Thursday, 19 September 2013

Fake it Until You Become it

If you have haven't Amy Cuddy before, she is a US Social Psychologist who teaches at Harvard and researches body language. She developed the Stereotype Content Model along with Susan Fiske and Peter Glick, which uses dimensions of warmth and competence to evaluate behaviours.

In 2012 Amy did a TED talk in Scotland on what we can learn and draw from using powerful body language. With fellow researcher Dana Carney, Amy found that the body language we use can increase our resilience to stress by lowering cortisol, and increase our confidence by increasing our natural amounts of testosterone. This happens all through using power poses which affect those hormones - testosterone and cortisol - for only two minutes before we go into evaluations, stressful meetings, situations where we are nervous, or confrontation. When our body moves in a certain way, hormones are released, and we react to the hormones by feeling more positive in those situations.

What is very interesting about her research results is that this means that we can all improve our self-image and our likely self-confidence just by how we hold ourselves. We can all improve our self-leadership potential, and make our own acts of leadership more likely just by deliberately moving our body to a more powerful pose.

That old phrase "gird your loins" never had more meaning.

Listen to Amy's TED talk "Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are".

  • Reference: Cuddy, Amy (2012). Your body language shapes who you are. Scotland: TED. Retrieved 18 September 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc

Embrace Amy's message. You will benefit from it!

Sam

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