Body language hacks to command more respect at work (for men and women!)
One of the hardest parts about being a more compelling person is not knowing what you don’t know.
Just like I talked about how women can instantly be more influential at work by changing the tone of their voice, the same goes for men. But there are other things I haven’t talked about — like eye contact and body language — that significantly changes how you’re perceived at work and can give you instant respect and credibility.
Which is why I invited my friend Jeff Callahan from the social skills blog, ‘Become More Compelling’, to school us in exactly what this looks like. Why is it so hard for us to hold eye contact in the first place? Why do we use ‘Sorry to be here’ body language? And most importantly…how can we change it?
In today’s post, Jeff talks about exactly what you can do to command more respect at work and actionable steps to start working on it today. Plus, proof that none of us are alone in this as Jeff tells his own story of what happened to him when he wasn’t getting the respect he deserved.
Jeff — the stage is yours. Take it away!
How to Command Respect at Work
I could feel the flush creeping up my neck to my face.
I could feel my heartbeat in my ears.
My chest felt like it was going to explode.
What was happening?
I had approached my boss with a recommendation to purchase more of a product that our customers were clamoring for.
But he was having none of it. After some back-and-forth, he said “Well, do you want to buy them with your own money?”
Then he smirked. He had me, and he knew it.
I felt dismissed as “the young guy”. (I was in my early twenties at the time)
That experience made me feel like an imposter, as if I was 8 years old wearing my dad’s work clothes. Pretending like I knew what I was doing.
What could I have done differently? How could I have presented myself in a different way?
Today we’re going to talk about commanding respect at work. We’re also going to unpack some non-verbal tactics that you can start using immediately to improve the way people respond to you.
Also, I have a free gift for you at the end of this post. But first, watch this video:
-First, be aware of low status behaviors that you might subconsciously be doing.
-As you become more aware, swap one or two of those low status behaviors for high status behaviors.
-Pay attention to changes that happen as people begin to respond differently to you.
Ask Yourself: “Why Wouldn’t I Try Some High Status Behaviors?”
Two things to consider:
What might prevent you from trying this?
Ask yourself next time you’re entering a meeting, or a conversation at work: “Why wouldn’t I make more eye-contact, have more upright posture, speak with less filler words?
Simply asking yourself “Why wouldn’t I do this?” will often trigger a response of “No reason not to try.”
It will take you more than one try to become a master. Some of my coaching clients will get excited, and try a new behavior…and (shocker) the entire earth does not instantaneously change for them. Doves do not fly in slow motion behind them as soon as they enter a room.
-Expecting radical, instant change is as unrealistic as running once and then expecting to complete a marathon the next day.
-It’s a process. If you commit to swapping out those low-status behaviors for high status behaviors, you will see positive results over time.
A Gift To Get You Started…
I’ve included a gift for you. It’s a quick guide that you can take with you anywhere (because of the magic of email + .pdfs)
The guide includes a quick reference of high/low status behaviors so you can glance at it and remember what to focus on. Helpful if you’re walking into an important meeting.
It also includes behavioral triggers for eye contact, voice tone and body language.
Behavioral Triggers are micro-level actions that you can take that will have cascading effects on the way you present yourself. (Example: When you know you’re going to speak, the first thing you do is inhale.)
With those behavioral triggers, you’ll be able to start using those high-status behaviors immediately, without having to focusing on 100 different things. Just focus on a simple few.
Jeff Callahan is a Social Skills Strategist and Coach for people looking to maximize their social skills. Get his quick guide “How To Command Respect At Work” — Free for Instantly Irresistible Readers.