Category Archives: Office
The vice president of a Fortune 500 company is speaking at a leadership conference. He’s a polished presenter with an impressive selection of organizational “war stories” delivered with a charming, self-deprecating sense of humor.
The audience likes him. They like him a lot.
Then, as he finishes his comments, he folds his arms across his chest and says, “I’m open for questions. Please, ask me anything.”Suddenly, there is a shift of energy in the room – from engagement to uncertainty.
The audience that was so attentive only moments ago is now somehow disconnected and unable to think of anything to ask.
I was at that event. As one of the presenters scheduled to follow the executive, I was seated at a table onstage with a clear view of the entire room. And the minute I saw that single gesture, I knew exactly how the audience would react.
Later I talked with the speaker (who didn’t realize he’d crossed his arms) and interviewed members of the audience (none of whom recalled the gesture, but all of whom remembered struggling to come up with a question).
How Body Language Affects Managers
So what happened – how could a simple arm movement that none of the participants were even aware of have had such a potent impact? And what does this mean to you as a manager?
Business relationships are all about communication. You already know that. In preparing for an important meeting – with your staff, boss, or clients – you concentrate on what to say, memorize crucial points, and rehearse your presentation so that you will come across as credible and convincing.
But did you also know that the people you’re speaking to will be subliminally evaluating your credibility, confidence, likeability and trustworthiness – and that their evaluation will be only partially determined by what you say?
12 Personality Traits Of A Great Boss from Officevibe
Did you know that your use of personal space, physical gestures, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact could enhance, support, weaken, or even sabotage your message?
The executive who addressed that conference in New York made a basic body language blunder when his gesture didn’t match his words.
And it is this kind of misaligned signaling that your staff or team will also pick up on more quickly and critically than almost any other.
When your nonverbal signals conflict with verbal statements (for example, dropping eye contact and glancing around the room while stating you are being candid, rocking back on your heels when talking about the project’s solid future or – like the VP — folding your arms while stating you are open to questions) you send mixed messages.
If forced to choose between what you said, and how you looked when saying it, people will discount the verbal content and, instead, believe what they saw.
But why did the executive make that gesture? Did he not want questions? Was he more comfortable standing that way? Was he cold?
I didn’t ask him, because it really didn’t matter.
It never does.
Nonverbal Communication Speaks Volumes
With nonverbal communication, it’s not how the sender feels that matters most; it is how the observer perceives how the sender feels.
And crossing arms is almost always perceived as a closed sign of resistance. That’s why your nonverbal signals don’t always convey what you intended them to.
If you pass a colleague in the hallway and don’t make eye contact, she may jump to the conclusion that you are upset with the report she just turned in.
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You may be slouching because you’re tired, but your team will read it as a sign of disinterest. If you frown in a staff meeting, attendees will probably think you didn’t like what you just heard – and they will keep their opinions to themselves.
In fact, when you make any nonverbal display of anger, irritability, or annoyance, people are more likely to hold back their ideas, limit their comments, and look for ways to shorten their interaction with you.
And, by the way, since the human brain pays more attention to negative messages than it does to positive ones, what people unconsciously look for and react to the most, are signs that you are in a bad mood or are not to be approached.
Definition Of Body Language
Body language is the management of time, space, appearance, posture, gesture, touch, expression, eye contact, and vocal prosody.
As such, nonverbal communication is a key part of your effectiveness as a manager. From a body language perspective, effective managers send two sets of signals. Both are very important, but they are each more important under certain circumstances.
For example, powerful people sit, stand, walk and gesture in ways that exude confidence, competence and status.
These are the kind of signal leaders might want to send when addressing the Board of Directors. Leaders send power and authority signals by standing tall, actually expanding into space.
You will notice, for instance, that high-status male executives at a conference table are likely to spread out their paperwork. They may put their arms on the back of other people’s chairs and even sit with their legs far apart.
But the most effective leaders also send nonverbal signals of warmth and empathy – especially when nurturing collaborative environments and managing change. The nonverbal signals that convey inclusiveness, likeability, and friendliness include open palm gestures, leaning slightly forward, giving people eye contact when they talk, nodding your head when someone is speaking, or tilting your head slightly to encourage them to speak more.
Since most of my clients are in organizations that are trying to move from a hierarchical command control structure to a flatter, more nimble, and more collaborative environment, I see a lot of senior managers who run into body language challenges.
They are so used to having to project a strong persona that they don’t realize the power of letting the other set of (empathy) signals take over.
Of course, learning to align body language with intents and messages is only one side of the nonverbal coin.
More business executives are learning not only how to send the right signals, but also how to read them.
Peter Drucker, the renowned author, professor and management consultant, understood this clearly:
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.
In a meeting, when people aren’t completely onboard with an initiative, leaders need to be able to recognize what’s happening – and to respond quickly.
During the hiring process, the ability to read nonverbal cues can make the difference between a great hire and a big mistake. And knowing when a negotiating partner is bluffing is a skill well worth developing.
Good body language skills can help your executives influence and motivate direct reports, improve productivity, bond with audiences, present ideas with more authority and impact, and authentically project their personal brand of charisma. That’s a powerful set of skills for any leader to develop.
That’s a powerful set of skills for any leader to develop.
Do Leaders In Your Office Have Bad Body Language?
Do you think they can do a better job of being more open and have better communication with employees? If it’s something that’s a little taboo to talk about within your organization, just use an anonymous feedback forum in order to address the situation.
More than 100 former Infosys executives are returning to the company, heeding new CEO Vishal Sikka’s call to them to rejoin the one-time software industry bellwether in what could be a big confidence booster in its efforts to attract fresh talent and prevent existing employees from jumping ship.
Once an employer of choice in India, Infosys steadily lost that status in the past couple of years, hemorrhaged talent, including at senior levels, and left it with industry-leading attrition levels that has seen almost one in five employees leave the company.
After Sikka took charge of Infosys on August 1, one of his first actions was to issue an open call to former Infosys employees to come back to the company. In an email titled “A new beginning”, Sikka urged former employees to consider joining back, saying: “Our focus on finding new, exciting ways of working together has never been stronger. I have often heard it said that once an Infoscion, always an Infoscion. Friend, you stand testimony to this fact, and I know I can look forward to our continued association and your support as an ambassador for Infosys.”
That plea has since started yielding results, with the number of returnees, which stood in the low teens on average in the last 12 months, now steadily rising. Infosys has long had a programme called “Green Channel” to woo back former employees into the company, but this time around special care is being put to make their return smooth.
“There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the messages that have gone out to former Infoscions,” confirmed Srikantan Moorthy, executive vicepresident and head of human resources at Infosys. “I don’t have a definitive number because these are all people that apply for a position and then we look through and see how many have applied that were former Infoscions. But I can definitely say it will be more than 100.” He did not share details about the levels or roles at which people were returning or whether these included some high profile names.
This will be a shot in the arm for Sikka, who, in his first interview to ET since taking charge, had listed managing Infosys’ high attrition levels as one of his main short-term challenges alongside reviving growth. For the quarter to end-September, attrition stood at 20.1 per cent or one in five employees had left the company. Return of former employees will be perceived as a sign of renewed confidence in the company, and help Sikka and his executive team to attract talent in their attempts at rebuilding Infosys.
A 2013 AARP study found that nearly half of all older job seekers reported being overlooked for a job because of their age.
That’s why it’s so important that you not make yourself seem old on your resume, says author Marc Miller in a recent LinkedIn post.
“The format and contents of your resume says a lot about your age,” he says. And no matter how qualified you are, if your resume makes you “seem” older, there’s a good chance it’ll end up in the “no” pile.
“You do not want to be filtered out by the staff who are screening initial resumes and lose the opportunity to demonstrate your talents and skills,” he says.
To avoid this situation, Miller suggests you stop including these five things on your resume:
1. Your home address.
“For many years, we sent our resume and cover letter through the mail,” Miller explains. “We put our home address right on the top.”
Today there is no longer a need to put your home address on the resume, since it’s almost always sent electronically, he explains.
“If the employer needs your home mailing address, they can ask for it.”
2. Your Hotmail or AOL email address.
One telltale sign that you are over 50 is an aol.com or hotmail.com email address, or one from your cable provider, says Miller.
Create a Gmail account immediately.
3. Your home phone number.
Who under the age of 45 still has a landline?
“We ditched our home phone five years ago, and I am quite a bit older than 45,” Miller says. “If you still have a home phone and do not want to give out your cell phone number, get a Google Voice number.”
4. Double spacing after periods.
“I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete,” Miller explains. “It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter. Therefore, most of us who do this (I have taught myself to stop putting two spaces after a period and it was hard) are over 50 years of age.”
Miller says he has heard that this has been used as a method of screening out older candidates.
5. Your outdated skills.
Limit the skills you list on your resume to current and relevant ones.
“I could list that I wrote MS-DOS control programs, wrote machine level code developing word processors, managed IBM mainframe computers, and lots of other obsolete technologies,” he says. “Unless I was applying for a position that required these skills, all it tells the reader is I am over 50 years of age and maybe older.”
SAN FRANCISCO: Apple is banning the use of two potentially hazardous chemicals in the final assembly of iPhones and iPads as part of the company’s latest commitment to protect factory workers who build its trendy devices.
The decision announced Wednesday comes five months after the activist groups China Labor Watch and Green America launched a petition drive calling on Apple Inc. to abandon the use of benzene and n-hexane in the production of iPhones.
Apple says a four-month investigation at 22 factories found no evidence that benzene and n-hexane was endangering the roughly 500,000 people who work at the plants.
The Cupertino, California company nevertheless decided the substances should no longer be allowed during the final assembly process.
Benzene can cause leukemia and n-hexane has been linked to nerve damage
Source: Tech Announcement
1.Spot Signs Early
Observe signs early on. “ Procrastination, blaming others and not trying for self improvement are signs of a non-cooperative team member,” says Sudhir Dhar, associate director and head — human resources and administration at Motilal Oswal Financial Services BSE 0.35 %.
2.Tolerate or Counsel Them
One approach is to live with the fact that you are stuck with a bad apple, says Ruchi Sinha, assistant professor of business, organisational behavior, ISB. The other option, she says, is to diplomatically give them feedback and use motivational techniques.
3.Build a Social Contract
Social contracts between team members have a motivating influence, says Sinha. “Teams can develop a document that lists all the key behaviors expected from members,” she adds.
4.Manage by Delegation
One way to handle non-cooperative members is to assign them responsibilities where they can work in silos. “Else, give them tasks that can be worked on independently thereby reducing the amount of face-time required with such members,” says Sinha.
5.Report Them to the Higher-Ups
If all these interventions have not helped, the best option is to report the member to the team leader for a re-assignment. “At times, prevention is better than cure. The teams need to develop better ways to screen members,” says Sinha.