A few years ago, I had a student in my class that would regularly comment on my ability to switch between being somewhat scary, and being warm and welcoming. When I pressed him for a reason, he really didn’t know. He thought I looked more confident at times than others.
About a year later, this came up again in a class discussion as my students pointed it out. This time, one of the ladies up front knew exactly why. She said that when it was time for the class to speak up, I folded my hands, smiled and tilted my head. She thought it was inviting.
Although some of my students simply thought I had a split personality, the behavior was actually something I had worked on over time as I had been in front of the classroom. In my first year of teaching, students were intimidated and rarely wanted to speak with me after class or ask for help. I had to take a look at my behavior to determine why that was. I had open office hours, I invited them to stay after, I arrived early so they could talk then if needed… but nothing seemed to work.Until I changed my body language.
As a woman, I find it incredibly difficult to balance my assertiveness in the workplace with the need to come across as warm and friendly. And when I say need, that is exactly what I mean. It isn’t always about wanting to be liked, but, as we discuss today, women suffer as leaders when they are not perceived that way.
Dr. Carol Kinsey Goman comes to us today to discuss body language for leaders. And it isn’t just for woman. We talk about some of the challenges men face as well and how to overcome those.
Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D., is an international keynote speaker, who coaches executives, female leaders, salespeople, and change-agents to build strong and productive business relationships by projecting confidence, credibility, caring, and charisma. A frequent presenter for The Conference Board, The Executive Forum, and the International Association of Business Communicators, Carol presents keynote addresses and seminars to corporations, government agencies and major trade associations. Her current presentations include: “The Silent Language of Leaders,” “Body Language for Women Who Lead,” “The Power of Collaborative Leadership,” “Body Language for Sales Professionals,” “Communicating Change,” and (new topic) “The Truth About Lies in the Workplace.”
Carol’s clients include over 200 organizations in 24 countries — corporate giants such as Consolidated Edison, 3M, and PepsiCo; major non-profit organizations such as the American Institute of Banking, the Healthcare Forum, and the American Society of Training and Development; high-tech firms such as Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments; agencies such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, and the Library of Congress; and international firms such as Petroleos de Venezuela, Dairy Farm in Hong Kong, SCA Hygiene in Germany, and Wartsilla Diesel in Finland.
Carol has been cited as an authority in media such as Industry Week, Investors Business Daily, CNN’s Business Unusual, PBS Marketplace, the Washington Post’s On Leadership column, MarketWatch radio, and the NBC Nightly News. She is a leadership blogger for Forbes and has published over 300 articles in the fields of organizational change, leadership, innovation, communication, the multi-generational work force, collaboration, employee engagement, and body language in the workplace. She’s the author of twelve business books, including The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help – or Hurt – How You Lead. Her latest book is The Truth About Lies in the Workplace: How to Spot Liars and What to Do about Them.
Carol has been a therapist in private practice, a nightclub entertainer, and a majorette for the 49er football team — but not in that order. She has served as adjunct faculty at John F. Kennedy University in the International MBA program, at the University of California in the Executive Education Department, and for the Chamber of Commerce of the United States at their Institutes for Organization Management. She’s a current faculty member for the Institute of Management Studies.
Today, we talk about making first impressions, the often overlooked silent language – body language – that is essential to being a great leader, the problem women face in leadership positions and how and when to switch between masculine and feminine body language.
Sandy empowers the young and talented to increase their power and influence by improving their ability to be heard and be clear. She does this by providing access to rigorously tested research in the communication, psychology, and marketing fields.