10 March 2018

Motivation: The Idea Of Power Posing

We came across a great TED talk around body language communication by Amy Cuddy, who is a science professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom.

Here Are 4 Learnings from Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk:

1. We Are Influenced by Our Own Body Language

Amy shared in her talk “So when we think of nonverbal, we think of how we judge others, how they judge us and what the outcomes are. We tend to forget, though, the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbal, and that’s ourselves. We are also influenced by our thoughts, our feelings and our physiology” This simply means that our body language influences how we feel about ourselves, how we feel about ourselves influences how we behave and how we behave determines our outcomes.

2. We Can Regain Our Identity

Whilst Amy was 19 she had a really bad car accident which resulted in her 1Q dropping by two standard deviations. Amy had always been known as the really smart child or “the gifted one” so it really impacted her when they told her she would not be able to go back to college and graduate. She felt she had been stripped of her core identity however she did not give up. Despite the negative comments, Amy went back to college and eventually graduated 4 years after her peers. She was able to convince her angel adviser, Susan Fiske to take her on so she ended up at Princeton. Amy was able to regain what she identified herself with which was being a bright and intelligent person, although she had to work harder than others she regained back her identity and so can you!

3. The Imposer Feeling Is Just That, A Feeling!

Sometimes situations can make us feel we shouldn’t be in certain roles or at certain stages of our lives. It is completely natural to feel like this but remember it is just a feeling and you are not an imposter. After all the hard work Amy put into getting accepted at Harvard she still felt like an imposter, however Susan convinced her to change how she feels about herself by faking her confidence.

4. Don’t Fake It till You Make It, Fake It till You Become It

The common term surfing the internet is” fake it till you make it” however Amy preaches “Fake it till you become it”! She noticed after advising someone to fake their confidence over and over again it resulted in the persona becoming confident.  Do it enough until you actually become it and internalize.

5. Tiny Tweaks Can Lead To Big Changes

Holding your body in a ‘high power’ pose for a brief period can summon a feeling of power. Becoming expansive and authoritative for two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone (the hormone we link to power and dominance). After standing with your hand on your hips or sitting back with your hands behind your head, you will have a higher risk tolerance and feel more in control of your feelings.