As a qualitative researcher I am constantly fascinated by the incredible power of subtle, nonverbal communication. Whether it’s a look, gesture, pose or facial expression, the way we communicate nonverbally can often reveal more about who we are and what we want than words alone. As researchers, it is our job to be so in-tune with the consumer that we pick up on those subtle, nonverbal cues that often reveal the missing pieces to a much larger puzzle. But how often do we stop to ask ourselves, “What is my body language saying about me?”
According to social psychologist Amy Cuddy, “Body language strongly affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves.” By making simple tweaks to our body language, we can significantly affect our outcome.
Cuddy explains that “power posing”, or standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect the levels of testosterone and cortisol in the brain, and might ultimately have an impact on our chances for success. Whether it’s raising your hands in the air in a victory pose, or placing a pencil between your teeth to make yourself smile, Cuddy believes that we literally have the power within ourselves to not only “fake it until we make it,” but fake it until we become it.
So before your next meeting with your boss, or before you give a major presentation, try striking a power pose of your own. Simply decide what kind of person you want to be – whether it’s confident, powerful or happy, and sync your body language with that mindset. If your body can portray it, you can become it. You have nothing to lose but a more powerful and confident you.
Learn more from Amy Cuddy in the 21 Minute TED talk featured below. I guarantee it will be well worth your while!
~ Marilyn Weiss
President & Founding Partner