Senior managers need the ability to hold an audience, to dominate a
room, to make people feel comfortable, as opposed to uncomfortable,in
their presence. It’s a skill and like any skill it can be learnt and
with practice and coaching improved. So it is surprising so many
senior managers neglect this aspect of their role. However things may
be about to change.
This area of work has acquired a new credibility thanks to the
work of the FBI and the employment of movement coaches by
management consultants JP Morgan. The FBI have been interested in what
a persons body language tells you about them for some time. A former
FBI agent recently published a book, “ what Every Body is saying”
suggesting how chief executives could improve their presence by using
the technics described in the book and recognising that this is more
than just body language it’s body movement.
A useful way of thinking about this is how movement coaches are
employed in the film industry. The new Bond film used a movement coach
to work with the actor who plays the new arch villain. The coach
studied numerous bad guys, how they walked, how they held their
bodies, the gestures they made with their hands and arms when they
spoke, how they exaggerated their head movements to take in their
audience. The aim was to identify what it was that made their
movements threatening, intimidating and powerful. The actor was then
helped to have a more malevolent presence.
Management consultants JP Morgan employ several movement
coaches who work with chief executives on how to have a greater
presence in the board room and in their face to face interactions
with partner agencies and employees.
The advice to senior managers adopt a confident fluid approach to
their movements more a kin to a dancer. And as Strictly Come Dancing
has demonstrated effort and coaching can result in some dazzling
results and some comical ones!
Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger www.blairmcphetson.co.uk