Instead of suffering through long, dull meetings with your supervisors and coworkers, you can turn those office table sessions into your very own psychological experiment.
Using the tricks below, you'll be able to hack your verbal responses and physical movements to convince your fellow employees of just about anything. All it takes to manipulate their minds are a few gestures and words, and it can help you look better at work as well as keep that boring meeting from dragging on more than it has to.
Avoiding questions in front of your coworkers does nothing but damage. If you want to convince them of your greatness, look at them and answer quickly—and do so without a smattering of "ums," "uhs," and "likes" to prove your intelligence.
According to Psychology Today, reposing quickly and without any evident signs of intentional delay and without looking away will help you to appear more intelligent, even if your response isn't the best or brightest. The worst thing you can do is to act like you didn't hear your name being called on.
Body language is powerful, when used correctly. When used randomly and without intent, it can seem silly and totally useless; but if you plan on making a point and hope to convince your coworkers of it, consider using your flattened palm.
If you want every point you make to be heard as a genuine and valid consideration, lay your palm flat against the desk or table, and curl your fingertips downward. This gesture is meant convey confidence, helping those around you to see that you mean business. There's no weak, waffling hand business here, just a firm, steady line of power.
Want to get ahead in the midst of office politics? Try being a total jerk rather than killing your coworkers with kindness. Being polite won't do much for your power and perceived confidence among your fellow employees, but being rude can make you stronger.
When you see someone violating norms, rules, and traditions, you're drawn to them—they're seen as someone who's willing to do anything to achieve success. Adopt that same behavior, that same mindset, and you, too, can win enemies and appear even more powerful in the boardroom.
- Don't Miss: 10 Reasons Why It's Better to Be a Jerk
Another total jerk move is forgoing the art of the apology. That's right—you need to stop telling everyone around you that you're sorry for interrupting, sorry for misreading an email, sorry for any tiny misstep.
Apologizing is far too polite an action to take at work, and those who don't apologize for anything actually get more accomplished. The more abrasive and rude you are—in settings that call for it, of course—the more you'll earn, and the more you'll be perceived as powerful within your very office.
Although you can't quite perform magic tricks in the middle of a meeting to convince your coworkers that you have the best, most viable ideas or reasoning, you can conduct a bit of a mind trick by implanting memories within your coworkers' heads.
So if you want to convince others that you're right, or that your ideas are agreeable, remind them of the day during which you shared your genius idea over lunch, or the multiple meetings prior at which you proposed the exact same idea (even though you didn't). Give them a few suggestive details, and they'll quickly fill in the blanks in an effort to "remember" your statements so they don't appear out of the know.
- Don't Miss: How to Implant False Memories into Others' Heads
If you want to win everyone over, what's better than helping your staff and coworkers relieve their stress? After all, happy individuals are more likely to agree to what you propose, and are more open to new ideas. If your team is panicked or overwhelmed, teach them all to blow on their thumbs.
By sticking your thumb in your mouth and blowing really hard, you will stimulate the vagus nerve. This all-important nerve runs through the majority of your body, and with a change in temperature helps to alter the heartbeat and calm your stress. Use it at work, and you'll find more allies than enemies.
You know this old adage from your parents, your teachers, and other adults throughout your life: if you truly want to be heard, yelling or raising your voice won't do you any good. Instead, it's better to stay as quiet and calm as possible.
When you lower your voice and maintain an even tone, even in the face of an argument, those around you must also lower their own voices in order to hear what you're saying. If you find yourself yelling, you're losing the fight; instead, keep quiet, and you'll attract even more attention than a loudmouthed yeller.
Another easy way to hack your coworkers' opinion is to carefully angle your feet whenever you're attempting to draw them in your direction, and into your favor. In fact, the position of your feet can indicate who your friends are, and where your allegiances lie.
If someone's feet are angled away from you, they don't want to engage you; they're only doing so because they're attempting to be polite. If their toes are pointed towards you, though, they are welcoming you with something along the lines of open arms. Practice the same, and always point your feet towards coworkers; those around you will think they're warmly welcomed.
You probably use your fake smile considerably more so than your actual, genuine smile—but this is a habit you'll want to break. According to researchers, fake smiles are bad, and detrimental to the opinions of those around us.
Although fake smiles are meant to mask negative emotions, they actually do the opposite—they close our minds and our emotions off, leaving us in a cloud of negativity. When you put on a genuine smile, you inherently open yourself to positivity, to a new attitude, and to new possibilities in all that surrounds you. And, of course, smiles are infectious while fake smiles just feel creepy. If you want your coworkers to help you out more, and to be on your side, break out your real smile, and they'll begin viewing projects from new angles without even realizing it.
- Don't Miss: Fake Smiles Are Bad for You & Here's Why
Finally, if you want to appear more commanding and more intelligent, stop looking to the sky for all of your answers. Although it's incredibly tempting to gaze upward and roll your eyes away from your staring, overwhelming audience when answering questions and presenting information, Business Insider recommends avoiding these body language cues that signal incompetence.
Unfortunately, turning upward when you're grasping for answers comes off as a dumb and unhelpful gesture. Look to the ceiling, and your coworkers will believe you're actually searching for an answer anywhere you can find it. Instead, solidify their confidence in you by making eye contact no matter how nervous you are; this act makes the audience believe you're staring right at them, even if you aren't.