As much as I like TED talks, I don’t watch a lot of them because rarely can I bring myself to just sit and watch a youtube video for 20 minutes. Thus, I loved the NPR TED Radio hour podcast, which I could listen to while doing other things. And, as I was about to write, “alas, it disappeared” a quick check with the google tells us that it’s going to come back as a weekly show in March–hooray.
Anyway, after that long preface, the point is I actually watched all of Amy Cuddy’s fascinating talk on how your body language affects not just how others perceive you, but more importantly, how you actually perform.
Put yourself in a power pose for two minutes and you’ll actually be more confident and competent in a subsequent situation even if you had no idea that was the purpose of the power pose. Pretty cool. And, the converse for a submissive pose. Actually, though, in these experiments the subjects had no idea why they were assuming these positions. I would love to see how the results would be different– and I strongly suspect they would be– if you told the subjects why they were assuming the pose. Short version– Cuddy suggests that you assume a “power pose” for two minutes before going into an important situation where you need confidence and competence. I suspect that she’s right and it does work, but I actually wonder if it is as effective if you know that’s the purpose of why you are posing. Anyway, interesting research. And, potentially life-changing.