Everyone knows that a first impression whether on a job interview or meeting someone for the first time is critical. We know to dress and talk professionally, but something we may not pay much attention to are our non-verbal communication skills.
The way we stand, sit, and even walk can tell a lot about not only our mood, but who we are as individuals. In a recent TED Talks Video, Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, talks about how important non verbal communication and body language can be not only when meeting someone, but how it effects you mentally.
Cuddy explains that the way we use our body tends to reflect how we feel and our present attitude. For instance people tend to open up and relax their body when they feel comfortable or powerful and fold their body inwards when they feel intimidated or insecure.
This is an important observation because by changing your posture or your stance, it is possible to completely change someone’s view of you. Cuddy conducted an experiment where a group of people were instructed to take part in a typical job interview. Half of the group did a “power pose” (Think of what you would do after winning a race or how wonder woman would stand) and the other half did the opposite. Both groups stayed in this pose for two minutes before going into the interview. The interviewers weren’t told which “poser” they would be interviewing.
The results were interesting. All of the “power posers” were chosen over the other half of the group.
So why did this happen?
Well, when doing a “power pose” the level of testosterone tends to rise in your brain and the level of cortisol tends to decrease giving you a sense of self confidence and
importance. This boost caused the interviewees to be more charismatic when interviewing thus getting them the position.
The point of Cuddy’s talk was to inspire people to be aware of how they are using their bodies. If you can “fake it till you become it” you can achieve things you thought were once impossible. Cuddy says this is because “our bodies change our minds, our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.”
So next time you’re feeling defeated, try striking a power pose for a few minutes or simply “faking it”. You never know what kind of impact it could make on your life!