When you are on the phone, can the person you are speaking to tell if you are smiling? Can standing up when you are negotiating give you more confidence? How does your body language impact on the way others feel about you?
I asked myself all of these questions (and more!) when I was recently designing a workshop on effective communication.
I did loads and loads of research about different body language theories and learned about mirroring, matching and techniques to build trust, rapport and confidence. Whilst researching, I came across the amazing Amy Cuddy and her TED Talk, “Your body language shapes who you are”. Amy is a social psychologist who specialises in non-verbal behaviours. Here is the video if you haven’t seen it.
What do you think?
Firstly, I was instantly drawn to Amy and her presentation style. Her speech was so honest and I am truly inspired by the way she talked about overcoming her greatest critic – herself. This in itself is such a powerful message and I am especially touched by the thought of her imparting this onto others through her tag line “Don’t fake it until you make it. Fake it until you become it”. I mean, WOW!
Secondly, I am blown away by the scientific proof that power posing can increase confidence and decrease stress! I have always known that body language had a great effect on others and that body language behaviours can be “tells” for subconscious thinking. I also knew some body language tips and tricks for improving confidence from my old days working in a call centre. For example, standing up when dealing with a difficult customer. I just wasn’t prepared for the scientific explanation behind it, or the idea that we can alter our emotions by adopting such simple strategies.
Can power posing improve your confidence? Science says yes!
How is it possible that such a tiny tweak to our behaviour can have such a great impact on the way we feel?
Even more importantly, how is it possible that more people don’t know about it?
Since watching Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk I have embraced her ideas, started power posing and I am definitely not faking it until I make it any more. Is it working? I’m not a scientist and all in all it is very difficult to say whether these changes have improved my confidence. But I can say this. Power posing on the way to work when I am stopped at traffic lights has given me lots of laughs and I have shared that joy with many other motorists who have giggled at the sight of me “winning” in my car. For me, that is a sure sign that power posing is definitely worth it for me!
Have you ever tried power posing? Can you relate to Amy’s story? Please share this with your friends! Such an easy and effective trick should not be kept secret!