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What Your Desk Looks Like Can Reveal Your True Personality

What Your Desk Looks Like Can Reveal Your True Personality

Rumour has is that owners of messy spaces have messy minds. We might have also heard that those with messy spaces are the creative types, the artists, the inventors. Think about all those cliche’d Hollywood films of artists living in warehouses, paint flung across huge canvases, their entire wardbrobe strewn from bedroom to kitchen. Cats crawl out of cereal boxes and exotic scarves from faraway places make colourful covers for dimly-lit lampshades. It’s a character right?

According to some studies our personal space, or personal workspace, defines our character. But according to research there isn’t just one type. Links between messy desk spaces and creative people is just the beginning. So what are the different types of personalities? And what type of work space are they linked to?

The Clutterer

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cluttered-desk

    Extroverts are the clutterers! And according to research, extroverts grow bored quickly with mundane surroundings, so they brighten up their corner of the world with things that sparkle, flash, dazzle, inspire, have colour – or in other words have interest. An extrovert is interested with the exterior of life, their insides are on their outside. But in the extrovert’s case, this does not necessarily mean that ‘clutter’ is a negative, or is disorganized. An extrovert’s clutter can be very organized, and is their way of simply having a more full corner of their world. The (structured) clutterer will no doubt leave a bowl of candy or some such treat that entices a passerby… they love a conversation, a connection with the outside. They are energized by what is outside of, and around them.

    The Minimalist

    Min desk

      The minimalist slides in on the opposite end of the artistic ladder. Clutter free… as well as, well, everything free. The minimalist exists in their workspace with complete tidiness and the bare necessities. The minimalist is alert, disciplined, ordered, and in control. There is always a plan for the minimalist, their organizational skills are an asset to any workplace. They have their pencils sharpened and their books open, and they know where everything is.

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      The downside of the minimalist is that it can seem as if they have no innate ties to the place they are in, as if their lack of identity can mean that they could up and leave at any moment without any real issues. It can be slightly unnerving. Or just generally a little mysterious!

      The Expander

      expender

        The expander likes to really own the space they are in. They like to make the most of things. Everybody knows this person… because each day they have moved a little further with their own space – and a little further into our own. This is really a type of territorial behavior within humans. We become wary of our space and our rights to our own share of things, and before we know it, we have lost all things in the communal kitchen to the desk of the expander. Never fear. When the expander pushes, we can always push back.

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        The Surveyor

        surveyor

          The surveyors situate themselves in such a way that their desk or space becomes an unobvious lookout. The surveyor is a clever clogs, and will always have a pretty great view of what is happening around them, and will likely situate with a wall at their backs, for extra security. The surveyor might also display signs of hibernation, insecurity, or anxiety as they are introverts, and need control of their space to better know what is coming to them. They scare easily, the surveyors, but they are quiet and they work hard, and often have highly creative brains. They’re also usually very nice, rather helpful, and sweet when you give them the time of day. Just don’t sneak up on them from behind, if you ever find them away from their fort.

          The Personaliser

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          personal

            Personalised goods = the personaliser. With bits and bobs of highly stylish paraphernalia, the personaliser is an asset to any workplace. They are confident, curious, educated, intellectual, and open minded. They aren’t showy with their knowledge, but have a peaceful confidence, and prefer to take up space in open areas like windows, to better stimulate their imaginations and creativity. The personalisers generally have psychological and general health, and are beneficial to work spaces and intra office relationships.

            (Images credited to:
            Mondessinnumero1 / https://mondessinnumero1.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/a-cluttered-desk-is-a-sign-of-genius/
            www.minimalistdesk.net/ Minimalist Laptop Floating Desk
            Siaki Borneo/ http://akiborneo.blogspot.com/2011/11/this-is-man-desk-in-office.html
            Getty IMages/ http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/video/time-lapse-office-worker-watching-folders-pile-up-stock-video-footage/864-44
            Studblr/ http://multipassionate-studblr.tumblr.com/)

            Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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            Last Updated on January 15, 2021

            7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

            7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

            The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

            Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

            Posture

            First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

            • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
            • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
            • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
            • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

            All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

            Facial Expressions

            Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

            • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
            • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
            • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

            If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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            1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

            A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

            The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

            This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

            2. Relax Your Face

            New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

            The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

            To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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            3. Improve Your Eye Contact

            Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

            The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

            To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

            3. Smile More

            There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

            Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

            4. Hand Gestures

            Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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            It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

            5. Enhance Your Handshake

            In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

            “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

            It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

            6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

            As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

            Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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            Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

            Final Takeaways

            Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

            If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

            More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

            Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

            Reference

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