Saturday, November 26, 2011

Negotiation Body Language Secret # 337:
Low Confidence Stance

All other things being equal - a person will project significantly greater confidence and be perceived as a superior leader and more successful - if they stand with their feet a bit apart. The ideal distance is about a shoulder's width for men and slightly less for women. Congress person Michele Bachmann, R-MN, shown here (Politico/NBC Debate held at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA), is by most accounts a confident person. Earlier this year however, she enjoyed a top or near-top ranking in most polls for the U.S. republican presidential nomination. However, since mid-summer 2011 her poll ranking has precipitously dropped to single digit percentages. Her foot position here may be a by-product of this decline - indicating her own emotional tone about her relative lack of success of late; but it almost never should be displayed by anyone in a leadership position - certainly not a head-of-state or anyone seeking such office. 

If you stand like Representative Bachmann is, you will feel more beta, act more demure and with a strong tendency to acquiesce. Among other things this would be very poor debate-coaching advice. Your ability to "think on your feet" is significantly heightened by the more confident, feet apart Body Language. Incredibly this will even be reflected verbally in your word choice, volume, cadence, etc. Simply standing with your feet a shoulder's width apart (give or take) - will truly engender feeling, speaking and acting more alpha, more assertive and more confident - thus embodying the qualities we all want and need in our leaders.