Can how you feel affect the outcome of what you do?
I was watching a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy. Amy is one of the 50 most watched TED talks of all time. She is a social psychologist and a professor at the Harvard Business School. Amy studies people in high power poses – arms up in victory position. And people in low power poses – curled up small either standing or sitting. Power poses affect how we feel.
Amy’s research shows that after holding a high power pose for 2 minutes people felt more assertive. They also felt more confident and comfortable. Physiologically testosterone was up, and cortisone was down. After two minutes in a low-power pose people felt stressed and shut down. Amy proves that in fact our bodies can change our minds, and our minds can change our behavior. She wanted to see if this 2 minute experiment could be expanded to life in meaningful ways. So Amy conducted job interviews with people and they were conducted without the judges knowing whether before the interview the people had taken a 2 minute high power pose, or a 2 minute low power pose.
Overwhelmingly, the people who had taken the high power pose before the interview, evaluated more positively and more people wanted to hire them. They were evaluated not just on speech, but on presence, enthusiasm, passion, confidence, whether they were authentic and captivating.
So to sum up, Amy questions whether you can fake it till you make it, and in fact she believes based on her research that you can fake it till you become it.
I challenge you all to take a 2 minute power pose before your next presentation or interview, just like I did before this live video. I’m traveling to Las Vegas tomorrow and Amy is our company’s keynote speaker so I can’t wait to hear what she’s got to tell us. Here is a link to Amy’s Ted Talk.