Monthly Archives

October 2013

Career Tools

Career Link: Poised for Success

Is your body language helping – or hurting – your career?

When properly used, body language can be your key to greater success. It can help you develop positive business relationships, influence and motivate the people who report to you, improve productivity, bond with members of your team, and present your ideas with more impact. Take a look at Carol Goman’s article on Forbes’ website — a dozen tips for using body language to project confidence, credibility, and your personal brand of charisma.

 

Goman’s tips on body language hit many key points squarely on the head.  How we are view or branded depends so much on how our physical appearance comes across to others we meet, work with or socialize with. Our presence is conveyed in how we carry ourselves in daily life.  From the first handshake and looking in the eye to the final salutation and departure.  Our initial and ending interactions are what form the lasting memory of our brand.

The points that Goman makes about a firm handshake, our physical posture and stance to our voice pitch can make a dramatic difference when looking for a job or keeping a job. Here’s my take on her advice – Tom’s Top Ten Body Language TipsL

1. Stand Tall 

Assertiveness is displayed through confident posture, as well as a strong work ethic.  Those of us who stand with our shoulders square, and backs straight, rather than leaning or hunched over, diplay and proud and leader-like stature.  Consider the movies you’ve seen in the past that depict a heroic figure, Batman, Superman and Superwoman are all picturesque posers.

2. Widen Your Stance

Stand with feet somewhat apart and a balanced look – confidence will be your brand. Owning your space starts with proper positioning.  Similar to a line backer, with feet spread apart it is much more difficult to be bowled over with a wide stance than for someone with crossed legs.  Which player do you want to be in a conversation?

3. Lower Your Vocal Pitch

The higher the pitch, the less projection of confidence and more of nervousness. Barry Manilow is all over this one. Goman says, “Speakers with higher-pitched voices are judged to be less empathic, less powerful and more nervous than speakers with lower pitched voices.”

4. Try Power Priming

Remember those times when you felt the most confident and bring that feeling back when you are approaching a major meeting or engagement. The same way an Olympic athlete mentally prepares him or herself to win a gold medal through visualization, this same tactic can bring a gold to your office.  Preparation is key as well, planning talking points, anticipating objections and even playing out a rejection will help you handle any scenario when the big day arrives.

5. Strike A Power Pose

Stretch out before you go into a power meeting or discussion – tune your body to bring up your confidence.

6. Maintain Positive Eye Contact

A no brainer!  Look the person in the eye to convey confidence and truth and to show you mean business! Eye contact should be two-thirds direct eye contact, and one-third not looking directly at the person.  Maintain eye contact when the other person is speaking to ensure that your speaker knows you are engaged in the conversation.

7. Talk with your Hands

Use open gestures that can help emphasis your points when speaking – keep palms of hands open to show nothing to hide. Be sure to keep your movements minimal and within the frame of the body.  Over zealous gestures can be distracting and detract from the message you are trying to convey.

8. Reduce Nervousness

Take a deep breath and be conscience of where your hands and feet are – keep hands flat on your lap or folded – feet flat on the floor and not tapping or fidgeting.

9. Smile

Everyone likes a person who smiles and is genuine – not a phony smile!  A smile can be spotted a mile away and can bring a returned smile from others as a normal reflex!

10. Firm and Genuine Handshake

As we meet and depart, the handshake is the key of physical connectivity and trustworthiness.

For a few more pointers, check out this infographic from designtaxi.com

Career Tools

Career Link: Interim for Interns

The Full-time UST MBA class of 2014 embarked on more than 30 different internships this past month, many of which were outside Minnesota’s borders.  As the days Internship-Blog2continue to fly by, Graduate Business Career Services would like share a few internship tips before the green leaves of summer change to autumnal shades of fall.

Hopefully you are enjoying your summer internship experience.  By now, you know what you are expected to do and when it needs to be done.  And, you are doing a great job, exceeding expectations.

But wait, there’s more to the internship than doing it well.  Here are some suggestions to ensure you make this a great summer internship experience.

If you haven’t done this already, do it now:  Sit down with your supervisor to review your progress towards the goal(s).  Share with her the successes and the challenges you have had and ask for her feedback.  Ask how you can make your results exceptional.

Is the experience turning out as you had hoped?  Will the description be what you had wanted to include on your resume?  If so, great.  If not, how can you enhance the project to better fit your vision?  Can you add an analytical piece or customer research piece to it, even if it is not required?  It may be a bit more work, but the broader scope will give you a more robust story when you’re interviewing in the fall.

Have you taken every opportunity to learn more about the industry, the company, its customers, etc. that you can?  You are on the inside looking out which gives you easy access to people and information.  As an intern, you can request meetings with key players in the company, a chance you will not have when the internship is completed.

Are you networking in the company?  Are you networking outside the company?  It’s tempting to take it easy and not worry about meeting others during the summer.  However, now is the time when you can focus on exploring options in your areas of interest over lunch and after work.

If you know the type of work you want to do, the companies, and industries you are most interested in, you have your target organizations to learn about and work to make connections.  If you don’t, now’s the time to explore to gain more clarity about your next career steps.  Your career coach can help you craft a strategy and jump-start your networking.

Oh yes, have fun too!