We’ve all heard how our body language can affect how other people perceive us. But, did you know that striking the right pose can make you feel more powerful and confident?
Research by Harvard’s Amy Cuddy and Columbia’s Dana Carney have revealed that high-power poses not only affect how people perceive you but also have an affect on the poser’s chemistry levels by boosting the level of testosterone—which is linked to power and dominance while, at the same time, lowering the stress producing hormone, cortisol. The study found that “holding oneself in a ‘power-pose’ for as little as two minutes makes people feel measurably more powerful and willing to take risks.” (You can listen to Amy Cuddy expand on this study in her widely popular and entertaining 2012 Ted Talk.)
The expansive “high-power” pose; for instance, standing with your arms spread out, or leaning back in your chair with arms raised high and fingers linked behind one’s head, is one of the most used and effective poses.
Most women probably relate these poses as being gender specific to males, and rightfully so, since not many women would feel comfortable throwing both legs up on a desk while meeting with, even a handful, of people. Not to mention, it could be quite risqué if wearing a dress or skirt. This could definitely create some buzz around the water cooler! Yet, we shouldn’t ignore these findings. Women should get comfortable with several high-power poses for those times when you do want to have a powerful affect on other people.
The research shows that the power poser will get a confidence boost regardless if anyone else sees it. So, by striking a pose behind closed doors you will feel increased confident thus be more likely to make a powerful impact on others. And, why wait? If something makes you feel good, just do it! Likewise for the power-pose.
Regina Essel is a Life-Empowerment and Business Coach/Consultant. She is also Founder and Administrator of the (Free to Join) Savvy Empowered Women’s Network. Be entered to win an Empowerment Consultation with Regina by attending her free webinar, “Navigate the People, Power and Politics of Work”. Connect with Regina at www.reginaessel.com, www.twitter.com/savvyewn, www.facebook.com/savvyewn, and www.linkedin.com/in/reginaessel.