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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 May 22, 2019

                50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

                Job Search Experts

                You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

                1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

                2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

                3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

                4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

                5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

                Management Experts

                They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

                6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

                7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

                8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

                9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

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                Productivity Experts

                By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

                10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

                11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

                12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

                13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

                Marketing Experts

                14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

                15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

                16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

                17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

                18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

                19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

                20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

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                21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

                22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

                23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

                24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

                25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

                26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

                Personal Branding Experts

                Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

                Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

                27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

                28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

                Other Notable Experts to Follow

                29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

                30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

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                31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

                32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

                33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

                34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

                35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

                36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

                37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

                38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

                39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

                40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

                41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

                42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

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                43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

                44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

                45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

                46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

                47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

                48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

                49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

                50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

                These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

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                Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

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