Confidence Through Power Posing
3 years ago- a Ted talk given by Amy Cuddy on body language went viral and became one of the most watched and influential Ted Talks EVER. Power posing being an interesting phenomenon similar to when you force yourself to smile to feel happy- here you would take on a strong- dominant pose that would lead you to feel powerful.
Here is a link to the video in question:
Many interesting topics are covered; from power posing in the animal kingdom to the university classroom and to how our body language influences the perception others have of us- and self perception. Many interesting poses were discovered and actually appear to be universally- cross culturally and biologically ingrained.
Knowing this information is all well and good- but how can it help a candidate in their job search or a manager command authority in their next staff meeting? Should we be encouraging people to engage in Power Posing prior to important interviews and meetings to ensure they feel more confident?
The answer is …YES. This “Fake it ‘til you make it strategy has been proven to work numerous times- but the reasons behind it remain slightly obscure. The simplest conclusion scientist have agreed upon is that- the way our mind affects our body- our body also affects our mind and we can use these uplifting poses to feel stronger- more confident- and better prepared. Here are some examples of great power poses to get Interview ready (do each one for about 2 minutes) !
This pose- often seen at the end of a major race or competition is called the victory pose. This is similar to what is done in the animal kingdom when expressing dominance- expansion of the body. It is suggested to do this pose- in front of the mirror for a few minutes- right before that important interview!
2. The wonder woman – The alpha
This pose takes up a lot of room and asserts whomever does it as leader of the wolf pack. This is a great pose to do as a manager before an important or disciplinary meeting. It will show whoever is in the room that you are tall- proud and must be taken seriously.
3. The President
This pose- while probably not the best to be doing at your boss’s desk – could work just fine in the morning- before heading into work to ask for that big promotion. This pose has been said to make you more inclined to express your opinions and new ideas.
4. The Take it or Leave it (the loomer)
Ah! What a strong pose! This is perfect for closing a sale or a negotiation. Also very useful when leaning in to listen to a colleague- while still standing your ground. This pose tends to make the person you are speaking with feel smaller- so more intimidated and open to listening to your ideas.
There are many other power poses out there (other examples showcased below) but they all seem to have similarities, the main one being taking up physical space- expanding to showcase your presence. This may be difficult to do for people who are naturally timid or more “closed” than “open” in their stance- but scientific results have shown that doing these power poses DO increase our self and perceived confidence.
Go ahead and try them!
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