How Body Language Can Outscore IQ
By Sandy Schroeder
Many people believe IQ often leads the way in the success race, but it turns out there is more to the story.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, an agency that services 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, recently showed how body language can win out.
Bradberry referred to the research of Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, who speaks from real life experience. At 19, she suffered brain damage in an auto accident. Prior to the crash, she was at the genius level; after the crash, she was just average. Struggling ahead, she became a Harvard psychologist. She focused her research on the effect body language has on confidence when she discovered lack of confidence, not brain power, was holding her back.
She found active listening, positive interaction, effective gestures and eye contact enable people to be more influential, appealing, and emotionally intelligent. Here’s how it works.
Underscore negotiations – Researchers found body language helped negotiators present proposals and win acceptance. Watch a tough negotiator in action. The body language never hesitates, moving forward to achieve results.
Maximize appeal – Body language is more crucial than the actual message or the tone of voice, according to researchers. It works to make people trust and accept you.
Attitude adjustment – Positive body language improves your attitude by impacting your hormones.
Testosterone jumps 20 percent – Working for both men and women, positive body language boosts testosterone, creating a more positive, trustworthy image.
Cortisol takes a hit - Cortisol is a stress hormone that often thrives in chaos, causing people to hesitate and gain weight. Cuddy’s research found positive language reduced cortisol levels by 25 percent.
New power formula – Lowered cortisol and increased testosterone often show up as a power pair for leaders, helping them think clearly, wade through tons of work, and survive incredible deadlines.
Project capability – Researchers studying people running for office were often able to predict the winners based on the body language they used.
Emotional intelligence boost – Being able to express your emotions and ideas effectively is a core part of emotional intelligence. Skillful body language reinforces the effect of emotional intelligence. Negative body language undermines the effort, depressing others and infecting groups.
Body language efforts may have a circular effect as you work on them. We may think our body language automatically reflects our attitude, but researchers have shown that body language can actually change your attitude. You may find it informative to look around in your work and social worlds to see this happening.
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