What does your body language say about your business? Does your posture undercut or serve your messaging? How do you hold yourself in the boardroom, with clients, when networking?
If you haven't considered these questions, you might be in need of some Body Branding.
Body Branding is a process by which you can become aware of how your postural, gestural, and expressive habits interact with your efforts to communicate with co-workers and customers and retrain these habits to align with your goals and vision.
An example--is you brand meant to engender trust, but when you speak to people you lean back with your weight on your heels, your chest out, and your body gently falling backwards? This might have an unintended distancing effect that will make clients feel uncomfortable with you without knowing why.
Or when you try to appear confident, do you push your body up, gesture out, and lean in towards them? All of these indicate insecurity and aggression and will unconsciously undercut your intent.
These are negative examples, but when your Body Branding is on point it can be a powerful tool for converting sales, building relationships, and being comfortable in your own skin. If you want to feel relatable speaking to a small room, try sitting instead of standing, turn the chair backwards, lean gently forward and allow a slight rounding in your back. You will effortlessly project intimacy and sincerity.
One of the reasons why strategies like this have an impact is because of the primal social cues we send using our body (hence the old adage that communication is 90% non-verbal). Another reason is because of mirror neurons--when we interact with someone, our brains literally 'try on' their body language to see how it feels and reads intent using it. Both of these things have an out sized effect on your personal brand and how it interacts with your larger message.
It only takes a few coaching sessions to create and implement a personal strategy to get your body on board. It is important to know that it is not just about knowing the right and wrong things to do--it is about rewiring your habits and making them animated and flexible so they won't appear stiff and uninviting. Though in person sessions are always the best option as they allow us to use bodywork to assist the habit change, online lessons are a great way to get coaching on this if you are a busy professional without a lot of extra time on your hands.
Whether you take on this work or not, I hope this gives you some food for thought on how you show up in the world.
Thoughts on what is going on in the work and the world right now. Many posts to come.