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Webinar with Odile Arbeit de Chalendar

10 Jul 2014 13:07 | Deleted user

On the 2nd of July WIL Europe conducted a webinar for our Emerging Leaders with WIL members, Odile Arbeit de Chalendar, a policy officer at the European Commissions Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, Unit C3 Intelligent Transport Systems. Via Micrsoft Lync videoconferencing Ms. Arbeit de Chalendar presented practical and physical exercises rooted in chi kung, of which Ms. Arbeit de Chalendar is a practicitioner. She showed the participants excercises in three areas; the reducing stress, the of increasing concentration and body language and first impressions.

In order to reduce stress, it is important to remember that the human being is a tenant between the Earth and the sky. There are several tips to help maintain this link and to reduce stress. First, it is imporatnt to be conscious, and to try not to use closed positions such as crossing your arms and legs. To better connect yourself and reduce stress one should try planting both feet on the ground, putting your hands straight on the table and leaning back on your chair while imagining stress going down through your body and into the Earth. These actions and body positions naturally help your bodies ability to release stress and is subtle enough to do in any environment.

To strengthen concentration, Ms. Arbeit de Chalendar explained that one should, first of all, drink more water in order to better conduct electricity to the brain. There are also several exercises that help you to connect the left and the right brain hemispheres, which ultimately increases your cognitive and concentration abilites. Some of these excercises include focusing on the centre of an “X” or tracing the curve of the infinity symbol with your eyes. Both excercises can be conducted either using a piece of paper or by visualising the symbols with your eyes closed.

In terms of body language and presentation, several key areas where discussed such as: the eyes- and the importance of making eye contact and visually engaging, the hands- laying your hands on the table as an open gesture and the arms- whether they are crossed as this sends a signal that you are not open to your interlocutor’s suggestions. Moreover, emerging leaders were taught how to breath more quietly and sit or stand calmly (do not fidget as this displays uncertainty) so that their posture is both convincing and reassuring. When entering a room, Ms. Arbeit de Chalendar reminded us that your 'first' impression begins before you say a word, therefore the way in which you enter a room can speak volumes and so your personal confidence and body languague are of the utmost importance. Aside from body language, one should always mentally prepare themselves, recognising negative barriers and clearing them from your mind in order to best succeed.

The session was both relaxing and highly instructive. Emerging leaders were able to take away several simple excercises that will enable them to better cope with stressful moments, boost concentration and ultimately become cognisant of the imporatance of body language and non-verbal presentation in all scenarios, including business settings.

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