Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Tip Tuesday: Power Poses

We all want to go throughout our day feeling powerful. Not too many of us mean to abuse that power or let it get out of our control, but whether you are giving a public presentation, caring for a classroom of 30 students, or just wanting to successfully get through your day we all could use a little power from within. 

In my new job I too am looking to feel powerful. Whether I want to successfully get a company to donate money to my organization or I just want to make a confident decision about making a purchase for us, I can benefit from a little boost in power.

In a recent trick I learned from Harvard business professor Dr. Amy Cuddy, she teaches us about power poses and the effect they can have on our hormones. Research shows that powerful leaders tend to have higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of cortisol. Higher levels of testosterone (in both men and women) lead to increased feelings of confidence. Meanwhile, lower levels of cortisol lead to decreased anxiety and an improved ability to deal with stress. 

Levels of these hormones can be effected by social, physical, and environmental cues around you. Power poses can be one such cue. 

Check out these high power and low power poses below and I think you'll realize right away which poses are exerting more confidence. 
Cuddy suggest standing in a power pose for two minutes everyday. Additionally you can stand in the power pose during a private moment before something like a job interview or a presentation. Particularly effective is the "Wonder Woman" pose or if you are a man "Superman" pose.  

Another tactic that I've sometimes employed, I get from one of my favorite online yoga teachers. She will throw in the command to smile every once in a while and I do. This is much different from that loud guy that gets in your face and demands you to "SMILE", when you are bored at a party. The act of putting a smile on your face, even if it's forced and not resulting from anything, does have a slight positive affect on the mood. Smile.

So what all this amounts out to is that you can receive inward effect from outward body movement. In a way, you are faking it to make it. Give yourself the platform of a strong and confident person by standing that way, and you may be surprised just how strong and confident you will feel.  

Read the entire article here
Watch a short video on Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk here.