Tips for Appearing Authoritative in a Business Environment

Use confidence to raise in the ranks of business.

Whether you want to show potential employers you have confidence, manage a team with authority or dominate a client meeting, you can use posture and presence to command attention. Once you start a career in business, you still have a lot of learning and growing to do before you achieve success. Interestingly enough, the way you hold yourself says a lot about your state of mind and position. Here are some tips for exuding confidence and authority at work:

Act your part
Know how much authority you have and rise to the occasion. If you're a manager, you don't need to ask permission to do you job. Be aware of what you can and cannot do in your position and make the most of it. Act with confidence.

Expect respect
No matter what postilion you're in, you deserve respect (as long as you're a good employee). If you're in a management position, others should look up to you and report to you. Act as if you expect others to treat you well and they will. Of course, people are more apt to respect you if you show others the same courtesy. 

Make eye contact
Acting the part and expecting respect might sound more like concepts than practical tips, but you can make those things happen by using a few postural and behavioral practices, starting with eye contact. Averting your eyes during a conversation is a sign of subservience. Meet the eyes of the people you speak with in order to show you're listening and interested. You don't have to hold the eye contact indefinitely - looking off to the side occasionally shows the other person you're thinking about what they're saying.

Use open postures
Body language says a lot about what you think your place in any hierarchy is. For example, a person who sits with their back hunched, elbows in and legs crossed has a closed posture. This state says the person wants to protect themselves, as they are shielding their chest. A person who stands with their feet apart, chest forward, chin up and elbows out takes up much more space. This posture displays confidence and dominance. You can open your posture in small ways whether you're sitting or standing. Avoid crossing your legs, maintain a straight spine and press your elbows outward. 

Use declarative statements
When you speak, make sure your statements sounds like just that, statements. Avoid ending a sentence in a question as this shows uncertainty and indicates hesitance. Additionally, avoid using filler words, such as "um" or "like."

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online bachelor degree programs in business and online MBA programs. To find out more, please visit

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