15 Body Language Secrets of Successful People

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Our bodies have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. Your body language has likely become an integral part of who you are, to the point where you might not even think about it.

If that’s the case, it’s time to start, because you could be sabotaging your career.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). These people know the power that unspoken signals have in communication and they monitor their own body language accordingly.

What follows are the 15 most common body language blunders that people make, and emotionally intelligent people are careful to avoid.

  1. Slouching is a sign of disrespect. It communicates that you’re bored and have no desire to be where you are. You would never tell your boss, “I don’t understand why I have to listen to you,” but if you slouch, you don’t have to—your body says it for you, loud and clear.

The brain is hardwired to equate power with the amount of space people take up. Standing up straight with your shoulders back is a power position. It maximizes the amount of space you fill. Slouching, on the other hand, is the result of collapsing your form—it takes up less space and projects less power.

Maintaining good posture commands respect and promotes engagement from both ends of the conversation.

  1. Exaggerated gestures can imply that you’re stretching the truth. Aim for small, controlled gestures to indicate leadership and confidence, and open gestures—like spreading your arms apart or showing the palms of your hands—to communicate that you have nothing to hide.
  2. Watching the clock while talking to someone is a clear sign of disrespect, impatience, and inflated ego. It sends the message that you have better things to do than talk to the person you’re with, and that you’re anxious to leave them.
  3. Turning yourself away from others, or not leaning into your conversation, portrays that you are unengaged, uninterested, uncomfortable, and perhaps even distrustful of the person speaking.

Try leaning in towards the person who is speaking and tilt your head slightly as you listen to them speak. This shows the person speaking that they have your complete focus and attention.

  1. Crossed arms—and crossed legs, to some degree—are physical barriers that suggest you’re not open to what the other person is saying. Even if you’re smiling or engaged in a pleasant conversation, the other person may get a nagging sense that you’re shutting him or her out.

Even if folding your arms feels comfortable, resist the urge to do so if you want people to see you as open-minded and interested in what they have to say.

  1. Inconsistency between your words and your facial expression causes people to sense that something isn’t right and they begin to suspect that you’re trying to deceive them, even if they don’t know exactly why or how.

For example, a nervous smile while rejecting an offer during a negotiation won’t help you get what you want; it will just make the other person feel uneasy about working with you because they’ll assume that you’re up to something.

  1. Exaggerated nodding signals anxiety about approval. People may perceive your heavy nods as an attempt to show you agree with or understand something that you actually don’t.


  1. Fidgeting with or fixing your hair signals that you’re anxious, over-energized, self-conscious, and distracted. People will perceive you as overly concerned with your physical appearance and not concerned enough with your career.
  2. Avoiding eye contact makes it look like you have something to hide, and that arouses suspicion. Lack of eye contact can also indicate a lack of confidence and interest, which you never want to communicate in a business setting.

Looking down as you talk makes it seem like you lack confidence or are self-conscious, causing your words to lose their effect. It’s especially important to keep your eyes level if you’re making complicated or important points.

Sustained eye contact, on the other hand, communicates confidence, leadership, strength, and intelligence. While it is possible to be engaged without direct, constant eye contact, complete negligence will clearly have negative effects on your professional relationships.

  1. Eye contact that’s too intense may be perceived as aggressive, or an attempt to dominate. On average, Americans hold eye contact for seven to ten seconds, longer when we’re listening than when we’re talking. The way we break contact sends a message, too. Glancing down communicates submission, while looking to the side projects confidence.
  2. Rolling your eyes is a fail-proof way to communicate lack of respect. Fortunately, while it may be a habit, it’s voluntary. You can control it, and it’s worth the effort.
  3. Scowling or having a generally unhappy expression sends the message that you’re upset by those around you, even if they have nothing to do with your mood. Scowls turn people away, as they feel judged.

Smiling, however, suggests that you’re open, trustworthy, confident, and friendly. MRI studies have shown that the human brain responds favorably to a person who’s smiling, and this leaves a lasting positive impression.

  1. Weak handshakes signal that you lack authority and confidence, while a handshake that is too strong could be perceived as an aggressive attempt at domination, which is just as bad. Adapt your handshake to each person and situation, but make sure it’s always firm.
  2. Clenched fists, much like crossed arms and legs, can signal that you’re not open to other people’s points. It can also make you look argumentative and defensive, which will make people nervous about interacting with you.
  3. Getting too close. If you stand too close to someone (nearer than one and a half feet), it signals that you have no respect for or understanding of personal space. This will make people very uncomfortable when they’re around you.

Bringing It All Together

Avoiding these body language blunders will help you form stronger relationships, both professionally and personally.

By Dr. Travis Bradberry

How to Find a Good Professional Team Builder

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Utilizing a professional team builder to help manage your team and bring everyone on the same page can be an excellent way to boost morale, focus on the task at hand and get everyone working together. Finding the right professional motivational speaker doesn’t have to be a mind game of searches online. If you live in the Charlotte NC area all the way up to Washington DC, Leaders Speakers helps with public speaking and presentations, team building and time management skills. Whether it’s personal or business, Leaders Speakers is your key to gaining more business and helping your team succeed in the workplace. How to Find a Good Professional Team Builder

There is a difference between leadership and management: Management has been said is doing things right while leadership is doing the right things. They are quite different and if you are an employer you  may be looking for a manager instead of a leader or vice versa. Knowing the difference is the key to placing people where they belong and flourish.

Managers tend to have their focus on the bottom line while leaders look to the future and may not have all the micro pieces in place. Managers are usually good at small tasks and keeping the existing goal the same while leaders look into the future of the company or particular project and inspire those around them, boosting personal growth.

As an employee you may need help in identifying the leaders from the managers and making sure each has their specific role. This is where Leaders Speakers come in. We can help identify those in the field and place people where they can use their individual skills and talents to flourish the company and themselves. No one wants to be put in an environment that is out of their realm of knowledge or talent and even if they are pushed a little, if it’s not their gift, it’s just not their gift.

If you are looking for a great team building and employer/employee management course, contact Leaders Speakers. With excellent training, skills, experience and courses, we can help get your team where they need to be – striving for the common goal and excellence in their field.

Give us a call today to learn more and if you qualify for our summer special!

North Carolina Association of Community College Business Office Professionals Team Building Event – Charlotte NC – May 19, 2015


Team Building Exercises for Meetings

The North Carolina Association of Community College Business Office Professionals was planning on having their semi – annual conference in Charlotte NC on May 19, 2015 at the University Hilton. 20150519_145208They had found and chose Leaders Speakers who specializes in Corporate Team Building Activities for Adults, had the perfect team building activity for adults to refresh and enrich the community College Administrators that attended the 2 day conference. The CEO of NCCBO contacted Leaders Speakers and described his needs and was immediately impressed with the of Bicycles Built By You ™ team building activity that would not only provide a fun and energetic event but would also include valuable key team building skills that would provide a great take away!

Fun Bonding Activities for Adults

The group of 60 participants entered the room and participated in a team building skills memory exercise, that amazed the group how learning new methods can vastly improve human potential. The eager participants were then split up and divided in to groups. Since all participants were gathered from around the state this gave them a chance to meet and engage with their counterparts for the first time, you could see the excitement radiate throughout the venue. The group’s were tasked was to come up with a team name, team cheer and team flag with craft materials that were provided for each table. The groups had an allotted time to come up with identities as to exercise efficiency and organization. When the allotted time was up the groups had to perform a stand – alone team cheer in which they were awarded a head start to build the bikes for their performance if they won according to the panel of judges”It was like the American Idol “the way performed competitively and put on some very creative and enthusiastic performances.

Fun Work Team Building Games For Charity 

The groups then reassembled at their tables and were given an envelope with various questions that would test their knowledge in many areas, the smartest groups utilized individual team members strengths to solve the questions quicker , then brought their answers up to the panel of judges that would award them a bike part for each correct answer. The teams were racing up to the judges anxious to turn in their answers for the bike parts needed to build a full bike; this fuels the competition and excitement of the event. After all groups completed assembling their bikes, the local Boys and Girls club was invited to come in at the end of the event to receive the completed bikes for the children in their after school programs. In the end the teams learned that valuable team building skills normally taken for granted, like cooperation and proper delegation of duties were essential to a winning organization.