Body posture and its effects in everyday working life
Your posture is an important signal for your fellow men. It determines to a large extent your effect on others. It already begins when you enter a room. Absolventa explains which mistakes you should avoid when it comes to posture and how to use them in a targeted way.
Why it is worthwhile to maintain posture
Posture is an important part of body language and is closely related to a person’s charisma and overall appearance. At school and at home it was said that you should always sit and stand up straight.
An upright posture has always been regarded as a sign of dignity and grace. It is not for nothing that one uses idioms such as “maintaining an upright posture” or “an upright man” as opposed to “bent with grief” or “bucking”. In order to have a good effect on others, the following applies: shoulders back, chest out, back straight and stomach in. This is the ideal posture for everyday life and especially for situations in which you are under observation, such as job interviews.
An upright gait is a sign of self-confidence and competence in the perception of fellow human beings, which is why one should adopt a straight posture if possible when entering a room. However, the posture must not appear strained or unnatural, because then it is not convincing. In case of doubt one can try out the correct posture in front of a mirror.
Posture while standing
Standing up straight is very easy. To find out how it feels, you can simply stand with your back against a wall. Be careful not to make a hollow back, but to stand with your buttocks firmly against the wall and from there align your upper body so that as much of your back as possible touches the wall. You can do this by tightening your abdominal muscles a little and making your neck long.
A good posture does not only require a straight back. So you should turn as frontally as possible to your opponent and have a secure position. The frontal position presents the whole body and radiates self-confidence. A secure stand prevents you from appearing shaky and thus insecure. Those who like to wear heels should pay special attention when choosing shoes. The most beautiful High Heels have no effect, if one stands with it on wobbly legs and goes.
Body posture in the lecture
If you use media in a presentation – such as a whiteboard or a screen – make sure you never turn your back on your audience. Especially in tasks such as self-presentation in the Assessment Center, body language – and thus posture – is a decisive factor for later assessment.
To maintain a good posture, body tension and balance are very important. You can maintain your balance by distributing your weight evenly over both legs. Your foot position should be about the width of your hips. From this posture, you can shift your weight without losing control or walk comfortably in one direction, for example to explain something on a graph or distribute handouts.
At a lectern, standing posture is much less complicated. However, you should never be tempted to hide behind a prop. Also behind the lectern you should make sure that you stand upright. Do not fold your arms. This could be understood by the audience as a gesture of dominance, distance or defense.
Of course, there are professions in which you will rarely or never give lectures. But in the majority of jobs a presentation will come to you sooner or later – and first of all the interview.
An upright posture is desirable, but be careful not to appear too stiff. A little exercise, such as weight shifting, will loosen up your body language and make you feel confident. But here, too, it is important to find the right mediocrity. Who “fidgets” too much makes a nervous impression.
Presenters often seem insecure because they don’t know where and how to position their hands. Often they end up in their trouser pockets. However, you should avoid this at all costs. Instead, you should actively use your hands to underline what you say with gestures.
Body posture while sitting and during telephone interviews
Even when you are sitting, you should maintain as upright a posture as possible. If possible, use the entire seat surface of the chair in order to be able to position yourself optimally. If you constantly slide back and forth on the chair or permanently cross your legs, this is a sign of nervousness. Be loose, but not too casual. An employer expects his employees to cut a fine figure while sitting, for example when talking to customers, and to radiate competence, interest and openness.
Sitting and standing posture is important not only for face-to-face communication. You should also pay attention to your posture during a telephone interview, because sitting posture influences breathing and thus language. And even if your conversation partners can’t see you, they can hear how self-confident and open you are – provided you sit upright and don’t lounge in the chair.
Keeping your posture means standing upright, walking or sitting – without appearing stiff. If you are unsure of how you will affect others, test the correct posture in front of a mirror. It is also a good idea to ask friends and good acquaintances for honest feedback.