Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leadership Secret # 34: Avoiding Low Confidence Displays

LeAnn Rimes and Ty Pennington are shown here at the recent 44th Annual Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee presenting the Song of the Year Award.  Ms. Rimes demonstrates a "cluster" of low confidence signs in this photo. Of course, no lady should stand with her legs too far apart, but when they're too close together - regardless of your gender - it transmits strong signals of low confidence.

Ms. Rimes' hands are grasping the envelope with the winner's name enclosed inside - but when anyone holds an object or their clasped hands (or both) in front of their privates, it is a strong sign of low confidence.  Too many "leaders" - or those in leadership positions who fancy themselves leaders - adopt this low confidence stance.  The larger the object used in this subconscious blocking maneuver, the lower their comfort level. Holding ones hands or an object in such a fashion also pulls the shoulders forward in a hunched over fashion - and although Ms. Rimes is doing a pretty good job at minimizing this hunching - contrast this against Ty Pennington's posture with his arms and hands in back with his shoulders drawn back.

LeAnn also is tilting her head down - in this context it is another sign of low confidence, low comfort and vulnerability - as it protects the vulnerable neck.  Seek to have the bottom of your chin parallel with the floor - this is a neutral position. Lastly, Ms. Rimes is looking downwards with her eyes - which is often seen coupled with the downward tilted head and in times of sadness, vulnerability and low confidence.

As you become more accomplished in the Science and art of Body Language - you'll be able to see several gestures/signs at once - these are known as "gesture clusters" and when several congruent ones are seen together - your accuracy in interpretation will dramatically increase.