How to look like a star in your dysfunctional workplace with body language!

Are you ready to throw in the towel? Do you keep thinking about updating your resume; or changing industries; or going back to school? ANYTHING to stop the dysfunction around you!

Problem is, anywhere you go there is going to be dysfunction because communication in the workplace is suffering. We have become a “blinder nation” keeping our heads down in our devices rather than in relationships.

Are devices causing dysfunction in your office relationships?

Before you do something drastic, take the lead in changing the dysfunction. Be the star of your own career narrative. Lead the charge to wake up your colleagues, remove their blinders and start having real relationships!

What can you do to fix the dysfunction and become a star?

Ease Office Dysfunction- Stand (and sit) up straight! People will take you more seriously because you will be perceived as more confident, knowledgeable and persuasive. Others will remember you and your name will come up favorably when it is time to promote from within or at performance review time.

Take this test: set a timer for every half hour and when it rings, freeze and see if you are sitting up straight or squashed over your computer or phone? Stand or sit tall on your commute, in meetings, at the grocery store- everywhere! Do this until straight posture becomes your regular habit!

Fix your posture is step #1!

Ease Office Dysfunction- Keep a flexible spine. Try to move like you dance! When we dance, we can’t help but keep our spine engaged with our limbs. This connection is what builds authenticity and trust. In the workplace, so much dysfunction comes from not trusting each other and being suspicious of motive or meaning. Making sure you come across as someone people want to talk to is key to being noticed as a leader.

Take this test: Ask someone you trust to watch you in a meeting. Have them rate you on how flexible you are. 1 is inflexible and puppet or robot-like; 5 is flexible and authentic; 10 is over the top flexible/out of control like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz! Your goal should be between 4 and 7.

Bet you’ve never heard this!

Ease Office Dysfunction- Use the power of opposites. This is next-level intel, but SO effective! Body language dysfunction comes from challenging someone else with our body language signals.

What does “the power of opposites” mean?

An example of this is when someone is early to a meeting and spreads his/her papers on the table to take up space. If someone else comes in and spreads even more including puffing up their chest and spreading their stance to take over the meeting- sparks will fly! Another example is someone becoming pressured with their body language and someone else also adding pressure and “pushing back.” I’m sure you have your own examples when you think about it.

Rather than going toe to toe with your body language, do the opposite and watch your opponent become confused and give in to you! Using opposites gives you the power because it looks like you are backing off, but the brain reads opposite signals as the same.

In these examples, the second person to the meeting should straighten her papers, narrow her body and become more focused rather than spreading (she will be perceived as more together and “with it” than the spreader). And rather than meeting pressure with pressure, respond with lightness to confuse and discombobulate your “opponent!”

This is a GREAT body language tip!

Trust us!

Others will take notice when you incorporate these three tips and the dysfunction will begin to fade. When others want to know your secret sauce, share these tips and gradually remove the dysfunction from within your organization. Suggesting nonverbal communication workshops for company leadership and development training will fast track the relief from the communication dysfunction. If dysfunction persists, then brush off that resume and find someplace better. Need to work on your interview skills? Check out my friend Lisa Rangel and Chameleon Resumes. She will get you ready for a successful transition.

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