July 9, 2014
Until we get to know someone, our brain relies on snap judgements to try to categorize the person, predict what they will do, and anticipate how we should react. You may have heard that you only have a few seconds to make a first impression, but the truth is, your brain has made up its mind (so to speak) about a person within milliseconds of meeting them.
According to research done by a Princeton University psychologist, it’s an evolutionary survival mechanism. Your brain decides from the information it has—in other words, how you look—whether you are trustworthy, threatening, competent, likeable and many other traits.
One way we can “hack” this split-second judgement is to be aware of our body language, especially in important situations. Whether you’re applying for a job, asking for a raise, or meeting with a new client, tweaking or just being mindful of our body language can influence the other person’s perception of us and the outcome of the situation.
So, what should you do? Aim for good posture in a neutral position, whether sitting or standing. Stand with your arms at your sides, and sit with them at your sides or with your hands in your lap. Pay attention so that you naturally hold eye contact, smile, and be yourself.
If you discover you have a particular problem with one or two of the gestures on the list, practice by yourself with a mirror or with a friend who can remind you every time you do it, until you become aware of the bad habit yourself.
Reprinted with permission from Quartz. The original story can be found here.
(Image via Blend Images/Shutterstock.com)
July 9, 2014