Justin Patton

Lady Gaga Shares Tips to Empower Business Women (3 of 3)

Lady Gaga Shares Tips to Empower Business Women (3 of 3)

JUST IN: Lady Gaga is teaching business women more than you think!

Gender differences in body language have an important impact on the bottom line and your ability to build rapport. While watching A Very Gaga Thanksgiving special, I noticed several key body language gestures from “Mother Monster” that all business women should personify in their daily interactions. In this series of three blogs, I will share some Lady Gaga inspired tips that can improve the way others perceive you.

Tip #3: Avoid Tilting and Nodding Too Much!
So what subtle nuance do you notice in this “Gaga-esque” photo? 

Now if you’re like me you want to mention the juxtaposition between the Tom Ford suit and those sharp- painful tentacles for fingernails but there’s something more important for all women to take from this photo. During this interview with Katie Couric, Gaga’s head remains upright and she maintains a good amount of eye contact. Now that might sound like common sense but I am going to challenge you to watch your peers during the next week and notice the difference between men and women.


Rule of thumb: Men tend to nod as a signal that they agree. Women tend to tilt their head and nod to show empathy, listening.

And although empathy is a necessary trait for excellent leadership, it can also create disadvantages when dealing with particular personality types. When coaching, I always recommend that women pay attention to an individual’s handshake, amount of animation/eye contact, and open body language. These details give insight into someone’s personality. When dealing with more dominant personalities, often times you will want to avoid tilting your head and nodding too much. These personalities can take this as a sign of weakness and that can be a deal-breaker in a negotiation. So whether Gaga was “Born that Way” or not, she’s got her head in the right place!

Here are a few quick tips on how you can apply this concept to your interactions:

  • Learn to subtly mirror the amount of nodding that you are receiving. Reminder: people like people like themselves
  • When in doubt, keep your head looking forward and minimize nodding/tilting of head
  • If you’re a “nodder” and this tip scares you, try limiting the nodding until the person ends their sentence. Let there be a pause and slowly nod 2 or 3 times. One of two things will happen. The individual will continue talking in an attempt to fill the space and you’ll receive more information or they won’t and you’ll be able to start talking.
  • You should maintain between 60-80% eye contact. Anything more than 80% could be taken as aggressiveness and well, it’s just plain uncomfortable.


My Challenge to You:
Analyze the body language differences between men & women this week. Notice which individuals give more eye contact, head nodding, and head tilting. Pick one or two of those individuals and try subtly mirroring their behavior.


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Justin Patton