Sunday, November 6, 2011

Negotiation and Leadership Body Language Secret # 339:
The Height Advantage

Here is French President, Nicholas Sarkozy is exiting the stage after speaking along with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Recent G20-G8 Summit in Cannes, France. Depending on your source, Sarkozy is either 5'5" (1.651 M) or 5'6.25" (1.683 M), while his model-actress wife Carla Bruni Sarkozy is 5'9" (1.753 M). It is no secret that President Sarkozy commonly wears specially made shoes with and extra 1-2 inch (2.54-5.08 cm) lift - which can be easily seen in both images. A lot of men in his shoes would do the same - pun definitely intended.

While there are certainly exceptions, there is a strong statistical correlation between height and - hiring, income, promotions at work, electability, and even longevity. Nonverbal research even shows we interrupt those less who are taller (Pease). In the U.S., the correlation between height and electability increases with the level of public office - (as it also does with LACK of facial hair). While you can't obviously change your height, there are certainly Body Language maneuvers, debate and interview techniques, rapport builders, ways to avoid intimidation and project confidence (while not over-doing it) etc. - other than wearing heels - all of which you should be acutely aware of if you want to even the odds.