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11 Body Language Tricks To Make You Successful In Life

11 Body Language Tricks To Make You Successful In Life

Getting your body language down is imperative in life. Whether you’re a businessman or a deli clerk, if you deal with people you have to know how to communicate effectively with them.

They say up to 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. Therefore, it’s essential that you understand what you’re saying beyond just the words you’re uttering.

Here are 11 tricks to better understand body language and communicate more proficiently.

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1. Use mirroring

Mirroring is doing what the other person you are speaking with is doing, albeit subtly. You don’t want to blatantly copy every little action they make, but you do want to delicately do, as they do. By mimicking their actions, whether it’s crossing your arms if they have their arms crossed, speaking soft if they speak soft, or keeping great eye contact if they keep it on you—you build a rapport with the individual. They feel more like you and therefore they feel more connected to you. It’s really effective in this sense. It can be used anyplace, but is especially helpful on dates, business meetings, and when meeting someone new.

2. Don’t make unnecessary adjustments

Oftentimes, nervous men will cross their arm over their body in an attempt to make an adjustment to say a cuff-link or a watch on that arm. They may be walking in front of a large crowd, or walking up to a beautiful woman, or perhaps getting on stage to make a speech, but by making this unnecessary adjustment on their arm, they’re displaying a great amount of insecurity. They do this as an unconscious attempt at covering their body with their arm. This action is all too common in guys and must be avoided. Stop fiddling around with something you don’t need to and you will not reveal your potential uncomfortable-side to the world. Instead, keep your arms on each side and confidently stroll into wherever you are going!

3. Do the power pose

The power pose is the extension of your arms up and over your head as high as possible. It creates a V-shape over your head. This pose actually has been studied and documented to increase testosterone, confidence, and leadership qualities in all who make it. Next time you’re feeling nervous or unsure of yourself before a big meeting, raise up those arms of yours and strike a power pose! You’ll be happy you did.

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4. Uncross those legs

When people cross their legs, they signal that they are really resistant and unreceptive. It can be great if you want to distance yourself from someone, but if you are negotiating a great deal on a new car you want to buy or if you’re trying to convince your boss for a new raise, displaying resistance is not a good idea! Instead, uncross your legs and be open with your posture. After all, we all love getting a great deal!

5. Laugh to really connect

What’s better than a smiling, happy face? A smiling, happy, and laughing face. Laughter signals the ultimate form of connection between two people and it speaks so many volumes of rapport and bonding. Laugh when you want to really connect with someone in a business sense or a personal sense. Laughing on a date or making your date laugh are incredible signs of attraction and affection. Telling a playful and pertinent joke during an interview can be a great ice-breaker and a great way to connect with your potential boss! Laughing, and getting someone else to laugh, can be extremely beneficial when it comes to communicating effectively!

6. Uncross your arms

Just as crossing your legs can be a bad body language position to take, so can crossing your arms. Crossing your arms signals defensiveness and skepticism. When you cross your arms you distance yourself from whoever you are speaking with. Instead, uncross your arms next time you are trying to connect with someone you’ve just met and you’ll notice it’s easier to build a rapport with them.

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7. Lift your chin up

When you lift your chin up, you display a great amount of pride, confidence, and dominance. If you’ve ever seen someone with their head down, you’ll understand the importance of lifting it up! By keeping it up you show you’re content with yourself and secure in who you are. Next time you want to display confidence, such as on-stage making a speech, telling a story to a group of friends, or interviewing for a desired position, keep your chin up!

8. Keep your palms up, too

When you are communicating with your hands, make sure you effectively incorporate the palms-up position. By doing this you subconsciously communicate trust. This shows that you are open and not hiding anything with whoever you are talking to. You don’t have to have your palms up the entire time, but regularly having them up is a good idea. This technique is incredibly effective in sales, marketing, or in trying to convince someone of something. Basically, any place where honesty or integrity may be in question.

9. Nod your head

When trying to build rapport with someone speaking to you, nod your head on occasion when the person says new things. This is a huge sign that you are in agreement with them and that you are listening and accepting what they are telling you. It creates a great bond in conversation when the listener is nodding their head and displaying that they are really listening. Next time a friend or spouse is telling you a story, nod your head occasionally and you’ll find them happier because they appreciate your listening skills.

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10. Refrain from tapping your foot

Look, you may be bored, and you may want to do something else—like hit up that new burger joint down the street—but tapping your foot while your manager is making a point about something important, is not going to make him happy! In fact, it’s going to annoy him because you’re body is telling him how bored he is making you. Instead, keep your foot still for another minute or two, and let him vent. Instead of annoying him, listen to him (or at least pretend to) and really connect with him. The next time he reviews his upcoming promotions, you might just be on the top of the list!

11. Gently touch the person on the arm

By gently touching someone you are speaking with on the arm, say when you are telling a story or making a light-hearted joke, you build the feeling of trust up. This is not to say it’s okay to go around touching people all the time, it’s not. However, this is referring more to a light touch on someone’s arm or a playful pat on the shoulder or some other non-intimate place. By doing this, you actually create a bond between you and the person, and not just a literal connection, but a mental one as well. Next time you are on a date with someone, try touching them lightly while in conversation and you’ll notice a better connection.

There you have it! 11 tricks to help you succeed in your personal and professional life! You may not be the best speaker or the best chatter, but if you can get your body language down, you can be the best communicator! And this is so much more important in the overall picture. After all, communication is what life is all about, and your body communicates almost everything!

Featured photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via flickr.com

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Justin Stenstrom

Nationally-Acclaimed Life Coach

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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