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Mirroring starts by observing a person’s facial and body gestures and then subtly letting your body take on similar expressions and postures.
Here are ten tips for powerful body language I’ve learned during the past two decades of coaching teams around the world: Research at Harvard and Columbia Business Schools shows that simply holding your body in expansive, “high-power” poses (leaning back with hands behind the head and feet up on a desk, or standing with legs and arms stretched wide open) for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone—the hormone linked to power and dominance—and lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Try this when you’re feeling tentative but want to appear confident.
When clients or business colleagues unconsciously imitate your body language, it’s their way of nonverbally saying that they like or agree with you.
When you mirror other people with intent, it can be an important part of building rapport and nurturing feelings of mutuality.
Brain imaging has shown that a region called Broca’s area, which is important for speech production, is active not only when we’re talking, but when we wave our hands.
Since gesture is integrally linked to speech, gesturing as we talk can actually power up our thinking.
Even during a coffee break, be aware that you may create a barrier by holding your cup and saucer in a way that seems deliberately to block your body or distance you from others.
A senior executive told me he could evaluate his team’s comfort by how high they held their coffee cups.
Instead, focus on those who are speaking by turning your head and torso to face them directly and by making eye contact.