Lowstatus Signals

There are times in business when you should choose to lower your own status to accommodate a guest, client, or higher-ranking workmate However, you should avoid overkill on low-status gestures just as much as you should avoid Power Posturing .

While some subtle body lowering, smiling, or mirroring can be appropriate, the following gestures will do you no favors at all

I Giggling, overly smiling, or adding a small laugh at the end of everything you say I Crouching or hunching

I Making your body look smaller by pulling your arms into your sides, and so on I Tottering in high heels I Using less space than others I Arm or hand barriers I Stuffing your hands in your pockets I Face touching or face covering I Hand rubbing

I Fiddling, looking self-absorbed I Lack of eye contact I A dipped head I Allowing yourself to be led I A weak handshake I A hand that is snatched away too soon I Neck touching or holding I Nail biting

I Sitting or standing with legs or torso turned partially away

I Legs and arms crossed I Sitting on the edge of the seat

I Sitting with feet either pointing toward or heading toward the door

I Palms-up gesture I Tiptoeing into meetings I Always sitting at the back

Status spats are unseemly and you should never get suckered in. However, it's important to remember that continually lying down and rolling over will only get you labeled—quite rightly—as a wuss . The challenge, then, is to exude confidence, reliability, wisdom, and natural authority without upsetting your colleagues

What this means is spraying your territory with that quality we've mentioned throughout this chapter:

Continue reading here: The Building

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