12: Present the Right Attitude in
How You Stand and Move.
Heartfelt… Prideful… Confident… and now… Attitude?! The fourth of this #BodyPostureVoice mini-series uncovers a bit of cocky, sarcastic, and ironic history that we use regularly when talking to friends and family. But where does it go when we talk to strangers? “Attitude Equals Opinion.” And when we DON’T know someone, we tend to hold back and show the “perfect” side of us. Our body language and voice changes based on the relationship. Follow me, #ElaineClark, on another #Communication #RealTalkingTips journey exploring how simple movements are apart of our history, muscle memory, and corresponding attitudes of our personality.
Do You Need an Attitude Adjustment?
Heartfelt. Proud. Confident. And now… Attitude? I’m Elaine A. Clark guiding you through the fourth Body, Posture, and Voice Real Talking Tips podcast mini-series.
So, why do you want attitude? Weren’t we told to wipe that smirk off our face when we were younger?
Having an attitude means having an opinion about what you’re saying and the person you’re talking to. Attitudes commonly used with friends and family members are cocky, sarcastic, and ironic. While strangers and people we just met is typically neutral and devoid of attitude. It somehow seems inappropriate or even counter intuitive to add these familiar attitudes to people we’re not close to. Why do we give our friends and family members attitude and strangers none? It’s because our shared experiences and history together allow us permission to speak that way. Let’s face it; we’ve all done stupid things that we tease others about and vice versa. That’s what relationships are built on… the good, the bad, the awkward, and the embarrassing.
So, how do we add history, opinion, and attitude to a script or presentation about information or people that we’re not close to? Let’s take a moment to find out how.
Going back to our school years, especially the rebellious Middle School days, we often talked to the person behind us when it was inappropriate to do so. Thinking we were fooling the teacher, we would angle our head or shoulders in the direction of the person behind us so we could hear what our friend had to say. When the teacher called us out for talking in class, we squared our shoulders to the front of the room and faced the teacher to appear attentive.
Over the years, I realized that when people had cocky, smug, arrogant, or ironic attitudes, that they angled their body rather than squared off their shoulders.
If I talk with my shoulders squared of, I sound direct and confident. Yet, when I angle one shoulder forward and the other shoulder back, my mouth develops a smirk, a rebelliousness twinkle emerges in the eyes, and an opinionated attitude is seen and heard. It’s our body’s way of pushing the attitude out of the neutral zone.
Practice Assignment #12: HOW ATTITUDE AND OPINION WORK TOGETHER
1. Think of something that you did that was slightly naughty.
2. Angle your shoulders so that one is slightly forward and the other one is back.
3. Put a smirky smile on your face, and say “How’s it going. You look good today.”
4. Wait a couple seconds to see if an image or moment in history bubbles up.
5. Shift positions so the other shoulder is forward and the one that was in front is back. Then say, “Yep. It looks like things are going for you today.”
6. Square off your shoulders and say, “You really do look good.”
Did you feel the attitude shift when your body was angled and how it went away when you squared off your shoulders?
There is so much history in our muscle memory. Using simple movements and body positions can access those parts of your personality in all forms of communication.
Congratulations! You completed the 4-part ‘BODY-POSTURE-VOICE’ mini-series. Tune in to Real Talking Tips Episode 13 for tips on how to be a Storyteller and Create a 3-D World.
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