I have always been fascinated by the topic of body language, the messages our bodies transmit in non-verbal ways.
Years ago, I had the opportunity to interview one of the top CEO’s of a major publishing company.
We had a great conversation: he was smart, warm, charming, and…..nervous.
How did I know this?
He couldn’t make eye contact with me.
I found that fascinating… a major CEO was struggling with confidence.
Recently, I watched Amy Cuddy’s popular TED Talk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are . What I loved about social scientist Cuddy’s talk was the focus she placed not on how we could read others’ body signals, but how we could generate our own physical positions to influence and shape what we wanted others to get about us. Now that’s powerful!
In this talk, Amy confirms what I am always telling my clients: “They may not remember what you tell them; they will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel”. Your stance, your confidence, your presence often trumps your information, credentials, data.
Given two people with similar credentials, smarts, degrees, the one who gets attention and results will be the one with greater confidence and presence.
You can have the best diploma but what they really are buying is you.
So it makes sense that you should and could gain mastery over your body language, right?
Imagine….oozing non-verbal cool confidence and power when
- you are being interviewed for a job
- you are selling an idea in a meeting in your organization
- you are networking with sweet spot prospects and decision makers
- you are pitching potential clients
- you are making a public presentation
- you want an job candidate to say yes to your offer
Nice image, eh?
Change your body, change your mindset.
Tony Robbins has been teaching this for years: Shift your body energy, elevate your power and confidence.
According to Cuddy, when we “small up” our body stance, our testosterone levels lower (resulting in a loss of power and confident emotional level) and our cortisol hormone increases (elevating our stress level). The reverse is true when we adopt power stances- we actually control these hormone levels in our body and thus shift our emotional states!
So how can you leverage this information in situations when you want to exude magnetic power and influence, generate people liking you, listening to you and your ideas?
2 Minute Power Pose
You may remember the movie scene with Diane Keaton in the movie, Baby Boom. Diane plays a former hot-shot executive-turned-single mom. She develops a runaway success business that her former company wants to buy. The offer is so big it makes Diane’s character quake in her high heels. She excuses herself, scoots into the ladies, looks at herself in the mirror, adopts a power pose, cries, “Yes, I’m back!” and heads back into the boardroom totally pumped up. Then she leads the rest of the meeting, standing in that same head of the table “power pose.”
So, before your next networking event, prospect meeting, interview, speech, pitch, take 2 to Power-Pose it up:
Power Pose 1 : The Victory V
Power Pose 2. The Superman or Superwoman Stance
Power Pose 3. Table Lean
Power Pose 4: Arms Folded Behind Head/Smile
Power Pose 5: Fist Pump
Just looking at these photos makes you feel strong, powerful, enthusiastic, doesn’t it?
Make your body shape your mind and then the minds of all around you.
Do a little private power posing before key events and moments, watch your power and influence rise along with your results.
If you’d like to see Amy Cuddy’s 21 minute TED Talk go here: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
I’d love to hear your stories of bad and good body language!