Can You Afford Your Affordance?

Thaniya Keereepart, who runs the business of TED on apps, recently spoke about the use of design principles to change the way we interact with each other. 

She explained the idea of affordance.  It’s a user design idea that the look of something tells you how to use it.  A door knob or dial tells you to turn.  A button was designed to be pushed.  A handle to be grasped. 

The same could be true of people.  She says that the language we use in an email, the posture we assume in a meeting, and the space we take up in the room can all impact how people interact with us. 

Just like design begins with objectives, if each of us asked ourselves “what do we want?” and “how do I want to come across?” before meetings or presentations, we would likely get better results.

There are dozens of books about executive presence and TED talks about goal setting, language, and power, if you need some inspiration.