The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt - How You LeadBody language is the management of time, space, appearance, posture, gesture, vocal prosody, touch, facial expression, and eye contact. Based on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology we can now prove that body language is crucial to leadership effectiveness – and Carol Kinsey Goman's latest book will show you exactly how it impacts a leader’s ability to negotiate, manage change, build trust, project charisma, and promote collaboration.
Carol Kinsey Goman
Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is an executive coach, author and keynote speaker who addresses association, government, and business audiences around the world. Her latest book and program topic is THE SILENT LANGUAGE OF LEADERS: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt - How You Lead.
Smile Power--Your Secret to Success
Smiles have a powerful effect on all of us. The human brain prefers happy faces, recognizing them more quickly than those with negative expressions. Smiles are such an important part of communication that we spot a smile at 300 feet -- the length of a football field.
Smiles can also be your secret to success. Here are five reasons to activate your smile power:
1. You’ll feel better – even if you fake it
We all use the fake smile in business settings when we don’t really feel an emotional closeness to those around us; the real smile is reserved for those we truly care about. And we’ve had a lot of practice doing this. We’ve been displaying both real and fake smiles all of our lives. A fake smile is easy to produce. It takes only one set of muscles to stretch the lip corners sideways and create a grin.
Why do some people make a lasting impression while others are quite forgettable? The answer may be in their smile.
Research from Duke University proves that we like and remember those who smile at us – and shows why we find them more memorable. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the Duke researchers found that the orbitofrontal cortices (a “reward center” in the brain) were more active when subjects were learning and recalling the names of smiling individuals.
3. You’ll encourage collaboration
According to research conducted reported by the British Psychological Society, positive and negative emotional responses systematically alter the use of language. Speak to a positive listener and people will likely use more abstractions and subjective impressions. But if people talk to a negative listener, they’ll probably stick to the relative security of objective facts and concrete details.
Researchers speculate that this is because the smiles and nods of a positive listener are interpreted as a sign of agreement and understanding, encouraging the speaker to provide more of their own opinions and speculations. By contrast, negative listeners provoke speakers to adopt a more hesitant and cautious thinking style.
4. You’ll improve your productivity
Some nonverbal behaviors can bring out the best in people. Smiling is one of them, as it directly influences how other people respond. When you smile at someone, they almost always smile in return. And, because facial expressions trigger corresponding feelings, the smile you get back actually changes that person’s emotional state in a positive way.
And if you ever go to trial, keep this in mind: Although courtroom judges are equally likely to find smilers and non-smilers guilty, they tend to give smilers lighter penalties, a phenomenon called the “smile-leniency effect.”
Want to brighten your mood, make a lasting impression, encourage collaboration, lighten your work load, and positively influence others? Then smile – really smile. Think of someone who genuinely amuses or delights you. But if you can’t do that, then fake it . . . or hold a pencil in your mouth.
© 2010 Carol Kinsey Goman