As technology continues to shape the way we interact, the future of leadership will likely witness a shift in communication styles.
PREDICTION #1 - In the future, leaders who still believe that what they say carries more weight than how they look and sound when speaking, will be left wondering why their colleagues don't respect or trust them. Successful leaders will be those displaying body language that is authentically aligned with their verbal messages.
Leaders have always been under scrutiny, but with future developments in visual technology, a leader’s body language will be even more exposed to evaluation. Leaders need the nonverbal skills that make the most of these new tools.
This is increasingly evident today, as the hybrid workplace requires the leadership ability to project genuine confidence, credibility, and connection -- both in person and on virtual platforms.
PREDICTION #2 - The body language of effective leaders will become increasingly “warm.”
There are two sets of body language cues that followers look for in leaders. One set projects warmth and empathy and the other signals power and status. Both are necessary for leaders today and both will be critical to the success of leaders in the future. But as organizations emphasize a collaborative structure and philosophy, then effective leadership becomes less about projecting power and more building relationships. And relationship-building, in turn, is all about the body language of trust, inclusion and rapport. So the “soft side” of nonverbal communication (which has been undervalued and underutilized by leaders more concerned with projecting strength, status, and authority), will become central to achieving your business goals.
PREDICTION #3 – Body language savvy will move from a "fake it until you make it" set of techniques to an authentic reflection of your deepest personal values.
Body language reveals character. No leader, regardless of how skilled a nonverbal communicator, can fool the people who work with him or her over an extended period of time. Sooner or later, your body will give you away. Like good manners and good grammar, body language is a tool for expressing your “best” self in a certain situation. And it is a highly valuable tool. It just can’t hide your character.
You can become aware of and change ineffective body language habits, you can develop a deeper understanding of the impact that certain nonverbal behaviors have on your audiences, and you can add more effective gestures, postures, and expressions to your leadership repertoire. But the most charismatic, influential, and powerful body language will always be that which is totally congruent with who you are, what you stand for, and what you truly believe.
Carol is an international keynote speaker at conferences, business organizations, government agencies, and universities. She addresses a variety of leadership issues, but specializes in helping leaders build their impact and influence skills for fostering collaboration, building trust, and projecting that illusive quality called "leadership presence." She is the author of "STAND OUT: How to Build Your Leadership Presence." and the creator of LinkedIn Learning's video course, "Body Language for Leaders." Carol completed her doctorate in the United States. She can be reached at http://CarolKinseyGoman.com