By Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, SBR Workplace Leadership Services
Did you know that someone is always watching you and following your lead? It is something you likely do not think about. Just take a moment and consider the people in your household, people in your extended family, people in the workplace (in-person or virtual), your neighbors, people at the stores you frequently visit, your social media presence, and more.
You are exposed to different people in many ways throughout your daily functioning, and those around you are taking notice. They notice how you carry yourself, your energy and aura, your tone of voice, your smile or lack thereof (you know when someone is smiling even in a mask by looking at their eyes), and your personality. Are you emulating the type of personality and impression you want people to have of you? If someone brought up your name in a room of important people, what would people say about you?
If you hadn’t considered any of this, it is not too late to make changes. Starting today, look in the mirror and take notice of your resting, non-smiling face. Is it mean or intimidating? Would you approach someone who had that expression? Try out some new resting facial expressions and with enough practice (21 days, remember), a new habit will form.
Additionally, consider your body language. Body language often reveals more about what you are thinking and saying than the words coming out of your mouth. When you are open, which means you have your arms by your sides, feet shoulder width apart, you are facing the person you are conversing with, and you are maintaining eye contact, it will be easier to connect with you. Crossed arms, crossed legs, facing an exit or away from the individual you are speaking with, and diverted eye contact reveals you are closed and can cause someone to disconnect from you. Having trouble with finding a good resting face, maintaining an open energy, and conversing with others to build interpersonal relationships? SBR Workplace Leadership Services offers life coaching in interpersonal relationships, time management, executive coaching, stepmother coaching, and more. You can sign up for a free consultation here.
With an open personality and energy, you will further find that the conscious and subconscious things you share with others shape what they expect from you and what they take and repeat from you. I recognize when a group of people have been spending a lot of time together because I notice they all use the same lingo, their tone of voice starts to sound the same, and their mannerisms are similar as well. Birds of a feather, right?
This is also the impact of your leadership attributes being mirrored by others around you for the good or for the bad. We find people that we like and admire and before we know it, we have begun to emulate them. This is the power of leadership because you can mock good or bad attributes. Therefore, it is important that we are aware that we are being watched. What parts of yourself do you feel comfortable with your kids, neighbors, colleagues, or society emulating? You want to share your best self with others. That will require being mindful of your presence and what you bring to and share with those around you. You want those who are watching to expose and copy the best of you.