We are all constantly engaged in non-verbal communication with other people. This communication consists of hand and eye movements, facial expressions and posture. Slate features editor Jessica Winter has been using a posture she calls the Kindly Brontosaurus, and having amazing results.
The Kindly Brontosaurus has helped Winter secure elusive airline seats, move to the front of a 1,000-person line, get access to a private area of a museum, and even convince her former boss to re-engineer a project already underway. Winter describes the posture:
You must stand quietly and lean forward slightly, hands loosely clasped in a faintly prayerful arrangement. You will be in the gate agent’s peripheral vision — close enough that he can’t escape your presence, not so close that you’re crowding him — but you must keep your eyes fixed placidly on the agent’s face at all times. Assemble your features in an understanding, even beatific expression. Do not speak unless asked a question. Whenever the gate agent says anything, whether to you or other would-be passengers, you must nod empathically.
Why does this pose work so well? According to Dr. Lillian Glass, the body language expert on Dancing with the Stars and Millionaire Matchmaker:
The body language of the Kindly Brontosaurus is respectful and nonthreatening. There’s a humility, so you allow the other person to feel empowered. Since you’ve made them feel like king of the jungle, they’re more receptive to you.
Glass recommends using the posture when dealing with parents, spouses, children, and in any challenging interpersonal situation.
Give it a try. Lean in with a genial, placid herbivore-like expression on your face, hands gently clasped – and see how it works for you.