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10 Body Language Secrets Every Successful Person Knows

10 Body Language Secrets Every Successful Person Knows

If you want to become successful, then it is imperative that you hone in on your bodily-language. I’d go as far to say that it’s just as important — even more important at times — than vocal language because it subconsciously conveys how you really feel, even when your words might not. Since the emergence of this fact, people have been polishing their own body language as well as their ability to detect them in others.

This has sprung popular TV shows such as Lie to me, best selling books like The Definite Book of Body Language, and numerous websites dedicated to the cause. We thought that since everyone with their eye on success — whether in business, relationships and so on — is capitalising on this new wave of non-verbal’s, we should compose a list of 10 body language secrets every successful person knows, and give them to you. Apply these in day to day life and you’ll be rocketing to success without having to say a word.

1. Do: Smile When Appropriate.

smile

    Some call this basic, I call it fundamental. We all know that smiling is a great tool in gaining instant trust and acceptance from others, however the key is knowing when it is appropriate. When meeting someone new or giving feedback to a boss, yes. When discussing why you failed to hit your quota for the month, or why your relationship isn’t working, no. Smiling when inappropriate conveys insecurity and a lack of confidence. Know when to smile, a fundamental key.

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    2. Don’t: Give a Weak Handshake.

    handshake

      If there is anything which shows submission when first interacting with someone, it’s this. A weak handshake shows a weak person, and weak people are rarely successful. A job interview, a business venture, meeting possible partners, you name it, just don’t take this to an extreme and turn it into a squeezing match. Bonus tip: when shaking hands with someone rotate your wrist so that your hand is slightly on top of theirs, a subconscious display of dominance.

      3. Do: Utilise the Facial Triangle.

      triangle

        People sure love to be listened to, it shows respect, interest and trust. Now whilst solid eye-contact can be great, it can be overly-intense. Using what’s called the facial triangle not only helps to lower the intensity of a gaze, but by rotating between the two eyes and the mouth, you show that you are reading their lips, a sign of intimate attention. What’s great about this is that it applies to every direct communication scenario you can think of. Watch as peoples trust in you rockets.

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        4. Don’t: Rub Your Palms, Face or Neck.

        anxiety

          We all know this one, the universal sign for anxiety and stress. This displays that you can’t handle the work set out for you, or are worried about how your work/image/business is being received, and if you lack confidence in yourself, others will lack confidence in you also. Successful people don’t do this (not publicly at least), they show security and strength even when the odds are against them.

          5. Do: Steeple Your Hands.

          steeple

            If you want to come across as interesting, intelligent and confident, then you should adopt this trademark gesture. Also known as the “Merkel-Raute”, this is a favourite amongst politicians as it shows that they can (according to them) be trusted with important duties. This works better in more formal environments, use it when talking to your superiors and watch your credibility go skywards. Tip: Don’t lower your steeple mid-conversation as this shows a sudden loss in confidence.

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            6. Don’t: Look Overly-Agreeable.

            fake smile

              Whilst it’s great to be on equal terms with people, whether they are your boss or your employees, it’s damaging to pretend that you agree, when in truth you completely disagree. This is the employee who nods uncontrollably whilst their boss lay’s blame on them. Don’t be afraid to show a curious, or even a bewildered expression when a false statement is made, then follow it up with your reasons. There are some crazy people out there, if you’re not disagreeing with some of them then you’re probably doing it wrong.

              7. Do: Strike a Power Pose.

              power pose

                Yes, this is the superhero’s go-to pose — and for good reason — because it literally powers you up! Research has shown that they not only make others perceive you as confident and powerful, but that it makes you feel just that. Practising power poses before a high-stakes scenario raises your bodies testosterone levels, whilst decreasing cortisol levels (your stress hormone). In business, successful people know the incredible power of this pose, a confidence booster not only in yourself, but in others opinions of you.

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                8. Don’t: Face Away From Whoever You’re Engaging With.

                ignorance

                  This one can mean a multitude of things, and they’re all negative. From fear, anxiety, distrust, ignorance to contempt, not facing someone — let alone making eye contact — when you’re engaging with them will see that your success stays a product of your imagination. Success is more often than not a team effort, and if you can’t build a team who is even fond of you, the only way you’re going is down. Don’t be ignorant, you wouldn’t appreciate someone doing this to you.

                  9. Do: Maintain Good Posture.

                  posture

                    Nothing says sloppy like someone who can’t even carry themselves physically, let alone mentally. Poor posture is often a product of our lifestyles, too much time sitting or craning your neck over your phone for instance. Not only is it bad for your health but it’s bad for your appearance and your respect. It’s hard for others to see you as equal or as a superior when you’re foreheads facing the floor. You’ll add a couple of inches to your height, and perhaps some zero’s to your pay-check.

                    10. Don’t: Exaggerate Your Gestures.

                    exaggerate

                      It’s hard to take someone who is overly flamboyant seriously, exaggerating your gestures in an effort to come across as enthusiastic or confident will only cause others to think the contrary. There is no shame in remaining reserved, in fact it is often a sign of maturity and mystery. Successful people know not to be boisterous if they want to remain respected. Though you may want to appear energetic for that job interview, too much is overkill.

                      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                      7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                      7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                      Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                      For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                      Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                      1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                      A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                      It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                      It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                      How it helps you:

                      If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                      Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                      2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                      Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                      Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                      How it helps you:

                      Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                      Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                      If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                      Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                      3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                      Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                      Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                      How it helps you:

                      This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                      For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                      Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                      A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                      4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                      To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                      A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                      How it helps you:

                      One word: hierarchy.

                      All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                      In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                      If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                      5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                      Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                      Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                      How it helps you:

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                      Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                      If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                      This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                      6. What do you like about working here?

                      This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                      Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                      How it helps you:

                      You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                      Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                      Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                      7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                      What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                      As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                      How it helps you:

                      What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                      First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                      Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                      Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                      Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                      Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                      Making Your Interview Work for You

                      Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                      Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

                      More Resources About Job Interviews

                      Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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