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Project power and authority

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

When you appear strong and confident, gaining influence is a much easier job. And projecting a powerful image may not require more than a few tweaks to how you act.

Deborah H. Gruenfeld, a social psychologist, and Kay Kostopolous, a theater instructor, teach the class “Acting With Power” at the Stanford University business school, a class designed to teach you how to gain power by acting powerfully. Here are a few tips from that class:

  • Maintain a wide stance, with your arms extended from your body, to feel more authoritative.
  • Master eye contact. Look people in the eye when you speak, but when others are talking, look away occasionally to show that you are the dominant person in the conversation.
  • Speak succinctly. Don’t ramble on, over-explain or attempt to justify your ideas or decisions. Be direct, concise and decisive to prove that you are sure of yourself.

— Adapted from “How to Project Power,” Malia Wollan, The New York Times, www.nytimes.com.

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