Monday, April 22, 2013

Body Language

This isn’t a post on your brand or resume (too much), but it is something to think about. I don’t know that you need to be overly concerned, but I’d think it over.

Years ago I read a few books on management and leadership. One of the items that stood out to me, and still does, is that crossing your arms is a defensive posture. It conveys the idea that you are opposed to some item being discussed or talked about. There is some subtle psychological thing that happens when we get upset or angry, and crossing arms is one of those unconscious things we do. Research has shown this is often the case, though not always.

A ran across a piece recently (from Brent Ozar, PFL’s newsletter), that notes how your posture and pose can affect what people think. This could be important in interviews, and I know that I’m very conscious of when I cross my arms. I always stop and think if I’d upset or disagreeing with someone before I do it. I know I do it less, and try to make sure I voice or project my actual thoughts if I’m doing it because I just feel like it.

In an interview, or even when networking (meaning talking) with colleagues, I’m careful to try and pay attention and don’t send signals that might put someone off. That includes making eye contact, engaging, avoiding my phone, and not crossing my arms.

I’d encourage you to think about how you present yourself. Not that you adhere to any particular method, but you should just be aware of the way you appear. Think about it  and ensure it’s what you want.

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