Each went through a tough job transition and needed to get back on their feet. So I often let “Judy” talk for them as sort of a spokesperson. Because although each person was unique, they all shared similar stories.
So today, another quick story about Judy that sums up an experience so many have had.
Has the following situation ever happened to you, too?
Judy was in the middle of what she thought was a stellar job interview.
Everything was going well until two of the interviewers crossed their arms during one of her answers. At that moment, Judy lost her mojo. She suddenly believed the interview was a total loss, so she gave up right then and there.
Because she “knew” (like we all do) that crossed arms indicate disapproval.
But here’s the thing – that’s not always the meaning of the gesture.
In everyday life, it generally expresses resolute displeasure or feeling upset. But when the interviewers crossed their arms, it more likely meant that they were concentrating intensely on what Judy was sharing with them.
In other words, a familiar gesture that would typically mean, and be perceived as, a negative sign in the outside world… was actually a POSITIVE signal in the interview!
If only Judy had known.
Instead of losing her mojo – she would have felt even more confident and the interview might have been a resounding success.
This is why I say it’s crucial to not just understand how to use body language, but also how to read body language. Because it’s all-too-easy to misread gestures. Like Judy, one false read in a high-stakes social environment can undermine our confidence or even sabotage our efforts. On the flip side, it’s just as easy for us to accidentally send mixed signals with our own habitual gestures that others misread.
Either way, understanding the nuances of body language is a skill that most people, sadly, never discover – but really should if they want to stay in control during interviews, negotiations, and everyday social interactions.
So – to help you begin mastering body language, I shared a few short videos with you last week with some immediately useful tips.
But those just covered the basics.
This week, I have a more comprehensive video presentation for you that covers some essential concepts about body language that we didn’t get to discuss last week.
If you're experiencing challenges with confidence, and you’d like to learn how to stop making body language missteps that are preventing you from getting ahead in your career or job search, this could be one of the most important trainings you’ll ever watch.
You’ll see how you can get control over your hand gestures and eye contact, how to read what other people are thinking, and how to naturally portray yourself with authentic power and authority (without coming across as arrogant or unfriendly or trying to act like someone else) – even if you are shy or introverted.