Friday, November 09, 2007

Natural leader? No, I just pretend to be one...

Some people are always listened to. What they say matter, and everyone pays attention whenever they speak.

Why is that so? There’s an air of authority about their every words and actions, which helps them in getting their point across, when others would not even be heard.

In short, they are what you and I would call “Natural Leaders.”

I am not one of those people – I wasn’t born super-confident – so I took some time to study man and women who naturally command respect, in order to learn their secrets and get the results I wanted in my own life.

The experiment has worked well: today my behavior has changed - though I’m still me - and I have finally been offered the job I had been wanting for the last three years.

I should come clean with you – I haven’t discovered any secrets… – only well known habits which increase their effectiveness exponentially when applied all together.

If you are not a “Natural Leader”, the good news is that a confident behavior can be learned: read the tips below and start immediately to practice those which feel ok with you. Results will soon follow...


- Stand tall: keeping your shoulders pushed back will lend you an air of confidence.
- Spread your weight evenly on both feet instead of leaning only on one.
- Try standing with your arms crossed behind your back. Your shoulders will get pulled back automatically.
- Don’t stand with your hands on your hips if you don’t want to come across as confrontational.
- Don’t lean against walls or tables. You’ll appear tired and lazy.

What are you looking at?

- Look directly at the person you are talking to in order to exude confidence. If you turn away from the person you’re talking to in the middle of the conversation, you’ll show you’re not interested.
- Look straight in front of you: looking down might be interpreted as shyness, looking slightly upward could be perceived as arrogance. Finally, if you wear glasses, don’t look over the rim. It makes you look condescending.
- Don’t look at your watch unless you want to appear as if you’re in a rush.
- Don’t rub your eyes with your hands: it signals disbelief at the situation.
- Keeping your eyes on the door will show that you’re ready to leave the room.

When you are sitting…

- Sit straight so that your shoulders almost touch the back of your chair.
- Rest your hands on the arms of your chair, place them on your knees, or fold them on your lap so that they are not a distraction.
- Make sure your chair is positioned so you’re facing the person you’re talking to. This will show that you’re engaged in what they are saying.
- Lean slightly forward to appear interested in a conversation and stress what you’re saying.
- Don’t tilt your chair back so that it’s standing on two legs. This shows a very casual, laid back attitude and does not earn you respect. You also run the risk of looking silly when you accidentally fall backwards.
- Stretching your legs out shows you’re too relaxed and may also invade others’ personal space.
- Never put your feet up on the desk in front of you. You don’t want to come across as condescending.

Head and Face

- Tilting your head to one side during a conversation shows you’re interested and thinking about what’s being said.
- Be sure to nod your head so the person you’re speaking with knows you’re listening and interested.
- A blank face conveys either disinterest or a lack of understanding.

What are you doing with your hands?

- If seated, place your hands on armrest or on your laps ; if standing still, try holding your hands behind your back. Break such standard position whenever needed, and then return to it as soon as you can. - Open, face-up palms signal honesty and straightforwardness.
- Gesturing with your arms can help you making a point, but doing it excessively can became distracting.
- Make sure your palms are clean and dry. Sweaty palms indicate nervousness and are a turn off for most people.
- Never point at someone, be it the person talking to you or anyone else in the room. It’s rude.
- Don’t scratch your head. You’ll come across as being unsure of yourself.
- Don’t tap your fingers on a table or arms of a chair; you’ll seem anxious.
- Don’t run your fingers through your hair. It shows frustration.
- Never bite your nails. It will make you seem nervous.
- Don’t fidget with objects lying on the table in front of you.
- Don’t sit with your palms on your cheeks. It shows you’re deep in thought about something else.
- Do not wipe your palms on your clothing. Use a handkerchief instead.
- Don’t play or fidget with your mobile phone when someone’s talking to you. It shows avoidance and a lack of interest.
- Don’t touch your nose, play with your hair, or rub your eyes when you’re being asked for an honest answer. They’re all signs that say you’re lying.
- Keep your fingernails clean. Close cropped nails show you’re neat and orderly, but if you prefer to wear them long, make sure they’re groomed neatly.

Last but not Least…

- If the situation calls for paperwork, be sure to keep your papers in order with easy access to avoid looking disorganized.
- Removing your tie, top button, or jacket to indicate you’re getting comfortable in your surroundings.
- Open doors and allow others to walk before you.
- Cough and sneeze into your hands or a handkerchief, not into the face of the people around you.
- Additionally, try videotaping your actions so you can find out where you’re going wrong. I know, it sound weird, but it is amazingly effective.
- Look good. You don’t have to be conventionally handsome or beautiful; it’s enough to dress neatly in clothes that suit both you and the occasion.
- Smell good. Use deodorant and perfume, but go easy on it. You don’t want to overpower the room with your scent.
- Wear footwear that allows you to walk comfortably to avoid making a fool of yourself.
- Avoid revealing, dirty or wrinkled clothing.
- And finally, remember to smile. Smiles are contagious.

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