Scott’s Thoughts: Strike a Pose

“I speak two languages, Body and English.”

Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980), American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter

Image of Wonder Woman!Body language and business go hand-in-hand. Almost anyone who has worked in sales or management has at one time or another read about the impact body language has on communication, negotiation, and effectively connecting with others.

Open versus closed postures, dominant versus submissive stances, the use of hand gestures, what people are doing with their feet… it’s all part of what bodies say regardless of the words thrown around. (If you’ve ever prepared for a tough negotiation process with a combative party, you may have even memorized the SOFTEN acronym: S = Smile, O = Open Posture, F = Forward Lean, T = Touch, E = Eye Contact, N = Nod.)

We often think of body language in two ways: 1) What our body language says to others, and 2) What we can learn from others by reading their body language. But is there a third way we often overlook? Can body language be used to influence our own attitudes about ourselves?

According to Amy Cuddy, the answer is a definitive yes. In her TED Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” Amy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success. Her research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.

The next time you’re having lunch at your desk, put on Amy’s TED Talk and check out this compelling look at how a conscious consideration of your body language could significantly impact your life. Clocking in at around 22 minutes, the talk is both enlightening and inspiring.

Some excellent quotes from the talk:

“Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.”

“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior, and our behavior can change our outcomes.”

“When we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others. … We tend to forget, though, the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbals: ourselves.”

After Amy’s insights, you might find yourself getting out there to strike a new pose!

Link to the TED talk:

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