Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Body Language

       In the Ted Talk Video by Amy Cuddy “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are,” she emphasizes how certain body positions can ultimately portray an individual and his or her characteristics. Also, it can determine how an individual’s life unfolds. Certain gestures of a handshake or lack of a handshake can determine an individual’s outwardly perception by people. Particular body positions or gestures can cause a decision on who is hired or promoted or who someone decides to ask out on a date. Furthermore, the video explains how a thirty second soundless video of a patient and physician interaction can greatly determine whether or not that physician is sued for malpractice. And, it does not even necessarily determine the physician’s competence. Also, just a one second of judgment of a political candidates’ face can predict seventy percent of the Senate and Gubernatorial race outcomes. These various examples of nonverbal expression show the importance of presenting oneself correctly and appropriately in certain circumstances and conditions. It is imperative that one conduct themselves accordingly to gain or achieve a desired outcome or emotion from an event, individual, or group.

       In addition to these examples of nonverbal expression, there are nonverbal expressions of power and dominance as well. By expanding, making oneself big, or stretching out, this can express a sense of power and dominance. Humans are not the only ones that exhibit this behavior. Members of the animal kingdom use this action to portray the feeling of power and dominance as well. A common example used by humans would be the opening of arms when crossing a finish line. In a study conducted of members with sight and some who are blind, both individuals showed the opening of the arms and chest to exhibit pride, dominance, and power. When feeling powerless, the opposite occurs. Individuals close themselves up and express a feeling or sense of power loss. Also, the holding of the neck exemplifies a sense of powerlessness. When humans interact, they tend to mirror the opposite effect. If one shows power, the other shows a sense of powerlessness.

       Moreover, graduate school MBA candidates have to keep this aspect in mind. Amy Cuddy emphasizes the importance and usage of nonverbal expressions. During these MBA classes, participation counts as half of the grade. Therefore, it is imperative that a classmate participate productively and effectively. Amy talks about how oftentimes women portray a sense of powerlessness amongst the group. They feel overpowered by the men, therefore, they close themselves off. This action needs to be avoided at all costs. In the business world and in the field of strategic communication, it is very important to take notice and use correct body language. This could serve as an overall deciding factor in the success or achievement one is looking to accomplish. 

       Furthermore, it is noted that our nonverbal language governs how people think and feel about us. This is very true in many circumstances. Even though someone might not be trying to express a certain attitude, emotion, or feeling, improper use of body language can ultimately cause the wrong idea, emotion, or thoughts about someone. Also, it is discussed that our minds change our bodies. This is very true, however, professionals should learn to avoid this behavior. In times of crisis, leaders should learn how to avoid showing signs of uncertainty, weakness, or hopelessness. This will lead to a chain reaction of emotions throughout the organization.

       Through the use of the above examples of nonverbal communication and their importance, one needs to adhere to a phrase used in the Ted Talk video by Amy Cuddy. "Do not fake it 'til you make, fake it until you become it." Through the use of effective nonverbal communication, an individual can gain particular advances. Correct nonverbal communication is a very important tool for strategic communication professionals to get ahead in their overall objective and professions. Knowing how to use body language correctly and appropriately can be a large factor in achieving an overall objective or avoiding negative occurrences.

        In addition to Amy Cuddy's talk, other professionals have identified correct ways to use or judge body language effectively and in a gainful manner. According to a New York Post article, there are many indicators which could help assist strategic communication professionals and others in gainful ways. Knowing how to recognize certain signs and indicators of others could assist in responding appropriately to other individuals. For example, recognizing a head tilt in a job interview is a very important sign to notice. This would indicate that the boss is showing interest. Eyes are an important factor to notice as well. If someone was asking a person a question, you might assume that they do not want to do what is asked. If the other person rub's their eyes when asked, then that action will indicate an underlying issue. Mouth movements are important as well. Biting of the lips can indicate someone is stressed. For the dating world, lips are an important sign to watch. When someone is close to another they like, blood rushes to the lips and gives them a puffy appearance. And, don't forget about the neck either. If someone is touching the neck, it can show that the person feels threatened. This action can be traced back to times of early man. When man would fear large felines attacking, they would cover that area to protect the vulnerable area. Shoulder action serves as a common indicator as well. When shoulders rise, it shows a sign of insecurity. Watch the arms as well. Arms crossed around the belly indicate dislike, and someone is able to get a better feeling of how someone feels about them. If you want to know if someone is guilty of stealing something, look at the chest. If a person thrusts the palm of their hand toward the chest with the fingers spread, then that will show a sign of honesty. Therefore, that person is the one that is not guilty. Individuals need to work on their handshake as well. A firm handshake is not the only important thing in a job interview. If thumbs are hidden, it portrays a lack of confidence. Towered fingers exhibit a high level of sureness. The action of legs is an important act to watch for as well. How a person positions their legs when sitting next to someone they do not like, the legs are moved away. Couples that are displeased with one another will hold hands, however, they will not allow their legs to touch. Don't forget about feet action either. When someone's feet are turned toward the door at a party, it will indicate that the person is ready to leave or wants to get out soon.

       Through the use of effective body language and notification of other's as well, individuals and strategic communication professionals can achieve gains in life and in the desired outcome pursued. Body language notification and usage is important to use in everyday situations and in the professional world, and it should remain an important aspect of all individuals. 


Kaplan, Michael.”Body Language Expert Shows What Signs To Watch Out For.” New York Post, 22 August 2018, https://nypost.com/2018/08/22/body-language-expert-shares-what-signs-to-watch-out-for/

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