When you’re in an interview, a conversation, or any type of communication, both verbal and body language are used. Though it may not seem so, both are equally as important. The verbal languages is perceived by the cerebral cortex, which is the most highly developed part of the brain. Perhaps this explains why some people stress verbal skills more so than physical stature. Body language, however, is perceived by the limbic system. The limbic system is the part of the brain that processes emotions, mood, pain, and pleasure – the “more primitive set of structures” according to Nancy Szokan of the Washington Post. Szokan quotes Maeve McDermott of National Geographic who believes that “this information bypasses your conscious processing center, giving you an innate understanding of whether a person is weaker or more powerful than you with them without saying a work.”
McDermott demonstrates few simply body moves that convey dominance and power, accompanied by videos from NatGeo’s Brain Games.
The most surprising finding was that your thumbs are power points. McDermott says that “the thumb is your dominant finger, strongest in motor function.” Now think back to all those figures you look up too, political, business, or otherwise. They all have a specific way that they sit and focus on a conversation. Just look at the cast of Shark Tank.
What Mr. Wonderful is doing in the photo above is making a sort of tepee with his fingers, gently touching his fingertips, and having his hands pointed up. This stance is quite popular among world leaders and surely does imply dominance and power.
Leaders around the world, business entrepreneurs, and even actors recognize and use these gestures to enforce their authority and inspire awe. The question is, will you?