Janine Driver, an International Communications Expert and Owner and President of The Body Language Institute, has built a career based on understanding people's communication skills, both conscious and subconscious. Not only can she pick up on others' feelings and emotions based on their body language, but she also knows how to use her body language to get what she wants.
Now, she wants to help you get what you want by cluing you in to 10 forms of body language that will help you out in a variety of situations.
The Elbow Pop
To perform The Elbow Pop, lean back in your chair and pop your elbow back. Janine says this move is "40s/50s chic," because you used to see old actresses doing this in the "golden age." Janine says this move is extremely powerful because confident people take up space, and this move allows you to take up space while still remaining open and likable.
The 'Steve Jobs' Chin Hold
This is the move that Janine says Steve Jobs was doing as early as his 20s. It is also what you can see Anderson doing in some photos. Placing your hand on your chin makes you look smarter. Janine says this move is great in high stress situation. When you are unsure how to answer a question, placing your hand on your chin and saying, "Let me get back to you on that," is a great way to respond. It will increase your perceived confidence, which can in turn make you more confident in reality.
This is a move that both Oprah and Donald Trump frequently use: hold the tips of your fingers together so they resemble a steeple. This produces power, confidence and intelligence. However, don't do this move when you're establishing report with another person, because it can be interpreted as arrogance. Use The Steeple at the end of a job interview or at the end of a date when you make your closing remarks or suggestions.
This is a move that Janina says President Obama can often be seen doing. You take the traditional steeple and "explode it." This evokes the same power, authority and confidence as the original steeple, but it also adds some heart, passion and likeability. This is good to use for team building exercises, or on a first date. It helps in situations where you want someone to trust you.
There are two ways to cross your legs. In situations such as dates and job interviews, you want to make sure you are crossing the leg that opens your body up. If you use the leg that closes you off, you block the person with whom you're communicating, and you create with Janine calls "a closed circle," which evokes positive vibes in communication.
Palm Down vs. Palm Up
Gesturing your palm down is an aggressive move that conveys condescension and arrogance. You do this vehemently to someone when you're trying to get their attention and you need them to stop immediately. Instead, gesture your palm up. Janine calls this the "beggar's pose." It says, "Give me what you've got, I'm showing you what I have."
Pacifiers are nervous ticks that people often subconsciously display when they are nervous or on-edge. They include picking at your cuticles, fidgeting with your jewelry or rubbing your neck. Instead of using a pacifier, let out this nervous emotion with a more subtle action: curl your toes up inside your shoes. Janine recommends you scrunch them up and count to ten -- no one will see you doing this, and it will release the same energy that your pacifiers would otherwise release.
Janine says we have three power zones: the neck dimple, the belly button, and our "naughty bits." We keep these three zones open when we're confident and have nothing to hide. Crossing your arms or hands over these areas conveys different emotions. If you hold your hands together, or clasp your hand onto your arm or shoulder, Janine says there is a certain rule: the higher up you hold your hands on your arm, the more insecure you are. If you get the impulse to hold your hands together, do it behind your back so your level of confidence is not skewed.
Fat & Skinny Candles
You can either stand as a "short, fat candle" with your legs spread wide apart, or a "tall, skinny candle" with your legs held tight together. Standing like a "tall, skinny candle" shows people that you are a pushover. A short, fat candle shows dependability, and it also shows people that you have a spine and variety of opinions that you are not afraid to convey.
Body leveraging is being conscious of where your body placement is in relation to the person with whom you're communicating, based on the subject matter being discussed. If you are feeling sympathy toward someone, do not tower over them; get on their level or below them. This shows people that they are important and that they matter to you.