Assertiveness is not just about the words you say and the way you say them. It’s also about the body language you adopt. If your words are saying one thing and your body language is saying another, people will give more weight to what your body language is communicating.
Here’s a quick and simple tip to help you adopt a more assertive stance.
- Stand or sit with your toes pointed slightly outwards.
Did you get that? I did say it was a quick tip but it is also extremely powerful. If you don’t believe me try this little experiment.
- Stand upright with your feet parallel and hip width apart.
- Give yourself a score between one and ten for how confident and assertive you feel right now. (0= not assertive 10 = extremely assertive)
- Now turn your toes inwards by a small about and become aware of what this does to the rest of your posture.
- Now check in with yourself and re-score your assertiveness level. Has it gone up, gone down or stayed the same?
- Return your feet to the forward facing, parallel position you started with.
- Now turn your toes very slightly outwards and become aware of what this does to your posture.
- Re-score your assertiveness level again, has it gone down, gone up or stayed the same?
You almost certainly noticed that when you turned your toes in, your shoulders rounded , your knees may have started to bend a little, your head came down a touch and you felt less assertive.
When you did the opposite, and turned your toes outwards, you naturally took up a much more upright stance with your shoulders back and your head up. I’ll bet your assertiveness levels increased dramatically too.
Now try this, toes out stance for real next time you want to project a more confident, assertive image and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.