Time it takes: 2 minutes
Body language may be a lot more important than you imagined. It affects not just how you’re perceived by others, but also your internal body chemistry.
That’s right, holding your body in a certain position literally changes the way you are.
Amy Cuddy, a professor at the Harvard School of Business, gave a TED Talk in 2012 on the significance of body language. Her premise is that non-verbal communication (i.e. body language) may be just as important as verbal communication. And one of the ways that you can communicate non-verbally is with a “power pose.”
There are two kinds of power poses: high and low. A high-power pose usually means having your body open rather than hunched up. That means chest out, arms spread, no slouch. Most simply, it means that you try to take up a great deal of space. Here’s an example of what that looks like:
And what does a low-power space look like? Anything that makes you small and bunched up, like this:
The researchers found that simply holding a high-power pose for as little as two minutes increases your testosterone levels, which are associated with confidence, and decreases your cortisol levels, which are associated with stress.
This is a no-tech lifehack that you can do while you sit or stand, while you’re alone or with others: Holding certain poses gives you more confidence and helps you to work better.
Stop slouching and strike a high-power pose. Lean back, put up your legs, and if you have space, make a V with your arms. You can do these while you sit or stand.
Don’t want to look weird with co-workers around you? Do this in a bathroom, or grab a meeting room and close the door.
In addition to striking high-power pose, you can focus on the position of your feet, smile more, align yourself better with your conversation partner, and lower your voice with deep breathing.