Observer…what’s your body got to do with it?

By October 24, 2013Learnings

You have to keep a commitment, lead a group, negotiate or be creative. Do you consider how your body will enable or disable you? Or do you simply consider your body the vehicle that carries your head around?

Have you noticed how knowing something logically is not enough? For example you know that you have limited time or resources and shouldn’t take on another responsibility. Yet when a client, colleague or your child asks for something you’re not able to say “no”. Then your “to-do” list becomes overwhelming and you are unable to deliver on your commitment.

Many people are familiar with the concept of body language – how others interpret you. Typical examples are your facial expressions or arms crossed over your chest. What I am referring to goes deeper than an interpretation. I work with my clients to adjust their body dispositions or how they move to enable them, for example, to be more powerful leaders, more creative or become better negotiators.

There are several body archetypes. The five key archetypes that my clients and I work with are Warrior, Lover, Sovereign, Jester and Mother Earth.

Warriors  can stand firm, are not easily swayed, can cut through opposition and  deliver on their commitments or vision.

Lovers are more flexible or yielding, they are more able to listen and lean in to their colleagues and clients at the negotiating table. They tend to say “yes” and consider the other’s perspective.

Sovereigns own and survey their domains. They take up space at the board table. They address their teams from a superior or overarching position.

Jesters are outsiders, they are playful and creative. They brainstorm and “chew the fat” to come up with new ideas and products.

Mother Earth types are centred and grounded. They tend to be reflective and not easily flustered and recover from triggers.

How do you think each of these body archetypes breathe, hold themselves, walk and enter a room, sit down at the table, rally the troops and communicate with naysayers? If you watch successful leaders, salespeople, orators and innovators you will notice the differences.

Are you able to adapt to different situations by flexing how you breathe, stand, move, sit, walk and enter a room?

The next time you find yourself in such a situation jot down in your journal how your body was positioned and how you were breathing.

Notice if you  favour a particular set of moves and whether they serve you well in achieving your objective. If not consider what you could do differently and emulate role models who you admire.

If you would like to discuss in more detail leave a reply below or at You can also call me on UK +44 (0)20 7226 3611 or +44 (0) 7952 068133.