Tag Archives: Body Language

FAKE IT UNTIL YOU BECOME IT: Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are | Video on TED.com

See on Scoop.itGlobal Leaders
Amy Cuddy on TED Talks Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. 

See on www.ted.com


Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are


  • Our bodies change our minds,

  • Our minds change our behaviors

  • Our behaviors change our outcomes

Our mind influences our body and our body reacts to our thoughts by producing hormones such as testosterone and cortisol.

When you are stressed you produce high level of cortisol and your body reacts by trying to protect you, you look like a loser, you avoid eye contact, close your arms, make your body stance smaller.

When you are self-confident, your body produces testosterone and you have low-level of cortisol. You have much more presence, appear charismatic, passionate, confident, authentic, captivating.

Faking being confident  for 2 minutes by adopting a powerful body stance can trick your body to produce more testosterone and less cortisol and you actually LOOK and ARE more confident.

In real life people judge you on your body language in few seconds so in job interview situations for example it pays off to fake it until you become it

Tiny tweaks (2 minutes) can lead to BIG CHANGES

Before an important talk or meeting or job interview, for 2 min configure your brain to feel  confidence by adopting a powerful body posture.

Related article: 

Facial Expressions Of Emotion Across Cultures: Are They Innate or Learned ?

How To Increase Your Likability By Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Infographic

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions is Guy’s tenth book. In it, he explains how to influence what people will do while maintaining the highest standards of ethics. The book explains when and why enchantment is necessary and then the pillars of enchantment:  LikabilityTrustworthiness, Great Cause.

Enchantment - Increase Likability
If you want to change the world — or even part of the world, this book is for you. To interact with the Enchantment community, go to the Enchantment Facebook page

Source: http://www.guykawasaki.com/enchantment/

The Power of Color In Doing Business Across Cultures

Do you know what the colors of your clothes are saying about you   ?

Is your website and brand logo appealing and attractive to your potential buyers or users ?’

Do you have a favorite color ?

Color is a form of non-verbal communication and if you do intercultural business, you need to understand the effect it has on the interpretation of the messages you send to people from different cultures

The Meaning of Color 

There are two ways in which colors acquire meanings:The natural universal association like green for vegetation and psychological and emotional association or color symbolism based on individual experiences, cultural norms and values.  For example black is for funerals in most western countries while Chinese use white as the color of mourning (see table). Reference: The Psychology and Meaning of Color in Email and Websites, Aug 2011

Red Yellow Green Black White
China Good luck, celebration, happiness Nourishing Exorcism, Adultery Youth, the color for young boys Funerals
United States Love, passion, danger, stop, rage Hope, hazards, coward-ness Spring, go, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas Funerals, death, antagonists, Halloween Weddings, purity

More about color meaning and cultures: http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/cultural-color.html

Color Psychology

Color has a powerful subliminal and subconscious effect on our physical and emotional well-being. For example if you enter in a mall with colors without color except black, gray and white. Would you be inspired to buy nice clothes, make-up or even drink coffee? Probably not!! Color stimulates all our senses and as a result it has an effect on all our purchasing decisions. People make decisions based on their  emotions and then justified them with logic! So it is essential that you are aware of both the positive and negative impact and response of each color on the emotions. There is no such thing as a bad color, just colors that are more suitable for your particular business purpose in order to get the response you want.

What does your personality color say about you? (reference: personality colors )

This again depends greatly about cultures. Here an example that matches most Americans:

  • If your favorite color is red, you are action oriented with a deep need for physical fulfillment and to experience life through the five senses.
  • If orange is your favorite color, you have a great need to be with people, to socialize with them, and be accepted and respected as part of a group. You also have a need for challenges in your life, whether it is physical or social challenges.
  • Lovers of blue have a deep need to find inner peace and truth, to live their life according to their ideals and beliefs without having to change their inflexible viewpoint of life to satisfy others.
  • Lovers of black have a need for power and control in order to protect their own emotional insecurities.

Colors In International Marketing

When you want to do business globally check the meaning of colors for each country. Color symbolism impacts businesses and personal brands through website or blog graphic design, consumer product development, packaging and corporate identity. The significance of some colors is universal. Other colors, however, have meanings that shift in various cultures.

In the Internet age online advertisers should really be careful about cultural differences in color symbolism since color is the first thing that is noticed on a web site or banner, even before the person understand the language or what the message says.  A miss-match between colors and meanings in a  web site content can potentially ruin the marketer’s objectives. The customization of color pattern for each country is becoming more and more critical as the population profile of Internet users is shifting rapidly. Latest statistics for 2011 regarding internet users show that Asia has the most internet users accounting for 44% of all users world wide,  Europe 22.7 % and North America 13.0%  (Click for Reference).  The top 3 languages spoken on the internet is English with 26.8 % of users Then Chinese with 24.2% and Spanish 7.8% Reference: (Click for Reference )

In an increasingly competitive, global, interconnected and saturated market, communication needs to be carefully targeted. Few companies have a brand that is powerful enough to generate same response world-wide. For most companies it is important to understand what the impact of communication and color use will be on the targeted group. Therefore it is not only important to understand its meanings but also to find easily applicable rules for translating them.

A very good example of color customization is MacDonald’s. The company has different website designs and colors for each country. For example the site for Japan is Yellow and for Egypt is red.

How to dress for a job  interview 

The first impression you make during a job interview is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing and color has probably the greatest impact. Recruiter must remember you for who you are and not for your outfit.

Men’s Interview Attire: In the united states, men should wear a suit  with solid color – navy or dark grey. Tie color and pattern should be conservative and non-distracting, for  example, dark blue and dark red.with subtle patterns such as stripes and dots are preferred. Shirt should be white or pale blue.

Women’s Interview AttireSuit navy, black or dark grey. Coordinated blousewhite or ivory any light tone that matches your suit is appropriate. Light make-up and perfume

More reading: How to Dress for Success 

Cross-Cultural Non Verbal Communication

Jumping Group

Because we live in a shrinking global village, more and more people from different cultures are interacting with each other so  it is important to learn appropriate gestures and non verbal communication  to avoid conflicts or international  business negotiation failures.

Here two videos with great examples about Multicultural Manners in general and Multicultural Manners at Work

More than ever before,  multicultural companies and organizations need to be educated and trained to the subtleties of non verbal communication, including potentially powerful gestures and even silence. Nonverbal communication is determined by our sociocultural environment. Some cultural differences relate to body language, body space, body touch and paralanguage.

The 93%/7% rule

Many people affirm that human communication consists of 93 % of non-verbal behavior and paralanguage and only 7%  from words. I don’t say it is not true but most people who quote those numbers do not know where they come from.  It is Albert Mehrabian‘s work done in the 1960s that is the source of these statistics but he later stated that this is a misunderstanding of his findings ! It seems to me that more recent studies should be used as references in human communication in today’s trainings, presentations or articles.

In conclusion:

Although many people are aware of non verbal communication few scientific studies have been done in multicultural contexts. In many popular American shows, “experts” tell how to find signs that somebody is lying such as not looking straight in the eyes but what  might be valid in the US culture  may be considered very rude by people coming from other cultures.

In addition, with the global use of new technologies  like video cameras on PCs , SMS and  other mini blogging sites such as  Twitter,  research must be conducted on how those tools affect virtual  cross-cultural communication and what the impact of non face-to-face body language.

Related : Working across Cultures: the Challenges of Virtual Communication

Five Mistakes People Make Reading Your Body Language

Those are typical  mistakes people make all the time especially in a multicultural context.

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For example while I was working in Japan,  looking straight in the eyes of a Japanese business person would be considered as very impolite and aggressive.

It was also common to interpret  Japanese closing eyes during meetings as sleeping which might be true, but in most cases the person was concentrating on the English words.

It is  only by working and living  in a country long enough that you can get clues of culture-driven body language. On top there are also regional and individual specific body gestures.

Salutations are really cultural. For example  Americans will hug you even in business setting which can be embarrassing  for  Japanese who don’t touch and bow. The level of bowing is based on seniority the younger you are the lower you have to bow! In Europe kisses on the cheeks are common even at work and between same gender, two kisses in the south of France but 4  kisses for Parisians!

P.S. On Linkedin group: Linked:HR (#1 Human Resources Group) there is a discussion on body language  in interviews started by Shrradha Parekh and this video was submitted by Allison Dolan .


What Printed Words Are Saying About You In Digital Media?

In digital media, the cost to publish a message is almost zero and it is accessible to the entire world in instant time. Yet everything you write will leave a permanent digital signature about who you truly are.

Here some tips I have learned as a non-professional writer in social media:

1-First start with the end in mind : What does it mean for you to publish online printed contents? Are you prospecting new ideas? Do you want to know what your customers’ interests are? Do you want to send a marketing message? Who are your readers? Which social media to choose? Does it matter if English is not your native language? Those questions must be carefully investigated before you even write the title of your post.

2-Your title is more than what you think, it is a promise you make to your readers that they will find content that is informative, insightful and speaks specifically to them. Be careful on how you phrase your title, in less than 5 sec, the reader will not only choose to read the article body or not but it will build a trust relationship with your readers because you gave what they expected from the headline.

3-Don’t trick your readers: On Linkedin groups for example, if you start by a question, make sure it is a real one and that the readers will start exchanging opinions and share different perspectives. If it is not a genuine question but a selling pitch in disguise, then people will feel it and usually the discussion is not going very far, bottom line: mistrust and waste of time. Another way to have people participating in converstaions is to give away som of your expertise and knowledge with the “How to” and “Tips ” types of articles.

“Print media contains its own ‘body language,’ with the power to make or break a connection.”  

This quote is from  Jenny Davidow  who wrote a great article : “Discover Body Language in Your Printed Words”  She says that you are constantly sending messages about your true thoughts and feelings whether you are using words or not.  Your written words convey as much about you as your body language: posture, smile, and voice tone.

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