Clenched fists and pursed lips; you know he’s angry. Big toothy grin and a thumbs up; you know she’s happy. Nobody said anything so how do you know these things? Two words: Body Language. If you need a little more convincing let my friends tell you just how important body language is:
So body language is a huge important factor in our lives. It affects how we perceive others and how others perceive us. It affects every aspect of our lives, and ironically its something most people don’t consciously think about. But it’s too important not to.
prods us to question what are the consequences of subconsciously processing body language. One major consequence is that it enforces gender inequality. I know, that’s seems like a giant leap but hear me out. Despite monumental gains in higher education (women hold the majority of degrees earned) and their equal if not higher representation in the workplace, women are underrepresented as leaders.
Statistics published by Catalyst
found that out of all standard and poor’s 500 company
women presently hold 25.1%
of senior-level management positions. Board seats are occupied by 19.2% of women. And a pitiful 4.6% make up companies CEO positions. Moving away from the business world, and into the realm of higher education, women as leaders are still a minority. Research done by Gangone and Lennon
shows that women make up only 20% of university presidents. With women having all the opportunities to succeed, what accounts for their lack of success with becoming leaders?
Body language influences whether or not you are perceived as a leader
. Now leaders have an array of qualities that are a combo of what we consider male and female traits. Women’s leadership style tends to be towards interpersonal skills. Men’s leadership styles tend be biased on authority and control. In an ideal world, leaders would be men and women because their leadership styles
compliment each other.
As of now, one of the major weaknesses of female leaders is their lack of authoritative body language
. Basically, women aren’t assertive or dominate enough in their body language. This weakness seen in female leaders is detrimental for the emerging woman leaders. Actions speak louder than words, and if you’re body language doesn’t reflect your ability to be authoritative than you’ve already said it all. So get cozy with your cement block shoes pulling you down every time you try to go above and beyond the status quo.
But did you know you are choosing to wear those cement shoes? You can just as easily choose not to wear them. By simply understanding how to boost your credibility by using body language you can choose whether you wish to wear your oppressive boots or break free of them. In the video below I’ll point out useful tips for boosting your confidence
(which helps your credibility) and pointers on how to non-verbally communicate assertiveness.
We can all consciously think about body language. The choice is ours. What will yours be?