inspiring Vision Statement

                1. Dream big and use clear language

                An inspiring vision statement should inform a clear direction and priorities for the organization, while challenging all the team members to grow together. Based on our expert sources’ advice, we’ve got some great tips for you:

                • Imagine how you want the business to be like in five to ten years.
                • Infuse the business’ values in the statement.
                • Make sure that the statement is implying a clear focus for the business.
                • Write your vision statement in the present tense.
                • Use clear and concise language.
                • Ensure the statement is easily understood.

                There are many different types of vision statements and there is no wrong or right way to do it. The most important thing is to resonate with it. It will always inspire you and give you a clear targeted direction.

                2. Get inspirations from the successful companies.

                Having researched on a number of successful companies’ vision statements, I’ve shortlisted 20 good examples for the new startups:

                Short vision statements made up of a few words only:

                1. Disney

                To make people happy.

                2. Oxfam

                A just world without poverty.

                3. Ikea

                To create a better every day life for the many people.

                Quantitative statements are based on numbers, quantities:

                4. Microsoft

                Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

                  5. Nike

                  Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)

                    Qualitative statements are based on qualities that you want to have:

                    6. Ford

                    People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people’s lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.

                    7. Avon

                    To be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women—globally.

                    Competitor based statements – this type is becoming less common, but famous examples are:

                    8. Honda – in 1970

                    We will destroy Yamaha.

                    9. Nike – in 1960s

                    Crush Adidas.

                      10. Philip Morris – in 1950s

                      Knock off RJR as the number one tobacco  company in the world.

                      Role Model Vision Statements – using another company as an example:

                      11. Stanford University – in the past

                      To become the Harvard of the West.

                      12. Reach for Success – in the past

                      To become the next Tony Robbins in self development.

                      Internal Transformations vision statements:

                      13. Apple

                      To produce high-quality, low cost, easy to use products that incorporate high technology for the individual.

                      14. Giro Sport Design

                      To make sure that riding is the best part of a great life.

                      15. Tesla

                      To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

                      16. Sony

                      To be a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity.

                      17. Facebook

                      To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

                        Longer and more detailed vision statement:

                        18. Walmart

                        To give customers a wide assortment of their favorite products, Every Day Low Prices, guaranteed satisfaction, friendly service, convenient hours (24 hours, 7 days a week) and a great online shopping experience.

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                        19. Coca Cola

                        To achieve sustainable growth, we have established a vision with clear goals:

                        Profit: Maximizing return to share owners while being mindful of our overall responsibilities.

                        People: Being a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be.

                        Portfolio: Bringing to the world a portfolio of beverage brands that anticipate and satisfy peoples; desires and needs.

                        Partners: Nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual loyalty.

                        Planet: Being a responsible global citizen that makes a difference.

                          20. Heinz

                          Our VISION, quite simply, is to be: “The World’s Premier Food Company, Offering Nutritious, Superior Tasting Foods To People Everywhere.” Being the premier food company does not mean being the biggest but it does mean being the best in terms of consumer value, customer service, employee talent, and consistent and predictable growth.

                          The Bottom Line

                          Remember, always keep your vision statement up-to-date to direct your company’s actions.

                          Remember, once you reach your vision, it needs to be changed. General Motors overtook Ford as #1 automotive company in the world because once Ford’s goal was reached, they never updated it.

                          Keep your vision statement alive and visibly in front of you, revisit it and let it help direct your actions and activities. This is the fun part: this is where you get to dream really big and allow your imagination to fly as high as you want.

                          Don’t hold back, let your creative juices flow and give yourself permission to explore what is possible for your business.

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                          To your success!

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