The feeling of being in control is very powerful. It makes you more confident, and is something others can sense. The same can be said for feeling nervous or intimidated.
Harvard Business School’s Amy Cuddy and Columbia’s Dana Carney recently published research about the effects of body posture. They found that by holding oneself in a “power pose” for as little as two minutes makes people feel measurably more powerful and willing to take risks.
It’s not just in your head. As the chart below shows, holding a power pose actually changes your hormones, increasing testosterone, a hormone that makes you feel dominance, and decreasing cortisol, a stress hormone:
So what does a power pose look like? The authors include this photo in their research:
Those two examples are perhaps a bit aggressive for daily use, but the study found other expansive poses had similar effects. Next time you find yourself slumping into a meeting, take a few minutes to stand tall and confident. Even better, make a conscious effort to pose confidently throughout the day.
You might be surprised at the results.
Read the full study here
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