Friday, May 10, 2013

Be a Poser: Learn something from Wonder Woman and Amy Cuddy.

I was sitting at my Cardiologist's office last month and got a clean bill of health.  I just gotta cut back on the espressos.  He also prescribed to watch a TED Talk about posture.  Hmmm, was this going to keep my ticker ticking?  Well, doctor's orders, so finally this morning I filled that prescription and took a look at Amy Cuddy's Ted Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.

Amy Cuddy did research on "faking it till you make it", which studies how our nonverbal posturing affects how others perceive us.  The idea was that if you exhibit a power pose people will think of you as more powerful.  Her studies showed that test subjects hormones changed based on their posture.  Power posers were found to have high testosterone and low cortisol (that dreaded stress hormone).

Furthering her research, she had test subjects go into an interview, where the interviewer had absolutely no emotional feedback during the interview (the interviewer was deadpan for the 5 minute interview).  This is thought of as one of the most stressful business situations most people may ever encounter.  During the interview the subjects were either exhibiting a power posture or a nonthreatening pose.  Later the interviews were screened for various factors.  The results were that the interviewees who were exhibiting power postures were found to have great presence and thought of as very competent for the job.  It wasn't about knowledge or talent, strictly about the pose they took during the interview.

Cuddy's recommendation is for you to embody a power pose.  Strike a pose like Wonder Woman.  If it is in the bathroom before the interview--great, do it.  If it is while you are on a phone interview with a potential employer, do it.  Amy Cuddy recommends everyone to do little tweaks to their posture to get big results.  Think about what pose you strike when you are interacting with others--and find out how to make it a more confident one.

And for all you future interviewees out there, another recommendation I love is this:  Before your next interview, with a thick marker, write on your underwear "I AM THE BEST".   (Read Dan Ariely's full advice here.)

Go Get Em!

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