Tag Archives: Confidence

Alexander Technique Your Power Pose and Confidence in the Work Place

This article was published in CareerBliss and written by Ritika Trikha.  I was a guest expert speaking about women owning their full height and how it affects their confidence in the workplace.  When I work with my Alexander Technique clients, they discover their true height which is much less work than the typical Stand Up Straight posture.  My clients who have to walk into meetings and communicate their expertise learn how to Own the Room with their Power Pose.  They are far more aware of their body language, how they tense when they are nervous, and how to release and open.  Read the article below:

 

Are Taller Women More Successful At Work

Taller Women More Successful At Wok?

by Ritika Trikha

Researchers do concede, though, that there may not be a direct link between height and success.

However, “tall people may have greater self-esteem and social confidence than shorter people,” according to Timothy A. Judge, PhD, of the University of Florida who led the study referenced above.

“The process of literally ‘looking down on others’ may cause one to be more confident,” he says in the Journal article.

This got us thinking – do tall women potentially have an edge in the workforce, especially when it comes to working in male-dominated offices?

We spoke with psychology experts and several women who are perceived to be tall (and some who count themselves among the short) and talked to them about how their height has impacted their career.

Here’s how to make your height work for you:

Posture Says it All

When we feel anxious or lack confidence we tend to slouch down. Curl up in a ball. Drop our heads—try to take as little space as possible.

“This pattern makes [tall women] look and feel ‘less-than,’ nervous, and withdrawn,” says Sharon Jakubecy, certifiedAlexander Technique teacher and performance coach.

Instead, taking up space (e.g. standing in a power pose) is a great way to project more confidence and assertiveness.

“At work in the office, the woman who walks at her full height and allows her chest and shoulders to have an easy openness will be the most confident of all her colleagues, including the men,” Jakubecy says.

You can’t help but take notice of a tall woman’s strong posture.

It’s a Great Networking Ice Breaker

“While some people might think that tall people come off as more intimidating, on some levels I’ve found that it makes me more approachable,” Lara Levin, a 5-foot-11 senior account executive at Allison + Partners says.

Generally speaking, most people “will not comment about how short someone is,” Levin says, and “while it’s not the most original conversation starter, people always ask me about my height.”

“Then they always ask if I played sports in high school or college, which opens up the door to talk about hobbies and be relatable to clients and people that I meet while networking,” Levin says.

What an easy ice breaker when you’re networking — use it to your advantage!

Own Your Height – Tall, Short or In-Between

Nearly all women we spoke with told us that height is an amplifier, but confidence comes from within.

For tall women who feel insecure about their height, Casey Bond, a 5-foot-9 content manager at Consumer Track offers this piece of advice:  “Sometimes you have to ‘fake it ‘til you make it.’”

It was this mentality that helped Bond feel more comfortable at a recent business dinner with a group of very petite coworkers. “In those instances, you can feel a bit like Sasquatch!” she says. “But what I’ve learned is that others perceive you to be the way you perceive yourself, and if you project confidence, others will see it.”

This means owning up to your height, short or tall.

“I round up to 5 feet, and I look very young,” says Sharon Rosenblatt of Accessibility Partners. “As a result, I’ve had to boost up my professionalism both on the phone and in person to make up for my apparent immaturity. As a result, I speak up more than my taller friends in social settings.”

So, if you want to be successful, forget how tall you are relative to those around you in the office, especially men.

“What a woman does with her height and whether she embodies her full height will determine her experience of confidence, power, and success at work and in life,” Jakubecy says.

Dear Gracie: 8 Ways to Project Confidence in the Workplace

I recently contributed to a “Dear Gracie” article on ProfNetConnect describing how you can project confidence starting a new job.  That first moment you walk into the office, you want to make a powerful first impression.  Read the article below and leave a comment.

 

Each week, Dear Gracie answers questions from ProfNet Connect readers with advice from our network of nearly 50,000 ProfNet experts. Has there been a question burning in your mind lately, something you’ve been wondering that none of your colleagues can answer? Please send it to grace.lavigne@prnewswire.com

 

Dear Gracie,

I’m about to start a new job, and I want to put my best foot forward. I know I’ll be nervous and insecure about myself for at least the first few weeks. Do you have any tips on how I can seem more confident?

Novel Nerves

 

Dear Novel Nerves,

Eight ProfNet experts offer up eight tips on projecting confidence at the office:

1. Walk tall

“Do what your mom told you as a kid — stand up straight!” says Stephen Balzac, president of the management consulting firm 7 Steps Ahead, and psychology professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology. “This is the first and most important step in projecting confidence.”

If you improve your posture, you will also increase your confidence; and the more confident you feel, the more confident you will act, he says.

Walk with a long spine and open chest without crossing your arms, adds Sharon Jakubecy, speaker trainer, performance coach and certified Alexander Technique teacher. You’ll seem more open and approachable.

And just before you enter a room or a meeting, let the breath out of your mouth, she suggests. “This releases uncomfortable tension in your neck, shoulders and jaw, which can make you look aggressive and off-putting.”

Don’t stand slumped over, with your hands in your pockets, not making eye contact, stresses Scott Sobel, president of Media & Communications Strategies, who has a master’s degree in media psychology from Touro University Worldwide.

2. Shake hands like a politician

You’ve heard this one before, but it’s important: Don’t give the “half-hand shake,” says Billy Lowe, celebrity hairstylist. It feels weird, and tells people you’re not fully committed. A good handshake requires three things: full hand, firm grip, solid shake.

3. Look your best, feel your best

Showing up to work in ill-fitting clothing, hair unkempt and a “run out the door” image does nothing for your self-confidence, Lowe says. “If you look great, you feel great.” People will notice and compliment you, which in turn will boost your self-esteem even more.

Moreover, image conveys volumes about work ethic. “People that are up on their beauty and image routines are usually more polished, together, composed and self-assured,” Lowe continues.

“How you carry yourself and dress in the workplace often gives coworkers tips on your attitude and demeanor,” agrees Nancy A. Shenker, founder and CEO of the marketing company theONswitch and co-author of “Don’t Hook Up With the Dude in the Next Cube: 200+ Secrets for New Grads.”

Furthermore, if you roll your eyes at coworkers’ ideas, pay more attention to your smartphone than your colleagues, or consistently flaunt designer duds and pricey bling; you’re sending out the message: “It’s all about ME!” she says.

4. Speak easy

Practice speaking in an even tone, without unnecessary pauses or hesitations, says Balzac. “We perceive confident speech to be speech without gaps.”

And — believe it or not — it’s actually better to say “um” than to let silence reign, he says.

Don’t speak too fast either, Balzac adds. “Rapid speech makes people feel rushed. Confident speakers know they have the time to deliver their message.” Try recording yourself or practicing in front of someone else to see get feedback.

“Rushing makes you and your body more stressed,” agrees Jakubecy. “Your voice will be higher pitched and strained.”

To relax your voice, hum or sing before you go into work or a meeting, she suggests. “This warms up your voice so you sound like an expert. It gets your body moving too so you walk into work feeling more relaxed and connected to your body and voice.”

5. Find your happy place

To appear poised, recall a time when you were at your best, and create a buzzword related to that emotional state, says Gregg Steinberg, motivational speaker, professor of human performance at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee and author of “Full Throttle: How to Supercharge Your Performance at Work.”

The buzzword should represent the confidence you felt in that situation, like “bulldog” or “fighter,” for example. Say the word to yourself each time you start a routine, or right before you begin a task.

For instance, say your buzzword every time you have face-to-face meetings. Your confidence will get a boost when you are already in a positive mental place.

(My buzzword? Tiger-claw!)

6. Give credit where credit’s due

When Vicky Oliver – author of five books on career development, including “301 Smart Answers to Tough Business Etiquette Questions” and “The Millionaire’s Handbook: How to Look and Act Like a Millionaire Even if You’re Not” — worked in the advertising industry, she met five people who all claimed to have written the “I Love New York” campaign. “It doesn’t take five people to write five words,” she says.

It takes a confident person to let someone else shine, and doing so will highlight your integrity and assuredness. So if you are the boss or colleague of someone who did something brilliant, bend over backwards to give the person credit, says Oliver.

7. Let others put in their two cents

“A monologue may be fine if you’re a comic, but confidence is demonstrated by your ability to let people in,” says Balzac.

Stay in control of conversations by asking questions, he says. “Ask other people about themselves, what they are doing, what matters to them.”

Be a good listener by trying to find the underlying message in someone’s words, and don’t interrupt, says Oliver. “Conversely, if someone interrupts you, smile at him or her and do your best to tolerate it. You will win more admiration that way.”

8. Always keep it classy

Admit it — we get annoyed with our coworkers sometimes. Whether someone is bragging too much, giving you unwanted advice or gossiping up a storm, always take the high road and people will think you’re trustworthy and dignified.

People who brag are doing it because they want to feel successful, says Jill Spiegel, author of “How to Talk to Anyone About Anything! The Secrets to Connecting.” Trying to “one up” them severs the connection, so instead, celebrate their success. For example, if a coworker says “I noticed on the sales report that I was the top performer again this week.” Respond with: “That’s exciting. I’m impressed!”

Similarly, if someone gives you advice you didn’t ask for or don’t agree with, don’t respond by explaining why their suggestion won’t work; just make them feel helpful through appreciation and diplomacy, she says. If a coworker says “I’m reading a book about decorating the office for more productivity. Your area needs a few plants. You should get some.” Say something in return like: “Thanks for your idea. I’ll give that some thought.”

And if one of your co-workers in the lunchroom makes a gossipy remark like “Julie’s desk is a mess. I happen to know her sister is a hoarder,” just remember that people gossip to feel important, says Spiegel. Even when others chuckle or seem interested in the gossip, everyone else ends up thinking “What will they about me next?”

Create an inclusive atmosphere by responding with something upbeat, and then redirect the conversation, like: “Julie has such a great laugh. Hey, your presentation today was powerful! Have you always enjoyed speaking for groups?”

Employers, clients and colleagues pick up on defensive behavior and lack of positive wording, says Sobel. Speak and act in an empathetic and welcoming way so everyone sees you as part of the team.

Good luck!

Gracie