There is a high cost to workplace deception

An organizational strategy for reducing lies and increasing candour at work

There is a high cost to workplace deceptionLies in the workplace are expensive. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, a typical organization loses five per cent of its revenue to fraud – a potential global loss of $3.5 trillion. But the cost of out-and-out fraud pales in comparison to the monumental cost of the erosion of trust that occurs when…

How to avoid these five common body language mistakes

And gain significant advantages on how you deal with people

How to avoid these five common body language mistakesHumans are genetically programmed to look for facial and behavioural cues and to quickly understand their meaning. We see someone gesture and automatically make a judgment about the intention of that gesture. And we've been doing this for a long time. As a species, we knew how to win friends and influence people – or…

Simple but powerful body language tips that exude charisma

Charismatic leaders are perceived to be confident, upbeat and inspirational

Simple but powerful body language tips that exude charismaIn business dealings, charisma counts. A lot. And charisma is as much about impressions and body language as it is about issues and substance. I've seen many qualified people get passed over for promotion (or lose a sale or fail an interview) simply because they couldn’t project an engaging attitude. Max Weber, the father of…

How women can successfully project their leadership presence

Your leadership ability depends entirely on how others evaluate you

How women can successfully project their leadership presenceYou may have a leadership title or tremendous leadership potential, but that in itself doesn’t give you leadership presence. Here are typical comments I hear when asked to coach an up-and-coming female whose career has stalled: “It isn’t that she couldn’t do the next job. It’s that no one on the executive team sees her…

Assertive women perceived negatively in business

To groom women for top positions, offer them the coaching, mentoring, and career opportunities that develop leadership potential

Assertive women perceived negatively in businessAs a speaker at business conferences, I've addressed organizations around the world, and I've seen the genuine commitment that many companies have made to develop the leadership abilities of female employees and to create workplace environments with family-friendly policies and flexible work arrangements – all in hopes of attracting, retaining and grooming women for top…

When is it OK to tell lies at work?

When asked if it was ever okay to lie at work, most people said 'yes!', but only under certain circumstances

When is it OK to tell lies at work?We tell all sorts of lies at work. We flatter, exaggerate, omit, and mislead – primarily to avoid punishment, make ourselves look better, control information, or protect others. Some of our workplaces lies trigger feelings of anxiety, guilt, or remorse. But there are other lies that many of us feel justified in telling. As background…

How to ace a job interview in 7 seconds

Seven powerful ways to make a positive first impression

How to ace a job interview in 7 secondsThe interviewer looks up as you enter the room for a job interview. Now count slowly to seven. In that amount of time, you will have been evaluated – and decisions will have been made about your credibility, trustworthiness, confidence and competence. According to research at New York University, you've got just seven seconds to make…

Hoarding information a collaboration killer

Collaboration is also intrinsically inspiring because it has an emotional payoff. People like being part of a winning team

Hoarding information a collaboration killerSome years ago, when I was speaking to a group of executives about change leadership, the topic of collaboration came up. On a whim I asked, "How many of you are totally comfortable sharing information with others in your organization?" I was astonished when, out of an audience of about 200, only three hands went…

Why you can’t fake your feelings

If you try to fake how you really feel, your audience won’t buy it

Why you can’t fake your feelingsI was once asked by a Senior Vice President of Human Resources to work with a leader whose micro-management was limiting her team’s effectiveness. When I met with the client (let’s call her Judith), she was effusive with her praise – going on and on about how much she had heard about me and how…

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyalty

Inspiring loyalty takes leaders with insight into the human heart and sensitivity toward the hopes and aspirations of others

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyaltyThink loyalty is dead? Think again. Loyalty may not look like it did 25 years ago – when companies offered career-long employment and workers unquestioningly followed orders – but loyalty is far from deceased. Loyalty is an intrinsic human characteristic based on emotional attachment that can be tapped, nurtured and developed. Inspiring loyalty takes leaders…

Five reasons you may be judged untrustworthy

And why you can't stop anyone from making these snap decisions

Five reasons you may be judged untrustworthyKnowing whom to trust is an important social and business skill. But it’s not that simple – although it’s fast. It took me just seven seconds to assess your confidence, competence, status, likability, warmth and, yes, your trustworthiness. You can’t stop me (or anyone, for that matter) from making these snap decisions. The human brain…

Why it’s hard to spot a liar

The act of lying triggers a heightened stress response

Why it’s hard to spot a liarA short time after The Truth About Lies in the Workplace was published, I received this email: I had just begun reading your book, and had gotten to the part about body language signs that point to someone who is lying when I was confronted with a real-life situation. A parcel (that was meant to…

Ten body language myths that limit success 

Body language plays a key role in your career but don’t limit your success by buying into these myths

Ten body language myths that limit success Body language plays a key role in your career – from your first job interview to the ongoing process of building professional relationships to being perceived as having leadership presence. But not everything you’ve heard about body language is accurate. Don’t limit your success by buying into these 10 myths: Using body language to make…

5 mistakes people make reading body language at work

If you accurately decode body language cues, you'll be well on your way to gaining the nonverbal advantage!

5 mistakes people make reading body language at workHuman beings are genetically programmed to look for facial and behavioural cues and to quickly understand their meaning. We see someone gesture and automatically make a judgment about the intention of that gesture. And we've been doing this for a long, long time. As a species we knew how to win friends and influence people…

Face to face still most powerful communication medium

For your communication to have any emotional charge, face to face is the best choice

Face to face still most powerful communication mediumAs we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic Zoom burnout, one universal truth is becoming even clearer: Face-to-face is still the most preferred, productive and powerful communication medium. In fact, the more business professionals communicate electronically, the more pressing becomes the need for more personal interaction. Here's why ... In face-to-face meetings, our brains process the…

Emotions integral to all that happens in an organization

We need to view challenges and solutions in ways that validate our emotions and influence the way we feel about our jobs, and ourselves

Emotions integral to all that happens in an organizationPreparing for a speech to the leadership of an organization facing major restructuring pre-pandemic, I asked the meeting planner for background on the audience. "We've presented all the facts," she replied. "But it would be much easier if everyone weren't so emotional!" In the business world, it seems, people are supposed to think logically and act…

What we lose in a virtual workplace

Essentially, we lose the amazing power of human-to-human connection

What we lose in a virtual workplaceRegardless of how the future plays out in your organization, one thing is certain: virtual meetings are here to stay. It’s easy to see why. They are cost-effective, as there is no need to pay employees to travel and incur related expenses and, when successful, they enable talented peers to work together regardless of location…

Six strategies to help you thrive during post-pandemic change

We find it hard to let go of the past because that is where we've experienced personal success

Six strategies to help you thrive during post-pandemic changeChange is difficult — and we have plenty of reasons to resist it! No one likes to contemplate letting go of the skills and behaviours that "got us here." As individuals, we become psychologically attached to the status quo because it is familiar and comfortable. But even more difficult than fighting off the inertia of…

Managing change during a time of constant change

To grab someone's attention, move from making speeches and announcements to creating an experience in which people learn for themselves

Managing change during a time of constant changeIn San Francisco, on the corner of Powell and Market, I once watched street performers entertain tourists waiting for the cable car to arrive and depart. My favourite "act" was two fully-dressed men who spray-painted themselves gold and silver. Posing like statues, they would kneel on the sidewalk facing each other with their elbows resting…

Our brains condition our body language

A study of Olympic athletes offered insight into the body language of pride and shame.

Our brains condition our body languageFor insight into the body language of pride and shame, scientists studied the behaviours of judo matches at the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The competitors represented 30 countries, including Algeria, Taiwan, Ukraine and the United States. The research report in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences stated that body language of blind…

Do you know what your body just said?

We reveal a lot about our attitudes, emotions and motives by the way we hold our bodies

Do you know what your body just said?I often address leadership groups about the importance of nonverbal communication in business. Senior managers actively participate in the sessions, asking questions and volunteering for various demonstrations. Everyone seems genuinely interested in the topic. Everyone, that is, except this one time when one woman sat for the entire time with her shoulders rounded, chin tucked…

Building a better collaboration strategy

Create mini-cultures to make your group feel safe, valued, important and needed

Building a better collaboration strategyI once spoke on “The Power of Collaborative Leadership" to business audiences in The United Arab Emirates, Scotland, England, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and four states of the U.S. Audience members represented industries including engineering, manufacturing, retailing, construction, shipping, technology, energy, utilities, printing, pharmaceuticals and consulting – plus a range of government agencies. After my…

Why leaders should watch their body language

Leaders must understand how nonverbal skills can help them develop positive business relationships

Why leaders should watch their body languageMany executives in my audiences are initially skeptical about hearing a speaker on "body language" because they suspect that the topic might be interesting, but not very practical. By the end of my program, they know better. Here's what they learn ... 1) Science has validated the impact of body language Body language is the…

6 reasons we suck at spotting liars

The best way of countering liars is to follow the old adage “trust, but verify”

6 reasons we suck at spotting liarsRecognizing that we are being lied to is an important social and business skill. But surprisingly small factors about someone, – where we meet them, what they wear, what their voices sound like, whether their posture mimics ours, if they mention the names of people we know or admire – can enhance their credibility to…

The best leaders build and maintain trust

Five actions that will build trust in your organization. But only sustained behaviour will ensure that trust survives and thrives

The best leaders build and maintain trustTrust is the belief or confidence that one party has in the reliability, integrity and honesty of another party. It’s the expectation that the faith one places in someone else will be honoured. When I asked 537 managers how leaders build and destroy trust, here’s what I learned: It’s always a case of ‘follow the leader.’…

Listening with your eyes

When your business colleague stops looking at you, she is "saying" with her eyes that she has, in effect, stopped listening

Listening with your eyesYou're at a business event and the colleague you've been having an intense conversation with begins to shift her gaze from your face to look around the room. Ever wonder why that makes you feel as if she has stopped listening? You know it's not logical. A person doesn't have to look at you to…

When leaders talk with their hands

If a speaker's gestures are not in full agreement with the spoken words, the audience perceives duplicity

When leaders talk with their handsHave you ever noticed that when people are passionate about what they're saying, their gestures automatically become more animated? Their hands and arms move about, emphasizing points and conveying enthusiasm. You may not have been aware of this connection before, but you instinctively felt it. Research shows that audiences tend to view people who use…

10 simple and powerful body language tips

Small nonverbal changes can make a big difference in how people perceive and relate to you

10 simple and powerful body language tipsI’ve spoken to over 200 business, university, association, and government audiences and, in the process of preparing to address these very savvy professionals, I’ve discovered even more about the role of body language in business success. Here are my 10 simple and powerful body language tips I've culled over the years: 1) Before an important…
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