How Important Is Posture When Sitting?

How important is posture when sitting? Tips on how to sit properly to convey confidence and self respect. Everyone has heard that standing up straighter makes you appear slimmer, taller and more confident....

Everyone has heard that standing up straighter makes you appear slimmer, taller and more confident. But how important is posture when sitting? Maura Graber, who has been teaching manners to children and adults for 15 years and is the director of The R.S.V.P. Institute of Etiquette, remarks, "Studies have shown that people who have good posture automatically have more importance attributed to them by others. Slumped shoulders say you are depressed or don't like yourself. Good posture says you believe in yourself. It conveys a sense of self-respect and a sense of strong self-worth. Good posture in someone also implies that the person is 'a natural leader'. Others will tend to flock to those with good posture. Posture's importance is not overrated; it is one of the most important things that one can say to others about one's self, without uttering a word. The art of sitting tall, with one's hands loosely in one's lap, or at one's sides, should be practiced often so to appear more natural when they find themselves in stressful social or business situations."

As you can see, proper posture while seated is about more then just sitting tall. Maura offers this advice: "If I am working with a client who is a very calm speaker with well manicured nails, then I say the hands can be kept at desk or table level, as opposed to the lap or sides. It's a risky thing to do if one is a nervous speaker or a nervous job applicant. Hands kept at table or desk level can suddenly become very animated without one realizing it. Trying to impress someone while your hands are gesturing wildly can create a personal or professional disaster. One has to watch what they are doing at all times in professional settings. This goes for men as well as women. Bright colored nails and fingernail designs are also a professional distraction. In business, you want people to look at your face and into your eyes. You want to keep their glances above your neck level; eye contact is very important."

Another important part of posture when sitting has to do with sitting still. Maura explains, "In many interviewing situations, people will make the mistake of sitting down at a desk, then inadvertently begin picking things up from the desk top (paper clips, rubber bands, seemingly other innocuous items, etc.) and fidgeting with them. Unfortunately with many jobs, applicants are assessed and hired by how calm they appear under stress. Fidgeting at a desk or table should be avoided at all costs."

One trick many business executives and grandeur people use, to make them appear more important, is to have their seat raised higher then any others that may be facing them. So in essence, you have to literally "look up to them". If you ever find yourself in an anxious situation remember these simple tips: sit up straight, don't fidget, keep your hands to yourself, and look the other person square in the eye.

© High Speed Ventures 2011