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Body language: How to use gestures to look confident

Men and women have been known to communicate through gestures in completely different ways. This is addressed further in the course. Your gestures can leave an impression that you are either strong or cowardly.  What's more, they can also affect the impression that you have of yourself. Effective non-verbal communication can be taught.

MBA study of gestures

One of the courses included in the Interactive Online MBA program at LIGS University is Communication. It teaches managers how to act with confidence, and it focuses on the personal development of both future and current managers. A portion of the course covers non-verbal communication – how gestures should be used to manage people and how to send the right signals to those who are around you.

One of the program elective courses – Recruitment and Selection of Employees will teach you how to plan and lead a job interview. It will show you what the benefits of assessment centers in recruiting are and how to detect a candidate’s mood based on his gestures and non-verbal communication.

You will be able to recognize confident and sought after managers according to their gestures. These people give themselves away not only by their appearance but also their behavior:

  • They act confidently and actively. They are not afraid to be present.
  • They look you right in the eyes when they speak to you and actively seek eye contact with all other parties involved.
  • They smile.
  • They have an upright posture, their legs are not together or crossed, and they maintain their personal space by moving their arms while communicating.

Tips on how to appear confident

How can you project confidence to those around you?

Taking up a lot of space is important. For example, it is not enough to just stand really straight, but to also take a wide stance. Depending on your height, an appropriate straddle width should be slightly less than a half of meter.

Put your hands on your hips. You will appear secure and determined to confront challenges. Another dominant and confident look is to stand with your hands in your pockets while only your thumbs are out and pointed down.

Crossed arms are a disapproving signal that show people that you are a closed off person. If you combine it with an upright posture and legs apart, you will give people the negative impression that you are aggressive. That stance could prove useful if you are trying to send a signal to your competition that you are serious.

Other signs of confidence – sitting with your hands behind your back and having your legs crossed, or having your hands in the steeple position either on the table or in your lap.

Even though one's body language is mostly innate, it is possible to improve and train it. The key is being aware of the signals that we send to our surroundings, and being able to change them depending on the message we want to send to others. If people want to control their body language, they have a better chance of being successful. It's important not only to be able to back up our words with the right gestures and posture but also to be able to decode the messages of other people’s non-verbal communication correctly.

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