Stand Up for Yourself

30 Sep

We’ve all heard that communication is 70% nonverbal. Or 80%. Or even 90%.  While the actual number may vary, the message is clear: you say a whole lot through body language. Surprisingly enough, we usually overlook nonverbal communication when learning to be better communicators, even though it is often easier to improve and can yield impressive results. The most efficient way to improve body language is to do what your mother always told you: stand up straight!

Start From the Ground…

Standing upright conveys confidence clearly, yet far too many of us slouch. Poor standing posture is a by-product of the hunched stance many of us take at our computers and is characterized by a caved-in chest, slumped shoulders, and jutting neck. Those of you who read that description and realized that it describes how you’re sitting at this very moment need to straighten up! Start by sitting far back enough in your chair to support your lower back, then straighten your back until your shoulders lie directly above your hips. You might also find this posture easier to maintain if you elevate your feet six inches off the ground.

Then Stand Up

After fixing your sitting posture, optimizing your standing posture should be fairly easy. While standing, make sure your ears, shoulders, hips, and feet are aligned, and that your back is slightly concave. Your shoulders shouldn’t be pinched back, but they shouldn’t slouch forward either.  In addition to improving overall body language, correct standing posture will make breathing easier and should make you an inch or two taller.

Finally, Apply It!

This advice may sound familiar, but applying it consistently is the real challenge. You can certainly do it alone by monitoring your posture every few minutes. By simply being aware of how you stand or sit, you will automatically correct your posture, but you might also find it useful to let friends know what you’re trying to accomplish so they can help you out.  In the end, maintaining correct sitting and standing posture will make you feel and appear more confident!

by Miquel Ferrandiz

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