Tag Archive for Legs

During The Interview

Don’t be thrown off by the office set-up, as it might be created to put you at a disadvantage. For example, the chair provided for you might be shorter than the interviewees and a large desk might separate you from them. Don’t concern yourself with this, as everyone else will be viewed with the same conditions. Try your best to seem comfortable in whatever position you happen to be in. Keep your legs uncrossed and flat on the floor with your hands in your lap. Keep your back straight and head up and lean toward the interviewer slightly. Always hit on the averages, not too much and not too little. This goes for everything, appear relaxed, but not too relaxed, use gestures, but not too often and so forth. If the interviewer seems uptight, don’t try to loosen them up with jokes or banter but if they seem personable, or in the mood, it can be advantageous to discuss interests and hobbies. Office photographs can be great links to common interests to help build rapport. If a direct question is asked, answer directly, don’t appear to waste time with the interviewer. Try your best to maintain flow between the communication style of the interviewer and yourself. If they speak quickly, don’t try to keep up, but don’t lag behind either. It’s always better to speak a little bit slower and more confidently than speaking faster than your mind can think.

Maintain good eye contact while speaking and while listening allow for some periods when eye contact is broken. Never cut off the interviewer and offer plenty of cues that you understand what is being said. Speak slowly and confidently and never more than thirty seconds at a time. Nods and approval sounds such as “mhum” makes the interviewer know that you comprehend what is being said and the research shows us that this is important even for high status individuals. If you are genuinely confused by what is said tilt your head to the side to make a query face. If this body language doesn’t yield clarifying information from the interviewer, then ask to hear the information again, as it shows that you are keenly interested in learning more about the work.

To measure your success throughout the interview watch for eye contact, smiling and nodding. The research show us that successful applicants get twice as much eye contact, three times more smiling and twice as much head nodding as unsuccessful ones. Use this information to build your confidence or to ramp up your pitch if things aren’t going well.

Leadership Body Language

Holding dominant body language is like a wedge that holds the door open between levels at your work. When new employees arrive in our companies, even if just a junior level employee, everyone instinctively classifies them. They are either leaders or followers from the start, but it’s not just “something” about them, something mystical or intangible, it is plain and simple, it is their body language that tells us their future roles. We know right away if they will fit into the company, be fired, or come out as future “top dogs.” The research shows us that if you don’t hold dominant body language, you’ll never be promoted to leadership roles. Leaders aren’t usually able to talk their way up a hierarchy, although sometimes they do, and it ends up causing remorse and conflict from lower ranking employees because they lack the respect that comes with dominance and leadership seeming to emanate from certain people. So if you want to get higher in your company here are some tips.

First, increase your height through better posture. Hold your head higher and whenever you can exploit high differences, do it. If everyone is sitting, stand, but don’t make everyone feel uncomfortable by towering over them. If you have split levels, stand on the top level and keep everyone else on the lower rug. Find excuses to stand by volunteering to draw out plans on a board when brainstorming. This gives you two advantages, the first of which is the height advantage where you can tower over your follow employees and the second is more strategic. By being the chalkboard secretary, you become the person that everyone defers to for idea acceptance, while having the freedom to add any ideas yourself as desired without needing approval. Second to exploiting height differences, is breadth expansions. Meaning, one should try to appear bigger by taking up more space. Not only should you spread out your legs and arms, but you should also spread out your papers, pens and other artifacts. Taking up space is a way to own more of it, and is a strong signal of dominance.

Your gaze should be serious and direct, with your head held high. Don’t be afraid to use touch, but touch only in safe zones such as the arm between the hand and elbow, the elbow itself and sometimes the shoulders but only with caution. If you can get away with shoulder or back touches, do so, but pay attention to the reaction is creates so as not to insult others. Always try to be the first to speak and be the “go-to-guy” for questions and opinions. It is therefore important to be helpful, task oriented, and sincerely try to do a good job. Avoid smiling too much especially if you are a woman, as this can be taken as submission or placation. A neutral face is more appropriate during high tension situation so fight the urge to smile nervously and only nod in agreement with statements you really agree with. In other words, don’t smile and nod while expressing negative ideas as it only serves to confuse others, and can make people think you are weak and easily manipulated. Keep your body language in tune with your verbal words and don’t be afraid to cast judgments on solutions you feel are inappropriate. Conversely use encouragement when deserved and back it up with genuine body language.

While body language alone won’t guarantee a raise in dominance, it’s a good first step. The next part of the process is an attitude overhaul while remaining consistent. A word of caution is a must. If you are working within an existing environment where your behaviour will be monitored throughout the process rather than entering a novel environment where people have no baseline to compare you to, be prepared for some resistance. Understand that you are sure to cause resentment, which might create a desire to undermine you, but the last thing you need in your quest for a higher rank are lower dissenters so always treat others with the respect they deserve – even if they don’t deserve it! Upward movement while others stagnant, can be perceived as a threat, create animosity, and more than likely bread challenges. Your task to leadership will be to meet these challenges with consistent and unwavering body language.

Leaning And Ready Language In The Office And Elsewhere

We show attentiveness and also readiness, meaning a preparedness to take action by leaning toward the speaker, or things we want to get closer to, and away from speakers, or things we want to avoid. “Things” in the sentence previous can mean anything from proposals, ideas, opinions, decisions or anything else for that matter. This “ready posture” is akin to the sprinters ready position at the starting blocks and is called an “intention movement” because it tells us what someone wishes to do. The hands are placed on the legs or knees and the body leans forward ready to spring up and close a deal, or any other action that is being presented. It can also be done by placing the hands on the chair, arm rest or hands on the knees. While standing, the ready position is taken up by placing the hands on the hips. The eyes can also play a role in ready language as they make frequent and repetitive ganders to where a person is thinking, or where they would like to be.

In a business meeting or on a sales call, the ready position indicates that it’s time to stop talking and time to start closing, and that any agreement related to the conversation previous is likely to be accepted. Leaning forward not only means readiness, it sometimes means general interest. For example, a conversation taking place between friends containing some juicy gossiping or with an enthralling storyline, will have each party up “at the edge of their seats” and engaged in the conversation seemingly hanging onto every word. Other times, leaning language means that someone is late and needs to leave, or is bored and ready to go. The opposite position, meaning backwards leaning shows the reverse. It shows a detachment from the topic or from the speaker but can also indicate a high degree of comfort or relaxation where someone wishes not to leave. To uncover the true meaning behind leaning it will be a matter of tracking down additional cues to produce a cluster, and then matching this cluster with the context. The torso, however, is a great place to look to uncover where someone wants to go; it usually points directly to it.

A final ready posture that tells us someone wants to leave happens by propping the body up and coiling the legs underneath in a seated position. Uncrossing the legs and getting them underneath the weight of the body, shows body language readers that someone is ready to pick themselves up. This type of body language is a “leading gesture” because it is a predictor of what is about to happen. The body can also be tensed up or fidget so as to ready itself even more, and be moving away from what would normally be perceived to be the centre of attention. When people want to leave, their body begins to lean toward the exit, but even if their torso’s don’t, their feet will betray them by being extended forward. Additional ready gestures include straightening clothing, arranging or organizing papers, grabbing bags and so forth. These last cues, like the others, indicate an effort to get things going.

Power Sitting For Women – What To Do, What To Avoid

Women in the workplace are always walking a thin line between their sexuality and authority. Women all know that their looks can be used to manipulate others around them, especially men, however physical attractiveness in the workplace has been repeatedly shown to lead others to dismiss women’s thoughts. However, one way women can combat this and still maintain their sexuality is as follows: sit with legs crossed leg over knee and have the high heel pointed horizontally at someone they wish to intimidate. Most dominant cues that work for men, such as the full body steeple, are ineffective when used by women. However, the heel is something men don’t have so it doesn’t come across as being a typically dominant male gesture. The heel acts like a dagger against its prey and neutralizes it. The posture shows assertiveness and that she is willing and able to emasculate men.

One sitting position women should particularly avoid is sitting with arms up and behind the head in the full steeple position as mentioned. This posture has the effect of putting the breasts on full display which counteracts any dominant aspects it might otherwise impart. Even having the legs crossed in the figure four looks odd when performed by women. A crotch display is not effective for women as it is for men, so it should be eliminated altogether. Hand steepling is another gender neutral dominance stance and can be used with effectiveness. Women want to pick up cues that suite their overall personality without putting people off. Assertive women often described as “bitchy” to others, usually because they take things too far. Women seeking powerful positions often think they need to go over-the-top because the fear being discounted. However, this isn’t so, and like men, need to balance being dominant and “mean” and demonstrating leadership qualities.

The Ten Steps To Intimacy

When men and women initiate intimacy they always follow a very specific pattern. While the list isn’t entirely rigid it represents the most universally comfortable way men and women come together. There are cases when some of the steps are skipped, but in most cases, they are simply accelerated making it appear as though steps went missing. While I have no experience with adult movies, I have been told that even therein, men and women follow these steps closely. Here are the ten steps to creating intimacy.

The arm over the shoulder is in

Hand touches shoulder. This form of touching is risky because it implies
some from of connection. If absent, can still be rebuffed with minimal damage and embarrassment, but still breaches personal space boundaries.

[A] Eye to body. The eyes first make contact with the lower part of the body, but hit the face in general, the assets – buttocks and crotch, chest or breast, the legs of women and the overall build of men. If both see mutual attraction they continue to the next step.
[B] Eye to eye. Mutual eye contact is established which includes a long intimate gaze where the eyes travel over the face including the lips.
[C] Hand touches hand. Light touching of the hand, or hand-holding is often the first way distance is breeched. The hand is intimate, yet risk-free, unlike say the breasts or the genitals! Other acceptable first touches include incidental touches such as an elbow, forearm or task directed actions such as helping to put on a coat.
[D] Hand touches shoulder. This form of touching is risky because it implies
some from of connection. If absent, can still be rebuffed with minimal damage and embarrassment, but still breaches personal space boundaries.
[E] Arm encircles waist. In this step, the arm is lowered closer to the genitals so is more intimate. This form of touching, since it requires permission and attraction, which may or may not be present, is highly risky and can spell disaster if not welcomed. However, if it is accepted, it can be used as a test to move quickly to the following step.
[F] Mouth touches mouth. This step is fairly self explanatory but is a huge milestone in a relationship. Most women remember their first kiss long after men do, but even if men forget the exact details after some time, they will always recall their conquest! When two people kiss they exchange a lot more than just spit. Chemicals in the saliva are linked to taste and if things don’t jive at this moment, everything can unravel, and quickly. Women are often heard saying “things weren’t right” or that “he was a bad kisser” and it usually has to do with pheromones they find unattractive, rather than his lack of skill. Women will let men they find attractive kiss sloppily, but mediocre men need to perform at a higher level while kissing! It has been postulated by researchers that if the unique chemical signature of men and women is too closely alike, attraction fails to materialize, most probably due to a desire to avoid inbreeding. Family members carry similar genes and therefore give off similar odors signatures and so kissing is one way to test things out before getting too heavy.
[G] Hand touches head. The head is a vulnerable part of the body so we only allow those we really trust to get close enough to play with our hair or ears or whatever. Touching and stroking the hair, plays an intimate and important role in kissing, especially the good kind of kissing.
[H] Hand touches body. Having passed all the tests listed above, couples will permit each other to explore various parts of their body, at the exclusion of the breasts and crotch and usually touching happens over the clothes. Sometimes brief forays may be permitted, but this sort of intimacy still requires caution. Touching includes stroking, fondling, tickling, caressing and are precursors to sexual intimacy. If all goes well, both bodies will become aroused to the point of no return, pushing them into the next step.
[J] Mouth touches body. Included in this step is hand under clothing. Usually either mouth or hands are permitted to touch the body. This step opens up fondling of the breasts under the clothes, and usually even permits the touching of the genitals over the clothes.
[K] Hand caresses genitals and genitals touches genitals. From steps H onward, body language lacks a visual component and so people usually dim the lights, turn them out altogether or close their eyes so they can eliminate distraction and shift their focus onto their sense of touch and smell. Intercourse is a primal activity so requires just the right ingredients in just the right ratios to work. If something isn’t quite right, then the sequence can be broken at any one stage, even at the last minute, or so I’m told!

The Dominant Male Stance

An alpha posture takes up space as if he's in his own living room.

An alpha posture takes up space as if he’s in his own living room.

Whenever not in motion, men should keep both feet flat on the ground with their arms to their sides and their weight even across both feet. Men should do their best to avoid placing their hands in their pockets as it comes across as dishonest as though they have something to hide. The hips should be forced forward slight, with the legs just wider than shoulder width. Men might also wish to extend a foot in the direction of the woman of interest to give her a subtle cue of interest.

It is paramount that men avoid leaning up against objects or walls and using them as a crutch. Confident men will appear relaxed, calm and grounded, without the help of chairs, walls or other crutch-like-objects to fiddle with and occupy their hands. Men should also avoid standing or sitting in the same position for too long. Rather, they should move confidently about the room and explore all aspects of their territory making themselves at home.

Who Is In Charge Of Mirroring?

An employee enters his boss’s office as he has called a meeting to discuss the possibility of a pay raise. The employee sits down and raises his case. He has been there for several years and feels that he is due for some form of compensation for his loyalty. As he states his case, the subordinate employee appropriately mirrors his boss’s subtle nuances, he touches his face when he does and fixes his hair, and leans forward when he does. As the employee hits on a particularly sensitive issue, his overtime commitment, which the boss has been firm about being nearly mandatory for the position, the boss quickly moves back into a full body steeple by leaning back with his hands locked behind his head and crosses his legs in a figure four. What should the employee do? The answer is simple, he should concede this stance to his boss as its obvious through his body language that he’s not willing to let this issue slide. When it comes to mirroring, it is always best to use it for rapport building, and not to induce hostility. The boss wins when it comes to dominance and should the employee mirror his steeple, would suffer, perhaps not immediately but at a subconscious level this body language will grind on his boss. Eventually, and if repeated with consistency, the boss would sense something wasn’t right which might lead to even worse hours or job details. The boss would only perceive his negative feelings about his employee as “dislike” or that “something isn’t quite right.” If the goal was to usurp his position and take his job, the employee might consider mirroring his stance to set an air of equality or superiority. Similarly, two high ranking individuals should mirror each other to signal that they hold similar power and won’t be easily pushed over.

A dominant person always has more choice when it comes to mirroring than less dominant people. A boss that wants to build rapport with his employee can acceptably let his guard down and mirror his actions. This can be particularly handy when the goal is to welcome a new worker whom is particularly tense or nervous. The boss should still refrain from picking up nervous cues, but he should feel welcome to mirror any other gesture. Therefore, when considering the use of mirroring, it is important to note the relative status in the hierarchy. The rule of thumb is that the most dominant individual calls the shots in mirroring, and so long as gestures aren’t dominant displays, others should feel free to follow to successfully build rapport.

Blocking Behaviour

An arm cups a drink and draws in in closer while forming a shield as protection.

An arm cups a drink and draws in in closer while forming a shield as protection.

Blocking is a term used to describe when a person wishes to distance themselves from a distressing stimulus. Blocking is a part of the fight or flight response, and takes the form of the flight element because it creates distance between things we wish to avoid.

“Eye blocking” happens by covering the eyes either wholly or in part. When viewing disturbing images on the movie screen or even in real life, people will bring both hands up to cover their eyes or will bring them to the sides of their eyes like the blinders used on horses to keep them from being distracted. However, in this case the blinders are a nonverbal signal meant to cut something off from view instead of driving focus on them. What is being said is “Oh my dear, I can’t believe what I’m seeing.” Eye blocking is not just limited to things seen, it can be the results of hearing undesirable things as well. Blocking can be abbreviated as when one or both hands come up to rub the eyes, or seem to pinch the eyes from corner to center with just one hand. Other times, the hand comes up and covers the eyes in part, with a partly clustered set of fingers so that view isn’t entirely obstructed. This might appear as though the person is thinking, but no thought is going, just a desire to look away. Blocking can be done by briefly touching one eye with the index and middle finger in response to hearing something negative, by closing the eyelids for a longer than normal duration or more dramatically by closing them tightly in response to hearing some particularly distasteful. Blocking can also be done with books, articles of clothing or any other object.

These legs are interested - note how they are crossed toward rather than away.

These legs are interested – note how they are crossed toward rather than away.

Blocking can happen through the creation distance and also with arms and legs. For example, it is common for people to move away from things, and people they don’t like, and move closer to things and people they do like. We might see distance forming when a particularly bad offer is tabled at a boardroom between competing firms. The contract might be shoved away, or parties might lean away from the table or away from the speaker or the feet might be moved toward the nearest exit. We call this type of body language “distancing language.” The legs might be crossed away from detestable people, so the outer part of the leg cuts off access to the ventral (the vulnerable) part of the body. In an extreme version, the arms can grab the ankle when crossed away so as to lock it in place. This is an unmistakable signal of rejection through it’s denial of access. The hands also display like and dislike. When a couple is in disagreement they will be seen moving their hands away from their spouse, usually off the table and onto their laps and when they agree their hands will be brought back up or moved closer. These sorts of general agreement indicators happen free-flow in real time so they reflect the true sentiment and the stimulus that has caused it.

The Military Man

The 'military' or 'regal' stance occurs when the hands are clasped behind the back.  This high confidence posture was made popular by royalty.

The ‘military’ or ‘regal’ stance occurs when the hands are clasped behind the back. This high confidence posture was made popular by royalty.

The “military man” sometimes called the “regal stance” when carried by royalty is a posture that occurs by placing the hands, palm in palm behind the back openly exposing the chest, usually accompanied by chin up and out, and head held back. The hand gripping the wrist or upper arm in behind the back sends an emotional message of frustration and an attempt at self control, but forms no part of what is said by the military man. Usually the feet of the military man are splayed outward so as to take up more space and dominance, which is opposite to tibial torsion when the toes point inward to signal submission. When the feet are turned outward, they indicate that a person is upset, being threatened or is threatening others. When it comes to the feet, the wider the feet are spread the more confrontation is displayed since when people ready to fight, they wish to carry a more balanced stance to avoid getting knocked over. In other words, legs will never be crossed during confrontation for the simple fact that it becomes much more difficult to escape an attack or fight a battle. Subconsciously our brains know this well, so won’t permit it. Likewise, as people become less agreeable their feet will become more spaced out. Therefore, as a way to reduce tension during conflict, adopt a less splayed posture, or even keep the legs crossed showing a lack of desire to compete.

The military man posture is reserved almost exclusively for dominant individuals, leaders, and those of high status and others who expect little or no challenge whatsoever of their authority. It is popular among lawyers, doctors, university professors, policemen or high ranking military personnel such as sergeants. Those in the military can be seen competing within rank by ever increasing leg splaying. It can also be found in (over) confident store clerks, oddly enough, who parade their booths during slow periods presumably seeking someone to commerce with. Power is nearly the exclusive meaning delivered by the posture as it exposes the full front of the body to possible attack; even invites it with an extended pointed chin. The message is also one that says “Don’t come near me, I’m important and I shouldn’t be touched!” The Queen of England and Prince Philip are noted with this body language due to their high rank and importance.

A challenge to fight - the chin pops out tempting our opponent.

A challenge to fight – the chin pops out tempting our opponent.

Boxers learn early on to tuck their chins down to protect it, as it is the easiest way to produce a knock out, opposite to the military man. The chin blow is so devastating in combat because when the jaw is hit hard enough with the right technique, it slams directly into the temporal mandibular nerve producing shock. Not to mention the fact that hard punches sloshes the brain violently around inside the skull cavity which can lead to internal bleeding and swelling. The wiring-our nervous system, is very complicated and also interconnected so a blow to one nerve can send shockwaves throughout the body. This nerve in particular, while vulnerable, also controls the lips, sinuses and digestion among others. Hitting it hard and suddenly is effectively like putting the body into sensory overload causing it to suddenly shut down. In fact, successful boxers want what is called “good chin” or the ability to repeatedly endure blows to the head and chin without passing out. The military man, on the other hand, is one who dares someone to attack their chins by making it an overt target. He says, “Go ahead take a swipe, see what it gets you in return.”

Other times, the military man posture is intended to show a readiness to be open an inviting, although it fails in this regard. We’ve all avoided the eerily empty mall shop whose underpaid employee or distraught owner paces to and fro with his hands to his back. One has to wonder if the empty shop is the cause or effect. Does the body language repel customers or does the body language come from being repelled by customers? I suspect the latter, but this represents my body language bias. Naturally, the clerks would be served well to drop the posture altogether and instead offer something more welcoming.

Police use the military-man posture to put their confidence on display. They know their uniform, badge, and the law they serve, protects them from challenges. School principals and teachers who want to set a strong first impression can also be seen touring their territory with their arms to their backs. My high school principle, in retrospect was mild mannered and quiet, he used his posture to show others he meant business. The next principle, much younger and green, faired far worse in maintaining order. He used his mouth far too often to try to set his tone which merely invited attacks. Evolutionarily speaking the military man is a strutting posture and so it can preemptively avoid potentially harmful physical show-downs between rival men. Other possible root origins stem from its concealment properties. In other words, a spear, knife or other makeshift sharp object might be cocked at the ready to be sprung on unsuspecting challengers – you’d never know, so why risk it! If you had no other choice, would you physically jump a confident looking authority figure or the man hunched over who avoids eye contact? In other words, sometimes the military man posture makes great sense.

The Cowboy Pose

The cowboy has all fingers "drawn" - so you check 'it' out.

The cowboy has all fingers “drawn” – so you check ‘it’ out.

The cowboy pose happens by placing the thumbs in the belt loops with the remaining fingers pointed downwards towards the crotch. Popularized by old western movies cowboys would use a combination of this posture and the hands-on-hips (or gun) posture to show how macho they were. Because it draws attention once again to the crotch, it is rarely used by women. Women tend to have to use less aggressive, yet more sensual means to show off, such as thrusting their chest outward by rolling their shoulders back, or parting the legs slightly leaving them uncrossed. When amongst other men, the cowboy pose says that they are unafraid and can dominate. This posture is tolerable as a dominance display in men because it lacks the pompousness we can sometimes find coming from in-your-face displays. The cowboy pose is equal to the figure-four-leg cross with respect to perception by others and use acceptability. This not withstanding, the posture still needs to be used with caution.