Why You Should Practice Confident Body Language

Body language can communicate information that is beyond what is being said (semantics, the meaning of words) and heard (auditory input), information such as context. According to this discussion’s background video, Your Body May Shape Who You Are by Amy Cuddy (2012),  she suggests that even if you don’t feel confident, practicing confident body language can increase your self-esteem and make you feel better about yourself. Some of the good body languages you can practice to make yourself more confident are (Cunic, 2018): 

  • Eye contact- having direct eye with another contact denotes interest and can be a sign of truthfulness.
  • Leaning forward– when someone leans forward, it may indicate attention and interest, try this when you are listening to someone. 
  • Standing or sitting straight– this occupies more space than slouching and taking up more space is a sign of power. You can practice this while waiting in line or while sitting down doing homework. 
  • Chin up– walking and talking with your chin up is a sign of confidence as your face is more exposed. One can easily practice this by avoiding looking at the ground. 

Another good way to practice confident body language is to be aware of body language that may convey uncertainty.  These are some of the body languages you should be aware of and avoid:

  • Fidgeting- this is a sign of nervousness and lack of power (Cain, 2018). 
  • Defensive possess- such as crossing your arms, hiding your hands, or holding objects too close to the body convey uncertainty, and mistrust (Cass, 2017). 
  • Forgetting to smile– one way to demonstrate confidence, openness, warmth, and energy is to smile, forgetting to do so demonstrates the exact opposite (Cain, 2018). 

Body language adds another dimension to communication as it informs listeners underlying messages that may not be communicated from the words spoken and heard. By practicing confident body language you can prime yourself to be confident or be perceived as confident. You should also be aware and avoid the body language that conveys uncertainty, hostility, or untrustworthiness. By practicing good body language and avoiding the bad ones, you’ve made a conscious decision to be confident.   

Reference: 

Cain, A. (2018, April 04). 11 horrible body language mistakes that are hard to quit but you’ll be glad you did. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/bad-body-language-habits-2017-12 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Cass, W. (2017). Influence: How to raise your profile, manage your reputation, and get noticed. West Sussex, United Kingdom. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 

Cuddy, A. (2012, June). Your body language may shape who you are. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

Cunic, A. (2018, January 08). 10 ways to have more confident body language: How to improve your self-esteem Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/ten-ways-to-have-more-confident-body-language-3024855 (Links to an external site.)

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Speech Patterns: The Proposition-to-Proof versus The Problem-Solution Method

Knowing different methods for creating persuasive speeches is useful so that you can use a variety of styles while being aware of each style’s drawbacks. The two methods I’ll be discussing will be the proposition-to-proof method and the problem-solution method. 

The proposition-to-proof method uses a pattern by which the speaker begins with a statement of one’s proposition, then follow with proofs that support it. For example, if your purpose is to influence others to vote for a specific proposal, you would begin by stating, “Vote for Proposition H, a ballot proposition that reduces the penalties for criminals of non-violent crimes.” Then you would continue with reasons that support your proposition such as facts and logic. For example, you may say something like:

  • “We spend more money on building prisons than schools.” 
  • “Criminals of non-violent crimes such as stealing are people of color of color, due to systematic discrimination in our laws”
  • “The victim of non-violent crimes such as drug abuse is themselves, by further punishing them with harsh penalties such as prison sentences, we are further victimizing them and creating burdens to society instead of rehabilitating them back as productive member of society”

One drawback to this method is that the speaker may not discuss the opposite position in the first place, in our example’s case it would be why penalties are TOO severe for non-violent crimes. This is known as playing devil’s advocate, a position in which someone takes that they don’t necessarily agree with for the sake of exploring the topic further or debate (Smith, 2017).

I believe it is necessary to play devil’s advocate when giving a speech so that your listener’s can get  both angles of a story. Then once you are done discussing the opposite position (by playing devil’s advocate) you can take the devil’s mask off and refute all those points. 

The Problem-Solution Method

Another method that public speakers like to use is the problem-solution method of public speaking introduces a problem and discusses the solutions for it (Brent, 2018). At first glance, it may seem similar to the proposition-to-proof method, however, if you observe both methods clearly, you’ll notice that they are opposites of each other. The proposition-to-proof-method provides a call to action or solution, then discusses the problem, while the problem-solution method does the opposite by discussing a problem and then discussing the solution.

One drawback to problem solution method is that the solution may be a false dilemma. A false dilemma is a fallacy in which the speaker only provides two solutions to a problem,  when in reality there may exist other options (Hendrick’s, 2018). This A or B thinking is dangerous as it tricks listeners into thinking that there are only two possible solutions to a problem, which then disregards other possible solutions that may exist.

Conclusion

It is important to know different structures of persuasive speech so that one can identify the drawbacks to each and be prepared to tackle them when they are brought up. The proposition-to-proof method suffers from not playing devil’s advocate and the problem-solution method may be weakened by the false dilemma fallacy. In fact, both methods could suffer from either of those drawbacks. The key is to know how speeches are structured and be prepared to handle drawbacks when they are brought up.

References:

Brent, M. (2018, January 16). What are the five organizational patterns for public speaking?. Retrieved from https://bizfluent.com/info-8540323-five-organizational-patterns-public-speaking.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Hendricks, S. (2018, February). 10 logical mistakes you make every day, and what to do instead. Retrieved from http://bigthink.com/scotty-hendricks/ten-logical-mistakes-you-make-everyday-and-what-to-instead (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

“Persuade with power.” (2018) Lunch Toastmasters. Retrieved from http://www.lucantoastmasters.com/competent-communication/persuade-with-power/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Smith, S. (2017, July 27). Using the devil’s advocate” to your advantage, even when sometimes it feels insane. Retrieved from https://itscoffeeti.me/using-the-devils-advocate-to-your-advantage-even-when-sometimes-it-feels-insane-435788c9c4b7

Grit = Delayed Gratification + Consistency

What drives a person to achieve their goals despite the challenges and obstacles that confront them? Upon doing some research, I came across this word: grit. After reading dozens of articles, I found that grit is collectively defined as a personality trait that people have, that is demonstrated by the passion and perseverance towards achieving goals despite the challenges and obstacles that may arise (Neutrino, 2012).   

I believe that there are two characteristics of grit: delayed gratification and consistency. 

Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification means to manage one’s needs to be satisfied at the moment in order to be satisfied in the future, usually done in order to achieve a bigger reward in the future  (Cherry, 2018). When I think about my achievements and career, I think about the struggle and hardships I had to go through to achieve them. Then I think about the awards and benefits they have provided me. For example, when I in college I was working full time in retail, working nights and weekends. I had to learn to balance work, school, and life. There were many times where I missed out on social events because I knew, the benefits of an education and good work ethics would pay off in the future. Today, I no longer work weekends, I go into the “office” 4 days a week, and love my career so much that it doesn’t feel like work. My delayed gratification paid off well as the instant gratification of my past is nothing compared to the gratification I am receiving now. 

Consistency

Consistency means to adhere to the same principles, procedures, and process. It takes something and turns it into a habit, which is second nature, thus developing momentum. When a person develops positive and consistent habits, they are able to stick to their values and beliefs (principles), become efficient at what they do (procedure), and achieve their overall goals (the process). In fact, going to school and working is my consistency.  It is something that I just do without difficult thought or second-guessing. It has kept me busy, interested, and moving forward both personally and professionally. I value good work ethics and believe that people should be life-long learners. These principles have helped me excel in my profession and in my self-awareness.  

Conclusion

Knowing what grit is, which is the passion and perseverance towards a goal despite obstacles, while embracing its two main characteristics, delayed gratification and consistency, can help you better focus on things that will help achieve your goals. Knowing that a better reward is deferred in the future will help overcome the momentary satisfaction that arises in the present that may delay your achievements. Being consistent with your principles, procedures, and processes will provide you with the momentum you need to achieve your goals. But don’t let the idea of grit create an illusion. One still needs action in order to make anything happen. 

References:

Cherry, K. (2018, March 21). The importance of impulse control and delayed gratification. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/delayed-gratification-why-wait-for-what-you-want-2795429

Cohen, S.  (2017, December 26). The benefits of delaying gratification. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201712/the-benefits-delaying-gratification

Neutrino, (2012, April 25). What is Grit? Retrieved from https://www.gostrengths.com/what-is-grit/

What’s Your Personality Type?​

By Dru Macasieb

I am a firm believer in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test and the insights it has to offer. Knowing your own personality type can help you understand your thoughts and behaviors, and how you interact with others and the outside world. This can translate to a better understanding of yourself, others, and the ability to manage your behaviors in a way that works towards your advantage.

You can take the official MBTI personality test for $49.95 or you can take similar ones online for free.  If you’d like to take a free online test, I do recommend 16 Personalities, it takes about 10 minutes to complete and provides a pretty comprehensive introduction to your personality type.

To get started let me introduce to you with the letters in the MBTI personality test mean. Below are excerpts from MBTI® Manual: A Guide to the Development and Use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®

Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).

Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

I’ve taken the MBTI personality test at 16 Personalities, and my personality type is an ENFP. Over the next few days, I’ll be exploring my personality type and I’ll be sharing on how I’ve implemented the test’s insights into my own personal endeavors. Take the free personality test now and share your results in the comments below.

My Information Diet

By Dru Macasieb

Originally Written: February 3rd, 2018

This year, especially this year, I am taking EXTREME ownership of my professional development in a multitude of ways.  One of the ways I am taking extreme ownership is by going on an information diet. Information diet is the idea that people should be conscious and selective of the information they consume (Johnson, 2015).  This year, my information diet consist of reading 2-3 books a month, watching YouTube videos that will add value and enhance my life, listening to more educational programming, and participating in professional development courses.

This month I am reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. I have also subscribed to Ted Talks and a couple of different YouTube channels such as Practical Psychology and Information Pill, both are about self-development. I have begun to listen to Bloomberg News as well as subscribed to a Podcast called the Law of Attraction. For professional development courses, I have enrolled in an edX class, Understanding Classroom Interaction.

Information diet is not only about what you let into your mind, but what you also keep out and minimize. I don’t watch movies and shows as much and have decreased listening to music in my car in favor of listening to TedTalks. It’s important to note that I do not completely eliminate leisure media, rather I toned it down for more meaningful media.

I believe that through this professional development plan, I can gain knowledge and success that I can share with those around me, especially my students.

References:

Johnson, C. (2015). The Information diet: A Case for conscious consumption. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media.

Ted Talk Review: Brene Brown

By Dru Macasieb
January 11, 2017

https://embed.ted.com/talks/lang/en/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

Brene Brown gives an awesome Ted Talk regarding the power of vulnerability. In her research on human connections (love).

She found that the difference between people who have a strong sense of worthiness and those that do not is simply the belief that they are worthy of it (deserving). She discuss how these type of people have certain traits:

  • the courage to be imperfect
  • the compassion to be kind to oneself first
  • and the ability to create connections as a result of authenticity (being truthful to who you really are).

She dubbed these people with a strong sense of worthiness as “Whole-Hearted.” These people fully embrace vulnerability, and believe that we makes them vulnerable made them beautiful.

Those who were felt unworthy, struggled with fear and shame. By making their vulnerabilities come to light, they become shameful, and that shame gives them a sense of unworthy of connection. So what happens, is that they begin to fear anything that makes them shameful, in a sense, they fear being imperfect.

“To let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts even though there’s no guarantee… to practice gratitude and joy, in those moments of terror… is to believe that we’re enough (worthy of being loved despite being imperfect). Because when we work from a place that says “I’m enough” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and to ourselves.”