Leadership, Authenticity and How to Hack Them with Body Language
We all want to be led by somebody who seems “real” to us. People associate authenticity with sincerity, trust, and credibility. When we feel someone is “authentic” as a leader we assume that person is without doubt “The Real Thing!”
The reversed bias on the other hand, has become shorthand for not “liking” another’s presence. We end up saying, “they don’t seem authentic” rather than “I just don’t like their leadership.” I would suggest that what defines our authenticity is at least in part a collaboration of perceptions between you and others that produces an ongoing idea of you as a leader. This makes authenticity more of a developing work of art than a finished object.
So for the people that I help in leadership to communicate with more impact—the question becomes: “what idea of ourselves do we want to co-create with those around us?” I have found the most effective method to develop a perception is the use of nonverbal communication—body language! For me, adjusting and augmenting our body language can cut straight to the stimulus for the ideas we can have about ourselves and consequently that others have of us.
Yes, of course this is a manipulation. It’s manipulating what skills and tools we innately have to work better for us at helping us get closer to how and what we want to be. Great leaders are good at making clear decisions about which of their traits they should reveal and amplify, to whom, and at what points. They are behaving on purpose rather than by accident, cognizant of their responsibility for the successes or for the fall-outs.
I am not advocating “fake it till you make it.” What I am suggesting is “behave like it — so you are it.” Those who know how to manage their authenticity in this way will be all the more effective for it. So here are my top three body language tips to help you take more control of the idea of who you are by choosing to employ those behaviors that help you realize your goals.
Discover more keys to impactful communication through body language by attending Mark Bowden’s keynote session during CU Direct’s DRIVE ’17 Lending Conference, May 23-25 in Las Vegas.