Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAR. 05, 2016
version 7, draft 7

Why You Should Mimic Your Boss’s Body Language

I’m not talking about comically mirroring him like a Bugs Bunny cartoon or doing a poor and offensive imitation of him, I’m talking about subtly mimicking him in order to have some pretty impressive results on their perception of you. How? Well, you are just going to have to read why you should mimic your boss’ body language below.

See Also: How to Answer "Would You Participate in an Employee Led Mentoring Program?"

Limbic Synchrony

Limbic Synchrony is a subconscious mirroring of someone we have a certain rapport and jovial relationship with. The funny thing about the phenomena is not that we don’t realize when we do it, it’s that it’s biologically programmed into us from birth, yes even babies do it, and just to make it creepier they do it while still in the embryonic stage of development. Embryos body functions including heartbeats will synchronize with their mothers in the womb. Adults usually do it in a less biological way than embryos and will mimic someone they have an amicable relationship with, like, agree with or are interested in. Can you kind of see where I’m going with this?

Synchrony With Intent

So, as established in the first paragraph, we mimic people we like, are comfortable around and have a close relationship with. Although inverse effects usually aren’t there rule, in limbic synchrony you can actually intentionally force the effects by recreating the body language…I know it seems a little sketchy, but scientists say it, not me. This creates a sensation of comfort and intimacy (no, not that type of intimacy, you perv) and help break down psychological walls. Funny enough it doesn’t have to be a direct interaction for it to work. According to a Forbes.com article, researchers sat with people that thought they were rating advertisements, and in part of the group they mimicked their body language and in the other group they didn’t. During the study, the researchers would drop pens on the floor and got this: the people that were being mimicked were three times more likely to help the “clumsy” researcher pick up the dropped pens.

More Science (Sorry)

Not that long ago, scientists thought that we used our analytical brain to analyze the world around us and then predict the outcome but recently they have found that we work on a much more emotive, almost instinctual level. And this is why these mimicking effects work so consistently and without knowing about it. And the effects keep on getting even crazier: A tangential effect called the Chameleon effect, states that you will unconsciously mimic the behavior of the person you are interacting with no matter how you feel about them. Some people use it to their advantage when they are struggling with a task, by sitting next to someone that is dutifully working. This unconsciously breaks them out of their pattern and eventually actually helps them complete their task.

See Also: How to Use Technology to Spring Clean Your Professional Life

Do you know any other reasons you should mimic your boss’ behavior? Let us know in the comment section below.   

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