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