So we all know how our body language gives others information about us, but did you know that our body language gives information to our own body?? Researchers have identified that you can use your body language to make you think and feel better about yourself! Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist who works at Harvard Business School, and her team, conducted experiments where they had people engage in high power versus low power poses. High power poses are generally open and relaxed, whereas low power poses are closed and guarded - think Superwoman versus Iyor. For example, a high power pose would involve your feet shoulder-width apart, your hands on your hips and an open chest. A low power pose would be your arms crossed over your chest with your back hunched over. The study found that after two minutes of high power versus low power posing, testosterone levels were higher and cortisol levels were lower in the high power posers. Testosterone is considered to be a “dominance” hormone and helps us feel more confident. Cortisol is a “stress” hormone that, when lower, allows us to better manage stress, think more clearly and be more effective. The researchers then had a panel interview people who had engaged in two minutes of high power or low power poses. What they found was that a significant number of the high power posers were chosen to be hired because of their “presence” and not due to the content of what they said.
So how do you use power posing in your daily life? In any situation that makes you feel powerless, insecure or anxious. For example, if you know you have a meeting with a supervisor who incites terror, go to the bathroom for two minutes before and get your Superman on!
Other examples where you can utilize power posing:
Before a stressful family gathering
When you’re giving a presentation
Before a career networking event
While brushing your teeth in the morning
Before a difficult conversation with a loved one
Being mindful of how your carry yourself throughout the day can have big effects on the way others see you, but more importantly, on the way you view yourself. And hey, if you need to wear a spandex suit under your business casual, go for it :)
To watch Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk, click on the link below:
Until next time!