The Institute of Social and Economic Research recently published a study about the connection between popularity in high school and earning power later in life. New York magazine, information source to the rich and popular, summarized the study like this: “This study may seem to burst our Revenge of the Nerds fantasies, but it’s logical that people who are attractive, likable, and socially comfortable”?the class officers, the cheerleaders”?should get ahead in corporate settings.”

There is absolutely irrefutable data to support the idea that good-looking people do better in life than everyone else. Gordon Patzer, in his book, Looks, draws from a wide body of research to describe the advantaged life of a good-looking person from the time they are a baby (good-looking babies get better parenting) to the time they are in sales (the whole sales team performs better if there are more good-looking people on the team.)

As a result, I have jumped on the plastic surgery bandwagon. Super-smarty Chelsea Clinton got plastic surgery before she entered the work world. We should all do that. And while I haven’t taken my own advice, I do find myself pinching and pulling at my nose to see what it would look like after a $10,000 investment.

But wait. Before you take out a loan to straighten your nose, maybe you should just start thinking like a tall person. Being good-looking means having the right mix of a lot of things, and for you, being tall might be the final keystone to hold it all in place. (Wondering if you’re already tall? Fast Company has the answer: over 6’3″ for men and over 5’9″ for women, which, by the way, makes me half-an-inch into the land of the tall.)

Tall people make $789 more per inch per year, and are 90% more likely to ascend to the CEO chairs of Fortune 500 Companies, according to Arianne Cohen, author of The Tall Book. She scoured the sociology, psychology and workplace research to determine why tall people succeed (she herself is 6’3″). And Cohen discovered that the behaviors tall people display can be mimicked by anyone in order to get the career benefits of being tall.

Here’s what Cohen says to do, based on the research she’s gathered:

Be unforgettable. Due to evolutionary programming, when a tall guy walks into a meeting, everyone registers that he’s there, and remembers what he says. This is a huge boon for someone who’s also an ambitious, talented worker. So be noticeable. Figure out a way that when you walk in the room, everyone registers it. You can do that through interesting (but professional) clothing, cracking jokes when you walk in, etc.

Act like the boss. Tall children, from a very young age, are deemed the “leader” of their friends. Other little kids literally look up to them and often treat them as they would a slightly older child, and as a result, they’re more likely to function as the leader for the rest of their life. Even as interns, other office workers give them the physical space and attention usually reserved for a leader. So act like a leader.

Find a way to look down on coworkers. Literally. An eye cast down is a really powerful behavior — it’s the body’s way of signaling a power imbalance in your favor, and you can create that power imbalance with some attention to your positioning. Thus, stand whenever you can when coworkers are sitting, and avoid walk-and-talks and casual standing around the office where coworkers are looking down at you.

Guard your personal space. Close friends hold conversations 18″ apart; friends 2-3′ apart, and bosses and employees four feet apart. Coworkers naturally give tall people four-or-more feet, which means that from the beginning, they’re treated with boss-like reverence. You can mimic this body language — simply send out the physical vibe of professionalism, not chumminess, even in casual conversation. You’ll see that people step back, and give you more space.

Don’t be shy. Tall people often build an oversize personality to fit their oversize bodies. In the workplace tall people are more likely to yell or make demands or pull off a tongue-in-cheek toast to the boss. Socially, they take chances, and those chances are rewarded.

Focus on image rather than competence. Tall people aren’t actually better workers, but in surveys, their bosses think they are. Which means that though competence matters, the perception of competence matters much more. So stop spending so much time on your work, and start spending more time on this list of ways to look tall.

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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    On the Be Unforgettable point, consider what the pickup artists call peacockcing. It’s annoying… but effective. There’s a reason people who wear bow ties are memorable.

  2. J
    J says:

    Ha, this post is great. Especially because I’m a 5’10” woman :-)
    I don’t know if you would ever realize some of this stuff if you were short or of average height, but the difference in the way people address you is palpable. I can’t vouch for making more than my colleagues, but I have experienced everything else.

  3. ayelet
    ayelet says:

    reminds me of my south american-born, porsche-driving, married-to-a-hot-italian international business professor in uni. she repeatedly told the women in the class to wear really high heels in business situations for the added height. i feel more powerful when i am striding around in high heels. ironic because a person is probably more physically balanced and centered on flat shoes.

  4. Alexandra Levit
    Alexandra Levit says:

    I’m 5 feet tall and have struggled with this one. When I attended the Business Roundtable’s Project Springboard Meeting in Washington D.C. last week (we’re advising the Obama administration on workplace issues), I was the shortest person there by at least six inches. I’m writing a column about first impressions this week and this was in the back of my mind the whole time. Thanks for shedding more light on it, Penelope.

    Best,

    Alexandra Levit
    Author, They Don’t Teach Corporate in College
    Blogger, Water Cooler Wisdom
    http://www.alexandralevit.com

  5. angdis-bb
    angdis-bb says:

    Plastic surgery? Come on. I suppose that if someone has it done right it will not be consciously preceptable, but really, once it becomes “noticeable” (eg “Joan Rivers” or “the Joker face”) that is actually MUCH WORSE than not having anything done at all.

    There’s nothing wrong with your nose, Penelope.

  6. The Saint
    The Saint says:

    The Economist had a great article on the discrimination on short people some years ago and how it was the last form of discrimination. They were also very tongue in cheek about solutions for this form of discrimination. Great fun fact for presidential elections. See who is tallest and it’s likely you will see the winner of the presidential election as there is a very strong correlation to height and winning the election.

    On a side note Penelope, sounds like you would be under the average height for our family :D

  7. Chris
    Chris says:

    This is a pretty ridiculous post. The alleged benefits of all of these tactics are rendered moot by the fact that they are merely tactics. If this is not “who you really are” then these tactics incur a loss of dignity and integrity. That’s what happens when a person fakes it.

    It makes me think of a teenager who thinks he’s discovered the best pickup lines that will get him laid. It’s not about the pickup lines at all. It’s who you are. Similarly leadership is who you are and something you develop. It’s not how well you gaze down at others, how nice your nose is, or how you keep your personal space.

    That being said, I enjoy your blog. You make some good points here too. I just think you’re just overstating your case this time.

    • Miss B
      Miss B says:

      How often in a business situation does anyone get to know the “real” you? I’d bet heavily on ‘rarely’ and throw extra bets toward ‘never’.

      Socially, sure…if you’re a clown who makes a point of creating a false persona, people will eventually sniff you out as a fake or worse. Your social life is not your work life.

      I’m fairly certain that I work with a number of assholes who rely completely on bravado in their professional lives. I’ll never be completely sure that this is the case because I don’t make a point of spending time with them outside of my 8-6 job. I see them around the office, period.

      Peneople’s post was about this very phenomenon. As much as I’d like to think that my bosses are contemplating the deeper meaning of a comment I made at a meeting three days ago, they probably forgot I exist. This is why you probably don’t want to pick your nose at your desk because if someone sees you, you’ll forever be “that kid who picks his nose at his desk”. You might be a lovely person who happened to have an itch, but no one is going to take the time to check.

      In case the news the past few months hasn’t filled you in on this fact, “integrity” isn’t exactly the name of the game in the professional world. And it doesn’t make me thrilled to say that. But it’s the working world that the vast majority of people live in. I think Penelope’s post was spot-on.

    • Sari
      Sari says:

      Chris,

      Good pick-up lines will likely get a guy laid, but ‘who he is’ will get him a long term relationship.

      Similarly, looking good and/or being tall will make you memorable, which means you’re at the forefront of people’s minds when they want to promote someone, spend their money, or assign projects. If you do a good job (‘who you are’), then you’ll continue to get the nod from the boss.

      I think the point here is that you’re less likely to get the opportunities in the first place if you’re not playing the game. Smart but frumpy doesn’t get you anywhere anymore.

    • Tiona
      Tiona says:

      I totally agree with you Chris. A long experience in those tactics has told me the same thing. That if I am not myself, I tend to be very bad at work and unefficient. So thanks for bringing that up.

  8. GenerationXpert
    GenerationXpert says:

    Most of the girls who were popular in my high school got that way because they were slutty, not necessarily cute. But that probably works in the business world, too.

  9. anonymous
    anonymous says:

    I heard the exact same thing on NPR a couple of days ago. Come on-be more creative. Except for the nose comment, this had no personal flavor. I’m dissapointed.

  10. Parsing Nonsense
    Parsing Nonsense says:

    I read a lot of research like this when I was a psych major, and for the most part it’s fairly right-on. I’m considered a tall person (5’11”) and people almost always assume I know what I’m talking about, even when I’m not even making any sense.

    It’s an unfair advantage, really, but not one I’m going to complain about.

  11. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    Cohen’s research – “Act like the boss. Tall children, from a very young age, are deemed the “leader” of their friends. Other little kids literally look up to them and often treat them as they would a slightly older child, and as a result, they’re more likely to function as the leader for the rest of their life. Even as interns, other office workers give them the physical space and attention usually reserved for a leader. So act like a leader.”
    I would argue there is a difference between acting like a boss and acting like a leader. This fact became apparent to me after taking and being evaluated after a responsible engineering authority (REA) training class. It was pointed out to me I had leadership qualities but they were more skewed towards the boss side of the spectrum. I didn’t like to hear that news but I knew it was true so I changed my approach to working with co-workers in some areas. As it turns out, leaders don’t need titles to lead … bosses do.

  12. KateNonymous
    KateNonymous says:

    I’m just a hair over 5’4″. People always think I’m 2-3 inches taller. And I wear flats.

    • Tom
      Tom says:

      No, we should tax stupid people who think plastic surgery is the answer to everyone’s problems. What would your nose look like after a $10,000 investment? $10,000 poorer, and you wouldn’t get a thing out of it in life. Unless you are horrendously malformed, learn to live with what you have and respect it so others can respect you for what you are.

      I also don’t think Chelsea Clinton got anything done – I think she lost weight. She looks pretty much the same as she ever did, just a little toned up and more mature. The right make up and hair can do amazing wonders – doesn’t anyone else watch What Not To Wear? I had a friend that roughly resembled her as a teen and guess what? She roughly resembles her now – without a bit of surgery.

      Summer doldrums for PenelopeTrunk.com? Seems like a lot of insubstantial stuff like this being written lately solely to get reactive comments (and therefore more hits.) I shouldn’t react, yet I do . . .

      • KateNonymous
        KateNonymous says:

        There are people who, as I refer to it, “grow into their faces.” I think Chelsea Clinton is one of these people.

    • DG
      DG says:

      Vi,

      I haven’t read this paper, but given what I’ve read of Mankiw, this must be an attack on the Utilitarian framework – not a serious proposal for a “tall tax”. This is intended as a send-up of the idea of taxing innate abilities.

      On a policy level I really dislike this fellow, but he can sure write a coherent textbook, I’ll give him that.

      -DG

  13. Carla Hinkle
    Carla Hinkle says:

    Chelsea Clinton had plastic surgery?

    I looked at some photos … she has had some work done but hard to tell if it was actual plastic surgery or not. Teeth fixed up yes, hair much better now, but I don’t really consider those plastic surgery. Maybe a nose job … that is the most likely candidate. She also outgrew (or just lost) her teenage fat. Lips? Some websites think she had lip injections but I’m not sure, her smile looks pretty similar to me. She does look better now … but she had some pretty awkward teen years, even as awkward teen years go, so just learning how to fix herself up goes a long way. Which goes for all of us.

  14. Joselle Palacios
    Joselle Palacios says:

    Don’t touch your nose. It’s one of your best features. Remember Jennifer Grey? Don’t do it.

    Another Jewish girl getting a nose job and losing the fabulous nose? NO!

    I have a button nose. I’ve always liked bigger, Romanesque, structured noses. Grass is greener?

  15. Leslie
    Leslie says:

    This reminds me when someone who I had just met in person said, "You sound taller over the phone". I’m 5’2″ and I wear high heels in any business setting or meeting.

    • Diane
      Diane says:

      I thought I was the only person who had ever heard that comment! I was told by someone that I sounded taller on the phone, and I thought it was kind of weird. I’m 5′ 3″ and cannot wear high heels, on the orders of my orthopedic surgeon. But an “up” hairstyle, if it’s one that suits a person and doesn’t look bizarre, can create the impression of more height.

  16. Lance
    Lance says:

    Sweet, the contents of this post is my speciality! Social artistry at it’s finest.

    Being tall should give you a physical advantage in social/business settings, but I’ve found that most tall men and women don’t use it effectively. The reason is they have poor body language (slouching, leaning forward, sticking head forward, etc etc). I’ve worked in multiple corporate environments and seen this. Also, I’m a professional coach, and I’ve coached well over 1000 athletes and seen the same thing. The tallest ones are the gangliest and the most awkward. Interestingly, it’s the medium build athletes with high intelligence and excellent physiques that are the leaders and the social dominators.

    This is a great post and I want to respond in a longer blog…

  17. anne
    anne says:

    “Focus on image rather than competence”

    Couldn’t agree more with the last point. Perception is reality, especially in a corporate setting.

  18. funkright
    funkright says:

    My God.. I’ve found the answer to all the world’s ills… “Focus on image rather than competence…” Sheesh.. that’s just pathetic..

  19. Sara
    Sara says:

    Do you ever actually read the articles you post to beyond the first sentence – the study specifically takes out IQ – which makes the whole debunking revenge of the nerd analogy just plain wrong. Read the actual data! The IQ advantage trumped the popularity 4 to 1 – so forget plastic surgery – us nerds have got you beat.

  20. alfredo mesen
    alfredo mesen says:

    Rather discouraging post for a 5’8″ male, you did offer solutions but I just don’t like them :/

  21. Alice Bachini-Smith
    Alice Bachini-Smith says:

    “the behaviors tall people display can be mimicked by anyone in order to get the career benefits of being tall.”

    Could this possibly be true of good-looking people too?

    Could it possibly be the case that how you act can completely override the significance of, for instance, the shape of your nose? Not for middle-of-the road dullards, perhaps, but for really dynamic, interesting & intelligent people?

  22. Jonathan
    Jonathan says:

    I’m not sure if you were serious about the nose job thing (you shouldn’t be) but I’ll take it seriously so I can make a point. Unless you can get that nose job without anyone noticing, I would pass. Getting plastic surgery shows a lack of confidence with yourself – your corporate colleagues will take note (they’re smart and observant, or they wouldn’t be where they are) and lose respect for you.

    As for the other points, they’re mostly true. When using any of these social tactics, though, you need to be careful not to be seen as aggressive or condescending by your coworkers. They’ll resent you for trying to ‘act like the boss’ or ‘finding a way to look down on’ them.

  23. 5'3" but doing okay
    5'3" but doing okay says:

    I believe people each have their own era within their lives in which they peak, both phsically and mentally. Many of the hot, popular cheerleaders and jocks from my high school class are now overweight and not doing a whole lot career-wise. It’s like they peaked in high school. Or maybe they grew accustomed to the silver platter that comes with popularity and never learned how to work hard on their own.

    The tall thing – I agree with that. However, I think you can be tall without physically being tall. It’s how you think of yourself, how you carry yourself and how you act. I’m a huge believer in Maya Angelou’s

  24. Professional Resume Writer
    Professional Resume Writer says:

    I laughed out loud at the title of this post. Cute.

    I guess the only way to really ‘be tall at work’ if you are not is to act tall, like you suggested. Have more confidence.. fake it if you have to.

    Interesting post… :)

  25. Jun
    Jun says:

    Women have known about this for years – €“ hence the high heels. When I go to meetings, I put on my power heels, I look men in the eye. The more important the meeting, the higher the heel.

    And when it comes to being good looking, again, women have been doing this forever with makeup, which can turn an average-looking woman into an better-than-average-looking woman.

    It’s unfortunate that men don’t have tools like this to aid them. I guess that’s why short men develop the Napoleon complex to compensate.

  26. Eric
    Eric says:

    I like the “guard personnal space” thought but as a tall person, I found this really hard to apply.

    It’s kind of simple with male colleagues or partners but not with women.

    How to find the balance between “to guard his personnal space” and “courtesy” ?

    But Lance made a really good point here too. Tall people are often clumsy. No one learnt them how to stand, how to act, how to be.

    A lot of teens don’t know what to do with their long arms/legs.

    If no one learn them how to stand, they’ll become clumsy adults.

  27. Eric
    Eric says:

    The last bullet it depressing. Is that a joke? Your blog is perfectly named. I would like to think I have gotten where I am through competence and hard work, not my 6″6″ stature. Instead of busting my hump I should just practice good posture??

  28. Anca
    Anca says:

    Great post. Us Gen-Y members are noticeably shorter than the Gen-Xers. It’s quite deflating to have to physically look up to people who are already older than us — makes you feel even more like the inexperienced kid, despite being 25.

    So I’m happy to know there are strategies for “being tall” that don’t involve actual height. However, I think I first need to convince myself that I’m “tall” and confident, so maybe I’ll look into buying some high heels. At 5’3″ I need all the help I can get.

  29. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    This is far and away one of the best posts in recent weeks! *smile* Not ready to buy plastic surgery as a business tool, but think like a tall person? Gotta love that! Be unforgettable, act like the boss, don’t be shy – great. But that last point bothers me a little – focus on image over competance? Perhaps it should read, “focus on image AS WELL AS competance.” Image may get you in the door, but in the end competance gets you the corner office.

  30. Mike Wilson
    Mike Wilson says:

    At 5’11” I have to say… cowboy boots. Conservative, black boots. It gives you about a 1.5″ heel. Plus, you make an awful lot of noise when you walk in them.

    – Walk fast, take a long stride.
    – Shoulders back and straight. If you don’t get accused of being in the military, you’re doing it wrong. (this is not gender-specific advice. I am a weak kneed fool for a woman with this kind of air of confidence, a hilarious irony.)
    – Always look straight ahead and up. It adds an amazing amount to your height.
    – Say hi to people in the cube farm a row or two down as you walk in, being friendly and loud about it. Don’t overdo it (having conversations, etc.)
    – Overdress. You can be VERY slight about it as long as you’re consistent. People will notice. I love cufflinks. I can still wear a comfortable shirt in a tieless “business casual” environment and it adds a level of punch that people notice.

    RE: Image/Competence. It’s one of the simple and sometimes frustrating realities that people notice what they NOTICE. Don’t forgo one for the other. (Crappy work will get you canned and it will eat at you while you do it anyway.) But you have to keep your goals in mind.

    If your job is just a stepping stone, walk all over it.

    • JB
      JB says:

      These are good additions…the long strides make you appear very busy and the good posture helps you exude confidence. I’m a 5’3″ woman but I feel (and sometimes act) like I’m 5’9″–I’m a fast walker and a fast talker and those things help me be taken more seriously.

  31. Isis Nair
    Isis Nair says:

    As a minority woman who is 5’2, I definitely relate to this post. I have had many a tall male managers towering over me and trying to intimidate with their height. Ironic thing is that tall people are the ones that always tell me about how short I am and seem to have an issue with it. I just say that I don’t really notice it anymore (which is very true!) because they are just a different type of tall to me as most people are taller than me! The males above 6’feet always take a little offense when I say that I honestly don’t see the difference between them and a guy who is 5’9, just varying levels of tall.

    Personality is definitely something that helps me. It helps to have a strong, confident prescense when walking into a room or being in a meeting. To those people who insist on obsessing over my height (or how tiny I am), I let them know that I am actually quite tall for my family as my dad is my height and mom is 4’8! This usually keeps them quiet too.

    Here is one little request to the tall people out there reading this. Please try not to go into great lengths about how short someone is or how little they are. It is a rather unoriginal topic of conversation for the person who is below average height :)

  32. Grace
    Grace says:

    Ah, Fernado, it’s not how you feel, it’s how you look.

    For a blog that professes to offer new approaches to work, it seems that we are always revisiting the ancient issue of popularity. The topic of how to win friends and influence people is as old as the hills; even Adam and Eve probably thought the fig leaves made them look taller.

    The research may be sound, but the tricks only go so far. Let’s give good ol’ fashioned confidence and integrity a try – more ancient ideas, but these might make you feel better as well as look better.

  33. Steve Averill
    Steve Averill says:

    great post and coming from my perspective 6’4″ I can tell you that there is also resentment built in and avoidance. especially by peers. I think what ends up happening is that to survive the workplace tall people (assuming they have some modicum of talent) HAVE to take the lead somewhere or they will be out quickly. Either that or go out on your own.

  34. MeredithElaine
    MeredithElaine says:

    Heels – unless they are a platform or wedge, I’m not wearing those things. Am I the only person who finds the classic heel extremely painful after about 5 minutes of wearing them? Plus I’m too klutzy. Seriously, I feel and sprained my ankle getting up from a desk in my own home. So teeny, wobbly heels are just not feasible.

    Due to that, and the fact that I’m only 5’6″, I guess I’m destined for a lifetime of mediocrity.

    Someone remind me again why I continue to read this blog?

  35. Will at Virtualjobcoach
    Will at Virtualjobcoach says:

    Ugh. It would seem that the study that you reference is flawed from the beginning (but the formulas and statistical analysis make it look good). The problem is that “popularity” is not what you want to measure. Am I popular on Linkedin if I have 5000 contacts or do I have a lot of names that I couldn’t tell from Adam? Also, for what they are trying to do the sample size is way to small and the definition of “success” way to generic.

    I have found that many of the most ‘popular’ kids in high-school were popular due to looks and/or sports. Unfortunately, most peaked during high-school. On the other side of the coin, the students who were “book worms” got into better collages (and were generally more intelligent).

    So while I like grad-school statistical analysis, the referenced “analysis” is suspect.

    I like the tall comment though – although being too tall to young has its own issues (I was 6’2″ when I was 10).

    Cool stuff,
    Will at virtualjobcoach.com

    • J
      J says:

      Good point Will. I would think a woman who was 6’3″ (mentioned in the blog post) might have some negative ramifications based on her height.

  36. Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers
    Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers says:

    The take away for me here – no matter what your situation, it is up to you to make the most of it! So, if you are unusually short or of average height, you can still “act tall.” If you have average looks, you can dress well and get professional advice regarding make up, etc.

    As a job search coach, I teach my clients to address and impact the things they DO control. So, the economy’s in the toilet, maybe you haven’t looked for a job in 15 years and you’re over 40, but that doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. Job seekers who put good information and materials to work for them DO land opportunities.

    Thinking differently – dare I say “outside of the box” – and being willing to use resources or ideas that others do not attempt is an important and useful approach!

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I have to say, this is one of my favrite comments in this string. This comment gets to the core of everything.

      It’s really easy to poke holes in everyone’s theories. It’s really hard to discern what you have control over and what you don’t and focus on what you can control.

      Each of us has a different set of gifts and a different set of obstacles and a different set of things we can control. But all of us have a responsiblity to ourselves to face what we can control and do something with it.

      Penelope

  37. Chris Yeh
    Chris Yeh says:

    If you’re tall, the logical response to this post is a celebratory fist pump.

    If you’re short, you should take advantage of this irrational bias and start an Internet company that you staff with nothing but short people. Because they are undervalued, you should have a cost advantage over any competing companies with normal height employees. (It has to be an Internet company so that your customers aren’t turned off by your team’s lack of height)

    Unless, of course, bringing together so many folks with “little man” complexes results in a disastrous implosion of short-on-short violence….

  38. Mary K
    Mary K says:

    I am only 5 feet tall—however, I come across as much taller because I have presence. And, oddly enough, I am told I am quite intimidating. So go figure.

    • Odie
      Odie says:

      Go, Mary! The key word in your post is “presence.” I applaud you for bringing in that very good point. God bless you, you tall person of a certain height!

  39. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Funny, all the popular kids at my high school are losers now. It’s the geeks and nerds who are making all the dough.

    Consider that with the internet, we don’t see how good-looking or tall people are.

  40. Richard
    Richard says:

    As a 5’7″, 27-year-old man, I have tried, in part, to do this for the past few years. I don’t slouch, my stride is quick and meaningful, I don’t walk around with my hands in my pockets anymore, and I try to have confidence in my voice in a business setting. That’s because people do tend not to give me much respect because I am both short and young-looking. All the time people say “you know you look like you’re about 15 years old” when they first meet me, without even thinking how rude or insulting it is. (Lately I’ve been a little hateful about it, I responded to an older woman that she looked like she was about 65!) Added to this the fact that I’m not fat, like most people get at my age in the South, lends an air of “hey, I shouldn’t pay attention to this guy when he walks in the room” to me.

    • William Frost
      William Frost says:

      Those are great points. People can be quick to comment without thinking about how it sounds on the receivers end.

      That confident attitude helps though, it says “I’m here to do business” and people see that.

      Toastmasters has helped me out a lot.

  41. Odie
    Odie says:

    I think it’s stupid to suggest that if you are taller, you will get ahead somehow. It’s not about your height or your weight or your looks. It’s about how you use your intelligence, that’s what really counts. The looks come second. Anyone who thinks this way is deceiving herself. I do not deny that looks and even height might help in the business world but, let’s not kid ourselves: Get some emotional intellligence as well along the way.

    And, oh yeah, I’ve met some stupid tall and even fat and skinny people!

  42. Philip
    Philip says:

    Perception is everything. Just as height is (initially) more important than talent, posture is more important than height. I’m barely 5’10”, but people almost always think I’m much taller. I’ve even had people that are several inches taller argue with me when I’ve pointed out that I’m shorter than they are. This is because I consciously worked on my posture, which is now very good. Not only is good posture healthier, but it also adds to that elusive quality of “presence” some people have.

    Posture is especially important for women, as women tend to have more back problems as they age. Additionally, taller women (who are more likely to slump, to hide their height) are also usually slender. Slumping not only looks bad in itself, it also de-emphasizes the bust-line, which is frequently the opposite of what’s desired when a woman has a slender build.

    As far as “be memorable” goes, I’d add “do everything with purpose”. Don’t just walk into a room, ENTER the room. Don’t just answer the phone, GREET your caller.

  43. Jon W
    Jon W says:

    This is all great commentary. And these tactics work really well until, as a guy, you get a boss that is quite a bit shorter and more insecure. Rather than “acting small” to appease him, I left.

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