by Chris Bertram on August 1, 2007

I’m a big fan of the “Lifehacker”: site, especially for their software tips, but when you read them every day you get to see that their lifestyle advice is pretty much all over the place. Yesterday’s “roundup”: includes a link back to a “May entry”: on body language:

bq. Slow down a bit – this goes for many things. Walking slower not only makes you seem more calm and confident, it will also make you feel less stressed. If someone addresses you, don’t snap you’re neck in their direction, turn it a bit more slowly instead.

But as recently as last Sunday, they treated us to “Improve Your Self-Confidence”:, which linked to “Ten Ways to Instantly Build Self-Confidence”: :

bq. One of the easiest ways to tell how a person feels about herself is to examine her walk. Is it slow? tired? painful? Or is it energetic and purposeful? People with confidence walk quickly. They have places to go, people to see, and important work to do. Even if you aren’t in a hurry, you can increase your self confidence by putting some pep in your step. Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important.

I think I’ll just sit where I am for now.



Barry Freed 08.01.07 at 1:41 pm

They must have outsourced that topic to the Ministry of Silly Walks.


chris y 08.01.07 at 1:57 pm

have you tried skipping?


Ginger Yellow 08.01.07 at 2:33 pm

“Walking 25% faster will make to you look and feel more important.”

24% faster will make you look like a tool, and 26% would just be silly, but 25% turns you into Gordon Brown.

Anyway, why would you want to feel important when you’re just walking around?


ejh 08.01.07 at 4:12 pm

Isn’t there actually a phrase MBWA, Management By Walking Around? I think it’s a criticism but management books are so full of tosh that it’s hard to be sure.


Mike Otsuka 08.01.07 at 5:09 pm

Perhaps you’re supposed to run in slow motion as in Chariots of Fire (but not Gallipoli).


kharris 08.01.07 at 6:35 pm

My guess is that walking speed is a cultural thingee. Or a subcultural thingee. Those who walk fast find those who walk slowly “slack”. Those who walk slow find those who walk fast pushy and annoying. Those with well-to-do urban roots think walking fast is a sign of their importance. Those with rural, servile or warm-weather roots see walking slow as a sign of gentility, or sell-assertion. It’s no wonder two different observers at the Lifehacker level would imagine they have discovered the truth about walking, and find that their truths are diametrically different.


Xanthippas 08.01.07 at 6:44 pm

They got it right the first time. The only people I know who walk around like they just did a shot of caffeine are hyperactive, stressed, easily distracted and usually (but not always) annoying…at least to a confident, slow-walker such as myself.


notsneaky 08.02.07 at 2:14 am

I never understand these things. If you’re self-confident then you walk however you walk, not worrying about what some fool on some website has to say about how you’re supposed to walk. Some self-confident people walk slow, assuredly and all dignified like. Other self-confident people walk fast, with a point, a purpose, and a place to be be. Neither of them take advice on how they should be walkin’ since, you know, they’re all self-confident and all.

But yes, us fast walkers are hyperactive, easily distracted and annoying as hell. Not really stressed though.


Henry (not the famous one) 08.02.07 at 5:09 am

MBWA exists–a government agency here in California tried to demote a supervisor because she did not spend enough time wandering into employees’ offices to see whether they “looked productive,” i.e., whether their offices were neat or messy, empty or full (I forget whether neat and full was good–messy and empty probably not, if only because it’s so hard to achieve). I think she was supposed to get the same information from looking at the employees as they sat at their desks.

There is only one good reason to walk into other people’s offices–to prevent them from working.


stuart 08.02.07 at 9:00 pm

I thought the idea behind MBWA is not that it causes work while you are present, because obviously it is just another interruption. It is the intended randomn pattern of the walking around that gives a threat of a manager walking in at any time of the day, especially when the employee is playing soltaire, looking at non work websites, downloading porn, or otherwise goofing off that is supposed to cause extra work to result.


ejh 08.03.07 at 9:42 am

Which places it in the category of MPOE – Management by Pissing Off the Employees.

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