Power poses: your bodies and your minds

[Reading time: 3 minutes]

Pay attention to your pose: some people use to bend their backs, some others to spread out.

What do you usually do?

Body language is interesting because, for us, it is interesting to understand other people’s body language. Nonverbal behaviour is a kind of language, so it is about interaction.

When we think of nonverbal, we think of how we judge others, how they judge us and what the outcomes are. We tend to forget audience is influenced by our nonverbals. We are also influenced by our nonverbals, our thoughts and our feelings and our physiology.

We have two kind of power poses: expansion one and close up poses.

If we are proud of something, we will expand ourselves.

If we are sad or if we feel powerless, we will make ourselves smaller.

In these animals and humans are very similar. These power poses, then, become complementary with each other. Indeed if someone uses with us a power pose, we will tend to make ourselves smaller. We don’t mirror them.

But the question is “do our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves?”

Amy Cuddy answers “yes” to this question. You smile when you are happy, but if we have the habit to smile, it makes you feel happy. It’s a two-ways street.

Then we may ask ourselves if our bodies change our minds.

In our bodies there are two hormones: testosterone (the power one) and cortisol (the stress one).

Leaders has a lower cortisol level but an higher testosterone level, because power is how do you react to stress.

You can try this at home with a simple exercise: every morning do two kind of spread exercise. The “pride” pose, in which your body is similar to a V, and the “wonder woman” pose, for two minutes each. In few days you will discover that you will became more confident and powerful.

So we can say that our bodies, our poses, govern how we think and feel about ourselves.

For more about communication skills, wait until next Thursday and discover the next topic!

Claudia Perillo







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