I was finishing a routine meeting with my medical director and administrator when another doc came through the door.
Her meeting was not routine. She was being called to the principal’s office because she refused to see more patients and do her busy work at home in the evening—she would rather spend the time with her children.
I knew her to be an assertive, professional physician.
Yet, as soon as she sat down, I knew she was going to have a hard time defending herself.
She hooked her ankles behind her chair.
Your administrators are experts in reading body language. That’s how they got where they are. They know our conscious actions are influenced by unconscious cues. And hooking your ankles behind your chair is one of the most passive, defensive postures you can take.
It will reveal your internal weakness to those around you, and more importantly, subliminally communicate that weakness to your own waking mind.
Business executives are actually taught to make sure the chairs their conversational partners sit upon have legs amenable to ankle hooking, while their own personal chairs do not.
Imagine how things might have gone it, instead of hooking her ankles, she sat forward, feet on the floor and pointing at those across from her.
It would have sent a message of power and authority. Even if her conversational partners didn’t have body language training, they would have felt the difference.
And so would she.