Body Language and Mannerisms of Pharmacy Leaders


You can 'fake it' until you 'make it,' but for the long run, you want to be the real deal.

Have you ever felt that people don’t 'get' you? That you are being misunderstood? Perhaps your body language and other nonverbal signals are sabotaging your ideal image. Maybe your body language, voice, hairstyle, and clothes are sending a negative message that you are not aware of.

I see people being unfairly perceived as unintelligent, uncapable, and uncredible. Yet they are very smart, highly educated, credible, and capable. Why is this happening? Those misunderstood people have to work twice as hard to prove themselves. However, if you know body language, and social skills you can avoid these problems altogether.

Let me give you another example of the importantance of this subject matter. Imagine a man who is hard of hearing. He often reads lips as others talk to him. Without knowing it, he can be sending sublingual flirtatious messages to the speaker. He will then have to work twice as hard to prove to his coworkers that he has only good intentions.

It turns out that a professional gaze during conversation is when the listener looks at both eyes, and the center of a speaker's forehead, in a triangular pattern. Looking at the eyes and the mouth is more appropriate for social settings, outside of work, and is often a sign of flirting.

Here is another example: A woman used a speech pattern, where the end of her sentences had a higher pitch. It made her statements sound like a question. She was passed over for promotions, during 12 years of working with the same company. But when she changed her speech pattern, she went straight to the top of the corporate ladder.

The change in speech patterns caused people to see her as more confident, credible, and capable. But leaders, and successful people are more than just confident, credible, and capable. They are the whole package.

Natural born leaders, and other successful people are usually the 'bigger person' in all situations. They are the ones with the best manners. They are courteous and appropriate. They make eye contact and greet people who are in their presence. They shake hands with a firm, and confident hand shake. They are open, and receptive to connecting with others, but they don't initiate bonding with someone who displays closed-off body language, and signaling. They are kind, and considerate, always making other people around her/him feel at ease.

Natural born leaders are likely to be the last person to speak in a group. Nelson Mandela's father was an African chief, and would meet with other leaders. They would gather in a circle for their discussions. The father was the most dominate, respected chief, and he always spoke last. He listened patiently to what the others had to say, then after he had heard it all, he concluded the meeting with his thoughts.

When it comes to body language and mannerisms, you can 'fake it' until you 'make it,' and that might last for a short period of time. But for the long run, you want to be the real deal. People somehow always know the truth, even though they don't come out and tell you directly. Which is also why I believe in acting genuine, and listening to your intuition, while displaying the professionalism of a leader.

This is what experts describe as successful, credibly body language:


Impeccable grooming, tailored clothes, and dark colors indicates authority, and credibility. Hair should be neat and tidy; fashionable, yet professional.


Low in tone, relaxed yet enthusiastic, always appropriate for the mood.


Still, poised, confident, proud posture, both sitting, and standing.


Uninhibited about taking up necessary physical space. They spread their things out on a table, lean back in a chair, stretch their legs out in front of them

Interpersonal interactions

They are more interested in those around them than they are about themselves. They are never judgmental, and express sincere appreciation, but never manipulative flattery.

Expressing emotions

They say what they mean, and mean what they say. They speak positivel,y and see the brighter side of bad situations, but they are also uninhibited about saying when they are upset with a bad situation.


Direct, to the point, and easily understood. They use hand gestures to further emphasize, and clarify the meaning of their words.

Positioning of body parts

Arms open, as if nothing to hide. Legs relaxed, and apart if appropriate for the outfit. Palms exposed, fingers open.

When others speak

Maintains excellent eye contact. Often leans in to communicate with someone. Good listeners, often the last to speak in a group.

When people first meet you, what is the impression you are giving them. Is it that you are their equal, and happy to meet them. Is it that you are super excited to meet them and honored to have their time and attention? Or you are self-reliant, full of wisdom, knowledge, experience, and willing to help them?

If you are a Pharmacy leader, let your body language show it.


Glass L. I Know What You're Thinking: Using the Four Codes of Reading People to Improve Your Life. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2003. Page 138

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