OWNING space – DON’T ‘GLUE’ your UPPER arms

 In Body language, Entrepreneur, Learning from Luminaries, Meetings, News, Owning space, The Winning Voice, What not to do

Do you give yourself license to gesture and use the physical space to the sides, and in front of your body?

‘Owning’ and occupying the physical space with measured gestures, signals seniority. Minimising the physical space that you own and occupy, signals the behaviour of a junior.

In her TED talk (the link is below) Alison Ledgerwood, a luminary in the field of social psychology, shares a good trick to improve positive thinking.

However, Ledgerwood’s ‘glued’ upper arms to her torso for most of her talk – undermine her luminary status.

Here is the Ledgerwood’s talk:  A simple trick to improve positive thinking

Own the Conversation

Over the next seven days in ‘safe’ situations, on purpose, ‘own’ and occupy space in front and to the sides of your torso. ‘Unglue your arms from your torso.

For example:

  • Sit ‘tall’ with your arms uncrossed at a boardroom table.
  • In a meeting, with an up-faced palm gesture, invite a colleague to make a comment.
  • Interject in a meeting with a strong gesture in front of your body, a strong voice, and the words, for example, ‘Let me share my view’.


p.s. Watch this clip of luminary Thomas Friedman as an example of owning the physical space in front and to the sides of his body. Some readers have found Friedman’s gestures distracting.

Overlook that distraction and observe Friedman’s seamless mastery of gestures paired with words.

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Behind the Voice

Regular insights, guidance and commentary on how communication influences business and the world around us

Thank you for subscribing