Women are often raised to take up less space, to be nice and low key, and to bite our tongues. But if we want to navigate the workplace with any success, we have to throw all of those suppressive behaviors out the door. And while society does correlate power and success, you don’t necessarily need success to command respect. Use your body language as an asset, and you’ll look and feel more powerful everyday.
Own The Room
When you walk into a room, bring all your energy and focus with you. Rather than hiding behind a phone or waiting in a corner, put on your best smile (fake it til you make it works here), make eye contact and greet people as you see them. Harnessing your energy goes a long way toward expressing confidence and building rapport.
Be Conscious of Body Language
Body language allows us to tell people how we feel without using any words. For example, our feet serve as a primary reflection of how we are feeling. If you are conversing with someone and your feet are pointed at each other, it means that you’re both interested in the conversation. On the other hand, if your body is pointing away, it can indicate a lack of interest in the person or topic of discussion. Be aware of how you’re positioned to ensure you’re sending the right message.
Before you walk into an important meeting or presentation, put your palms together in front of your chest and press your fingers together: this is the steeple. This small hand gesture is known to increase confidence and denotes self-assuredness. Give it a try and tell me you don’t feel strong before walking in that door!
Take Up Space
Women will typically try to be as unobtrusive as possible, making their bodies smaller with arms folded and legs crossed and even a tilted head (a sign of submission). Instead, plant both feet on the ground and stand straight and tall. This is considered a pose of power, which not only expresses confidence but also induces it.