Dr. Daniel Gonzalez2019-06-13T16:28:32-05:00
Thoughts become things. Our body language can tell the world a lot about us. How you carry yourself can also have an impact on your personal confidence. People draw conclusions about how confident or insecure we may be simply through our gestures and posture. But what does our body language say to us? According to Amy Cuddy, psychologist and Harvard Business School professor, we can change our outcomes by simply adjusting the way we carry ourselves.
Through Cuddy’s research she has defined what she calls ‘power poses.’ These poses involve making ourselves big, with outstretched arms and legs. This body language can actually change how we feel by increasing our testosterone production, a hormone that gives us energy and confidence, while decreasing our cortisol levels which is a hormone associated with elevated stress levels.
Cuddy believes that by simply striking a power pose or improving posture, you can infuse yourself with the confidence and self assurance you need to achieve your goals. She suggests trying these poses before job interviews, speeches or important meetings.
No, you don’t have to strut down the street with your hands in the air. But you can find a private space to strike a power pose that Cuddy suggests will inject you with the confidence boost that you need to carry yourself successfully through each day.
“How can I improve my power posture or work on power poses?” – Here are 5 postures to work on
1.) Focus on the position of your feet
Whenever you are speaking with a co-worker who seems to be paying attention, and whose upper body is angled toward you, but whose legs and feet have turned toward the door – realize that the conversation is over. Foot positions are revealing even if someone’s legs are crossed. So when talking to someone, make sure you're pointing your feet into their direction of attention.
2.) Smile – it’ll make you happier
We smile because we are happy. People who smile, without actually feeling happy, can make themselves feel a lot happier, as well as make others around them feel more at ease.
3.) Practice Amy Cuddy’s “power poses” (see image above) before important meetings
Amy Cuddy suggests 3 distinct power poses to practice for 2-3 minutes before you have an important conversation. Try them next time in a quiet place and see if they have the same results for you.
4.) Realign your body more congenially with your conversation partner
If you align yourself more congenially with a conversation partner you will be able to solve tension in conversations and come to solutions more quickly. Make sure you are physically aligning yourself with that person (sitting or standing shoulder to shoulder facing the same direction). I’ve found this especially true with meeting people you’ve never met before. It’s hard to build rapport at the start, focusing on aligning can make a big difference. Give it a try.
5.) Lower your voice with deep breathing
Although not a specific tip for body posture, this is a good tip. Men and women with deeper voices are more likely to land in leadership positions and are generally perceived as a greater authority.
To lower your voice, especially before an interview, try to take some deep belly breaths. It will relax your throat area, which generally contracts and raises the pitch of your voice.