7 Science-Backed Ways to Seem Smarter at Work

If you haven’t yet heard of the hot area of psych research called “embodied cognition,” listen up. The first impression you make may have nothing to do with the words that come out of your mouth. Scientists are discovering that our bodies may be making snap judgements and sending messages to our brains before we even speak. From the temperature in a room to the way we’re seated, our physical world can shape what we think and influences our opinions of each other.

Want some groundbreaking ideas on how to capitalize on (or even improve) your image before your next interaction? Read on for the latest insightful research on how you can subtly (but powerfully) manipulate how you’re perceived.

1. If You Want to Seem: Thoughtful

Have you arranged a meeting with a client whose opinion you want to sway? Hit Starbucks first. Handing someone a hot drink that they can hold in their hands can influence their view of you, say researchers. When subjects warmed up their hands with a hot cup of coffee before meeting someone new, they actually had a more caring and thoughtful impression of them.

Need a raise? Bring a hot tea to your boss. Israeli University Business School scientists have found that participants are willing to pay more when they held something warm, too.

2. If You Want to Seem: Powerful

Running a presentation and want attendees to take your findings more seriously? Offer handouts on heavy clipboards, found University of Amsterdam scientists in a study published in Psychological Science. The audience just may think better of you. When subjects held a weighty object in their hands, they made judgements of higher monetary value, were fairer in decision-making, and even gave more thoughtful answers. Said main study author, Nils Jostmann: “These findings suggest that, much as weight makes people invest more physical effort in dealing with concrete objects, it also makes people invest more cognitive effort in dealing with abstract issues.”

3. If You Want to Seem: Trustworthy

Your scruples may come down to how you sit, found a series of business school studies conducted by researchers from Columbia, Harvard, Berkeley, Northwestern, and MIT. The studies explored the nature of dishonesty. Their results were surprising: How you sit at your desk just may influence your judgement. Subjects who sat at vast desks were more likely to cheat on tasks than those in smaller (think: cubicle-sized) workspaces. In another example, those who sat in wide, open chairs were more likely to act recklessly than those in smaller, tighter quarters.

The study authors conclude that your unconscious posture has a lot more to do with your thought process about boundaries than previously thought.

4. If You Want to Seem: Competent

Never underestimate the effect your pearly whites have on the perception of your job performance. Giving genuine smiles around the office can affect how colleagues judge your work, suggests recent Penn State research. When you smile often, you convey a friendliness that goes a long way toward a good first impression, found the scientists. Subjects who grinned more were given a higher rating of competence compared to those who remained tight-lipped while going about their work.

5. If You Want to Seem: Dependable

According to Harvard University psychologists, dolling ourselves up, ladies, can boost our professional reputation in subconscious ways. When male and female participants were asked to rate faces with and without colorful cosmetics, the application of such extras as lipstick and eyeshadow made the women’s faces appear more dependable, trustworthy, and friendly. (Sigh.)

While it may not be a surprise that making yourself appear more attractive, or put together, would correlate with more positive perceptions, the authors also found that this effect held true even when the amount of makeup changed. It didn’t matter if the makeup was natural, moderate, or even made a “glamorous” impression. Women were still given high marks for business acumen when they stepped up their cosmetics. This is not to say that we should all be running out to buy eye shadow (we hope)—but a little cosmetic effort seems to go a long way.

6. If You Want to Seem: Influential

Turn up the heat in your office when you want to sway others to think your way, found Chinese business school research published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. Subjects were more likely to go along with others’ opinions when rooms were set to the temperature of 77 degrees F than a cooler 61 degrees F. “Ambient temperature is another factor that influences the perceived validity of others’ opinions,” wrote study authors.

In fact, this conformity, and blind trust of others viewpoints, even applied to financial decisions. Those sitting in warmer rooms more likely went along with the rest when deciding whether to buy or sell stocks. The authors hypothesize that warm weather gives us a “warm and fuzzy” feeling about peers so we trust their points of view more readily.

7. If You Want to Seem: Knowledgeable

Move from the conference room to the comfy confines of your couch, say scientists, if you are about to do some negotiations. The study authors created a series of studies that found a relationship between touch and perception.

In one, participants were asked to rate an employee’s performance while handling either a hard surface of wood or a soft textile. Those who were in contact with the wood gave the employee a poorer grade than those near the softer fabric. In another test, the subjects were in contact with either a rough surface or, again, a softer one. This time, too, the subjects handling the rougher object were considered more adversarial than those in kinder, gentler physical environs. You’ll never look at a meeting across a hardwood desk the same way again.

By Erinn Bucklan of DailyWorth, August 18, 2014


We are excited to announce we are expanding to NEW ORLEANS!

Join us on congratulating Christopher Kopetz on being promoted to management! Chris has been with SKY for roughly a year and is now headed to New Orleans to open up on a brand new campaign and client for us! 

383231_426911584011165_1806673249_nChristopher studied Theology at Vanderbilt here in Nashville and graduated in 2009. Christopher loves people and loves living life. His motto is: “There are times when life throws a hard punch and it hurts so bad. But it is worth all the pain and suffering, especially, when you are the one who is able to help them see that life is beautiful…” He has been setting the pace here at SKY since he started. He is a great mentor, trainer, and leader for our office. We knew Chris would make it to management quickly!

10509514_677857188936786_3642475131133942397_nWe’re incredibly excited for Chris on his new adventure and wish him the best success on his upcoming endeavors!

Sky INC goes to Nashville Shores!

June was not only a great month for SKY but also our representatives! We as an office hit our goals and CEO, Jonathan Perry, treated his office to a day at Nashville Shores! We interviewed Jonathan on what it means to him to reward his team here at Sky:

Sky: Why do you feel incentivizing your team is a good idea?

JonathanOur company is all about working hard and being rewarded.  I feel if my business partners are happy and reaching their goals it makes for a great atmosphere to work in.

Sky: What made you choose Nashville Shores?

Jonathan: Nashville Shores was a great local choice for us.   It was a great opportunity for everyone to bring their families and significant others and enjoy a beautiful day in the sun.

Sky: How often do you like to do events like this for your team?

JonathanAt Sky, Inc. we offer bonuses and events as much as possible.  I typically like to do big bonus, such as this, on a monthly basis.  It really gives the guys something to work for on a daily and weekly basis. I really love when we all are pushing and striving for the same goal.

Sky: What was your favorite or best part of your day Saturday?

Jonathan I enjoyed seeing my guys have a great time. They work very hard and watching them reap the benefits was very exhilarating as business owner and mentor. Our team seemed to really enjoy the experience. I believe it makes them really understand how important it is to reward yourself when you hit your goals you’ve set for yourself.

Stay tuned for more information on big events happening at SKY!

Congratulations to Jonathan Perry!


This past weekend SKY attended our Eastern Regional Conference in Orlando! We had the opportunity to network with over 250 offices along the East Coast. Upon being there, Jonathan Perry, CEO of SKY, received an award rewarding his success with our telecommunications client AT&T.

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Jonathan Perry has been working with this client since 2007 and has received numerous reward for SKY’s performance and dedication to the client. This past weekend he received the Campaign Pacesetter award for 2013-2014. We are incredibly proud of our hard work and success and look forward to the 2014-2015 year!

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It’s that time of year when a top representative is chosen to fly to California to represent our Nashville office, Sky Inc! This year, drum roll please… JR Kingsley! JR has been nominated on Sky Inc.’s behalf to hang with the VIP’s and learn more about training and coaching, leadership development, and business development. He will be flying out next week to spend his week in sunny California learning from top consultants, managers, and high performing offices on the telecommunications team. Also, while visiting next week as an organization they’re going to be doing a beach clean up to help with the neighborhood and local community. Since being here, JR has been a driving force behind our leadership team, development, and our recent expansion.

Jonathan Perry and JR Kingsley

After interviewing, he was drawn to the growth and advancement that the company has to offer.  JR was also very excited about the work environment.  Although Sky Inc is fun and extremely energetic, it is also professional and holds high standards in the industry.  JR felt he had a lot to add to the team and since starting has become one of the top account representatives. Learn more about what JR is looking forward to while being in California:

Sky Inc: What qualities/characteristics are you looking to sharpen while visiting California?

JR: I’m looking to sharpen my organizational skills as well as interviewing technique. I’m also excited to see what they do with the DISC assessment test and how I can use it to better myself professional and personally.

Sky Inc: What would you say has put you at the front of the competition and being chosen to go on behalf of Sky Inc?

JR: Maintaining a positive attitude. No matter what happens in life or in the field, my attitude always remains consistent. JP has always taught me to never let people see you sweat.

Sky Inc: What are you looking forward to most about your trip to California?

JR: Probably seeing our headquarters for the first time, and meeting other leaders from other offices. It’s great to see other people who are doing the same thing I am doing, who have the same goals, and go through the same struggles I do.

Sky Inc: When preparing for an event like this, what are your top 5 items you can’t leave home with out?

JR: 1. Electric razor. A clean-shaven face is the only way to go!  2. Alabama lapel pin…. Roll Tide! 3. Headphones. Music is one if my greatest passions. 4. iPhone – Helps me stay connected with everyone back in Nashville and build my contact list. 5. The Full Windsor Knot. The difference between a presentable and swag.

Sky, Inc. Manager of the Century: Jonathan Perry!

It is no secret that here at Sky, Inc., we love our founder and manager, Jonathan Perry. In fact, we love him so much we decided to make him our Employee of the Week! Of course it does not make a whole lot of sense to make our manager the employee of the week, so we decided to go with a more impressive title: Sky, Inc. Manager of the Century.


If you have been wondering about Sky, Inc. Founder Jonathan Perry, here are a few things that he thinks you should know about him:
Name: Jonathan Perry
Hometown: Gadsden, AL
Education: I went to Auburn University and got a Bachelor of Science in Zoology with a minor in Business.  Image
Explanation for the Education: I was going to go to dental school but changed my mind my senior year. (Editor’s note: Great choice, sir. Nobody wants to spent the rest of their life with their hands in other people’s mouths.) However, with that little time left in my college experience, I did not want to change my major and risk having to stay another year. I decided to just finish the degree I had started, while picking up a minor in Business. Honestly, it was a great choice for me because I learned a lot about time management and being task-oriented.
 What do you like to do in your spare time? During my free time I enjoy hanging out with my family, especially my daughter Auburn. They bring me joy each and every single day and remind me why I work so hard.
Why did you open Sky, Inc? When I was first getting my start in this business, I worked at the very bottom level of a similarly structured company. At that location, I had a wonderful opportunity to prove my worth and work up to a management position. Still, I have always wanted to work for myself. In fact, I started my first company when I was 17 years old and have been self-sufficient ever since.

What do you love most about owning your own company? Can I say that I love everything about owning my own company? (editor’s note: You sure can, it’s your company.) Well then, there are a few things in particular. First and foremost, freedom. At Sky, Inc., I get to make all my own personal and professional decisions. Of course, there are always people who can give me advice about what decision to make, but I am not beholden to anyone’s orders. Running my own business gives me the opportunity to make my own decisions after careful consideration, as opposed to having someone tell me what to do with no explanation. For example, if I want to go on vacation, I go.  If I need to spend time with my family, I do it.  As long as my business’ needs are taken care of, I can make the decisions that think are best for myself, my family and my company.

What are your short term and long term goals for Sky, Inc? Goal setting is one of the most important things that we do here at Sky, Inc. My short term goal is to open at least two more offices out of our Nashville location. I hope to accomplish that goal within the next twelve months. In the longer term, I would love to become a consultant. One of my favorite aspects of the job is mentoring my guys as they go through this process. I know that the mentoring skills that I am improving every day will go along way towards launching my consultant career.

What motivates you to succeed here at Sky, Inc?  In this business, we talk a lot about “internal” versus “external” sources of motivation. To make a long theory short, internally motivated persons are always the most successful. In my own personal experience, to be successful in anything you have to have a solid understanding of why you are doing something.  Why should I work longer hours than everyone else?  Why should I sacrifice short term pleasure for long term gain?  For me, my “why” is providing my family with a great life.
I am not ashamed to admit that I want to provide my family with an abnormally privileged lifestyle. However, I recognize that, in order to do that, I am going to have to work abnormally hard. Still, at the end of the day, I know that I will look back on my life knowing that I did everything I needed to do to provide my family with the best possible life. There will be no regrets for the type of life I was able to give them.

Sky, Inc. Manager Jonathan Perry, Enjoying the Journey.

What advice do you have for someone who is just starting with Sky, Inc.? My biggest piece of advice for people just starting here at Sky, Inc. is to enjoy the process more than the rewards. I have seen so many sharp people get so caught up in the high and hoopla of promotions or conferences that they forget to enjoy the journey. Even on the difficult days, you have to enjoy the journey. 

Can I have a second piece of advice? (Editor’s note: Of course, you are the manager of the century, after all.) Well, it can be very easy to look at successful people and think that they have it so easy, but the fact of the matter is that no one looked like that when they were on their way up. No success comes without failure. So, my second biggest piece of advice to someone starting with our company is to have a sense of urgency about failing.  The quicker you fail, the quicker you can learn from your mistakes so that you can avoid making the same ones in the future.

What is one thing that you think everyone at Sky, Inc should know about you? Wow, this is by far the hardest question to answer! (editor’s note: We know.) I hope that my guys already know this, but if they don’t this is what I would say: I know that I can be really tough on people at times, but my goal is always to make those people stronger. In my own experience, if you are soft on people, they become soft people. And, as we all know, soft people do not do well in business.
So there you have it! Everything you have ever wanted to know (and more!) about Sky, Inc. Manager Jonathan Perry.

What Sky, Inc Is all About

Recently, we were in the process of overhauling the Sky, Inc LinkedIn Profile. Of course, in matters such as these, there always seems to be a character limit imposed. So, while we wanted to say a whole lot of things about why Sky, Inc is the greatest place in the world to work, the text constraints cut us off.

Mind you, they cut us off after we had written a whole bunch about Sky, Inc. So we figured: why not post it here?

Here’s what you need to know about Sky, Inc:


Founded in 2007 by Jonathan Perry, Sky, Inc is a marketing and sales firm in Nashville, Tennessee. A mid-sized firm, Sky, Inc specializes in “below-the-line” marketing. This means that we are able to provide our clients with exemplary marketing and sales services for a fraction of the price of traditional marketing firms. In order to keep our costs low and our clients happy, we are constantly searching for the most innovative techniques and methods in the industry. Sky, Inc ascribes to a philosophy of strength, stability, dynamism and excellence in all things and cannot wait to show you what we are all about

For Our Clients

Sky, Inc has a long history of working with the only the best Fortune 500 companies. Our clients are household names and we take the distinction of handling their sales and marketing very seriously.

Sky, Inc understands that each and every client is different, which is why we work closely with them to design and test marketing and sales campaigns that will help our clients meet and exceed their goals. Failure is not an option at Sky, Inc and you can rest assured that your company’s sales and marketing will be our top priority when we take you on as a client.

Current and Past Clients of Sky, Inc Include:

  • AT&T U-verse
  • AT&T Business U-verse
  • Quill.com
  • Verizon FiOS
  • Comcast
  • DirectTV
  • Direct Energy
  • Rogers
  • …and many more prestigious companies just like yours!

For Our Customers

At Sky, Inc, we recognize that our customers put their trust in us when they allow us into their homes and businesses. For that reason, Sky, Inc pledges to act in a manner that is worthy of our customers’ trust.

When it comes to our relationships with our customers, Sky, Inc promises to:

  • Act with the utmost integrity at all times, in all aspects of our customer interactions;
  • Treat our customers with the respect that they deserve, while proving ourselves worthy of the trust that they have placed in us;
  • Save our customers money in any way that we can.

 For Our Employees

 Sky, Inc is a very special place to work. Our company is dynamic and young and we here at Sky, Inc are certainly very proud of that fact. As a leader in the entry-level jobs market, Sky, Inc is cognizant of the fact that the majority of our employees come to work for us immediately out of college. As a result, we have committed ourselves to training our employees in the skills that they will need to have a long and successful career in sales and marketing, whether they spend their career with us, or move on to something different.

 Sky, Inc cultivates leaders. When you come to work for Sky, Inc, you are choosing a professional environment dedicated to providing the following things:

  • Hands-on training and experience at all levels of the business;
  • One-on-one mentoring between members of the management team and entry level employees;
  • A dynamic work atmosphere that values people over profit.

 Sky, Inc is proud to provide a great work environment for recent college graduates. When you come to work at Sky, Inc, you will quickly discover that we treat our employees like the closest friends and that our company is stronger for it.

 Whether you are an employee, customer or client, Sky, Inc has something to offer you. We welcome feedback and communication from prospective clients, customers and employees.

 Please feel free to get in touch, Sky, Inc cannot wait to hear from you!