Picture two people - the first, slightly slouched over with poor posture, - the second, standing up straight with shoulders back, chin up, and great body alignment. Perhaps they are leaders of an organization, salespeople, or perhaps - a job applicant.
Without knowing anything more about either, which one would you gravitate towards. Which one are you more likely to favor, hire, or buy from? Why?
In business and in life - how we present, carry and comport ourselves can significantly impact others perceptions, attitudes and behaviors toward us - and oftentimes no one can explain exactly why.
Every year, we spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on clothing and accessories to help us communicate who we are, what we value, and try to project the image we want others to see. In that pursuit we often tend to neglect one of our most important tools of communication… our bodies - more specifically our posture. That oversight can water down even the best most expensive 5th Avenue outfit.
Developing good posture is an ongoing process - Here are 5 tactics you can apply immediately.
Tip #1 - Stretch every 30 minutes
Doing this will dramatically decrease your chances of getting what the Mayo clinic coins as the “the sitting disease”.
Get-up twice every hour and stretch your chest, your low back, hamstring, and hips.
Tip #2 - Sleep on your back
Just as clay conforms to the shape in which you mold it, so too does your body adapt to the positions and stresses you put on it the most.
And with sleeping taking up 6-8 hours of your day - you better believe “HOW YOU SLEEP” is critical.
For good posture - sleep on your back, and invest in a cervical pillow that supports your neck.
Tip #3 - Workout the muscles you can't see in the mirror
When you sit at a desk, drive, or do any type of sitting you are tightening the muscles on the front of your body and weakening the ones in the back.
Use the gym to reverse this by doing double the exercises for the muscles of the back of your body as you do for those in the front.
More specifically focus on the upper and lower back, hamstrings, glutes, and triceps.
Tip #4 - Watch TV like a kid
A couch or lounger is more or less a poor posture accelerator. Instead try watching TV while lying on your front while resting on your elbows like you did when you were a kid watching cartoons.
Tip #5 - Raise your monitor
Do this by getting a proper stand, or by propping up your monitor with books. If you are laptop bound... Get a laptop stand.
... and remember ...
Having good posture is a crucial visual aspect of looking like a leader.
The more people perceive you as a looking like a leader, the more likely they will be to listening to what you have to say.