Last week, the GIN group reviewed and discussed Power & Influence with Deborah Gruenfeld, Professor, Stanford GSB. Gruenfeld makes several key points about the interplay between body language and the dynamics of relationships, interactions and outcomes and proposes actions you can take to be perceived as authoritative or approachable. Both women and men can use body language to act high to project and receive authority or act low to appear approachable. Effective leaders, especially female leaders, are comfortable moving between these states, depending on the situation and specific goal.
Our discussion whirled around differing expectations for appropriate behavior for women and men and a concern that all this ‘acting’ could lead us to behave counter to our authentic selves. Dear readers, I challenge you to spend one day making notes about situations in which you naturally act high or low. Send yourself a quick email or text following each encounter, you may be surprised at what you discover about yourself and your co-workers.
- People decide how competent you are in less than 1 second. More than half of this judgement is due to body language.
- There is a body language of power: who is leading and who is following.
- Body language can shift the dynamics of relationships, interactions and outcomes
- Women can find success in knowing when and how to use different power styles