There is nothing worse than a limp-wristed spaghetti handshake, unless it’s the reverse – the deathly crush of a handshake that says: I’m totally confident, can’t you tell? Ahem, sadly NO!
When it comes to making a first impression, Forbes tells us that “these computations are made at lightning speed — making major decisions about one another in the first seven seconds of meeting.” If we have just 7 seconds, we better not screw it up!
I’ve spent many years studying posture and this passion was fueled by my story, my own journey from bad posture to good. The one thing that I have learned in my years of helping people correct their bad posture, is that how we look on the outside often mimics exactly how we are feeling on the inside.
How others see us in business, likely determines whether or not we get the job, win the client or make the sale. We can’t afford to bumble our chances of success with unattractive, uncertain, body langauge.
There are a ton of posture confidence tricks – 10 of which I cover in my book, The Posture Doctor – that will help you improve your professional image. I thought I’d give you the three biggest things you should quit doing with your body (right now), if you want to be successful:
Many of you will have forgotten how to stand tall due to the inevitability of our desk-based lives. Try this little exercise to reduce forward head leaning – Bonus, you may actually gain some height!
And do make sure you stand tall when you meet someone new.
Seriously though, you’re making me nervous! Stop the nervous habits. Get your hands away from your mouth, your hair, your nails and your lips (that one is mine – I have to really watch I don’t pick at my lips … yes, attractive image isn’t it). Stop the feverish texting. Just be still. Confident people rarely look nervous and fidgety.
My friends don’t believe me when I tell them I am shy. I am – ask my mother. I learned a long time ago how to fake confidence with good posture. Over time, I have become more confident and you can too. Not looking down is something I still have to practice. Try to meet people’s eyes – in the elevator, passing them in the hallway or on the street. Don’t be creepy (that’s just weird) but a soft gentle gaze with a friendly smile is a winning combination!
When it comes to successful body language, you’ve only got 7 seconds to make a first impression – Make gentle eye contact, be still with your body and remember to stand tall and you never know, you just might get that promotion!
What are your absolute body no-nos when it comes to successful first impressions?