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Leadership Challenge - Body Language

A silhouetted male figure with arms outstretched set against a sunset

At The Leadership Mission, we will be posting regular challenges designed to grow you as a leader. In order for it to work, you must take the challenge seriously and we highly recommend the following strategies to help ensure long term growth. It’s okay if you don’t have all of these right away, the point is to get started somewhere and you can add the missing pieces as you go.

  1. Keep a regular log of your daily efforts whether they are mental, physical or emotional. You get where you‘re going faster when you know where you’ve been and how far you’ve come.

  2. Find an accountability confidant. Being accountable is important, being accountable to someone you can also be completely transparent and open with is critical to success. It can be a spouse, sibling, parent, mentor, friend, or anyone you trust. It doesn’t matter as long as you have someone to keep you going.

  3. Share with other leaders who will support you. You share with these folks at a much higher level and not all of the details but sharing is important. It is another level of accountability but also encouragement.


Today, make a conscious effort to start being aware of what your body language is saying.

Body language is critically important for a leader. I'm sure all of us have been in a meeting or a conversation where the words coming out of the person's mouth don't match what their body is saying. Our bodies say so much more than our words do and if we aren't conscious of our non-verbal communication, it can be disastrous.

This skill is extremely hard to get good at because you are often fighting your natural tendencies. If you are uncomfortable in a conversation or unsure, it is natural to cross your arms or legs or both to "protect" yourself. These are things we do subconsciously and must pay very close attention too in order to stop doing them if/when the situation doesn't call for it.

Our body language impacts us psychologically and subconsciously more than we realize. We can greatly impact our mood and outlook just by controlling how we stand or sit.

We highly recommend you picking up the book The Definitive Book of Body Language

This book goes into great detail the fascinating world of body language. It is a must read for any experienced for Veteran leader looking for a "next level skill"

For the purposes of our challenge, here is what you need to do:

  1. Try to go a whole day without crossing/folding your arms once. Too easy? Try a week!

  2. Every time you are standing up, keep your arms crossed BEHIND your back.

  3. Whenever you are talking to someone, make sure to keep your feet pointing toward the person you are talking to.

  4. For one minute every day, try standing in a "power pose" and see if it doesn't help you to feel more confident.

It might seem silly at first but we would be willing to bet that doing even these small things will make an impact on not only how others perceive you but how you perceive yourself.

We have an entire article devoted to the topic of body language if you want to dive deeper!

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