Body Language & Leadership Presence

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Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.

Lately, unsurprisingly, I have had increased interest in how to use body language when on a Zoom meeting. Here’s a link to an article from TechRepublic quoting me on the topic. And if you want a broader body language perspective, take a look at my LinkedInLearning course: Body Language for Leaders.

Virtually or in person, people evaluate your leadership presence not only by what you say, but how you sound when you say it (people’s brains register your vocal prosody before they evaluate the words you speak) and how your nonverbal signals support or weaken your verbal message.

Many leaders are non-verbally illiterate – completely out of touch with the effect their body language has on others and unaware of the clear nonverbal signals being sent by clients and colleagues in every business encounter. The human brain is hard-wired to read and respond to these signals, although some leaders don’t know that the process is taking place and are unequipped, therefore, to use it to their advantage.

That’s changing.  Today, body language coaching is my most requested service.

Body language savvy is becoming a key part of a leader’s personal brand. Powerful people sit, stand, walk and gesture in ways that exude confidence, competence and status. The most effective leaders also send nonverbal signals of warmth and empathy – especially when nurturing collaborative environments, acknowledging people’s emotions in a Covid reality, and managing change.

I’ve been awed by the impact that body language has on leadership presence. I’ve seen first-hand how nonverbal signals can literally make or break a leader’s ability to be perceived as the talented, confident, compassionate leader he or she authentically is.

Please send me your questions, comments, success stories and lessons learned. I’d love to hear from you and to help you position yourself for the next job, project, or promotion.

An offer from my publisher: My new book, STAND OUT: How to Build Your Leadership Presence, will be released in September. For a 20% discount, along with free shipping to the UK and US, go to www.koganpage.com and enter the code: KOGANPAGE20. (Note: The code will not work on Amazon.)

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