Amy Cuddy’s talk Your body language shapes who you are, is the second-most viewed talk in TED’s history. I know! I’d never heard of her either! Perhaps the words “Wonder Woman pose” may ring a bell. Amy is a social psychologist and Associate Professor at Harvard Business School who researches how people judge and influence each other and themselves, and is especially famous for her research and writing on power posing.
This simple technique has, at this point, helped millions of people with a myriad of issues improve their lives, which is beyond extraordinary.
What is power posing?
Amy calls it “a free, no-tech life hack” that requires changing your posture for 2 minutes, and has the potential to significantly change the way your life unfolds.
Quite a statement.
What she’s referring to is body language, nonverbal communication that influences how other people perceive us, and astonishingly, how we perceive ourselves. Her research, in which subjects spend 2 minutes in either a high or low power pose, has shown high-power posers tend to feel assertive, confident and comfortable — while low-power posers tend to feel stress-reactive, closed in, and shut down. In 2 minutes. We see that not only does our body language reveal how we feel but, conversely, it can govern how we think and feel about ourselves.
Also extraordinary: Amy’s 2015 New York Times bestseller, Presence: Bringing your BOLDEST SELF to your BIGGEST CHALLENGES.
One of my son Dylan’s physical therapists loaned him this book, partly because in it Amy describes, along with her fascinating research and results, her personal experience suffering a brain injury in an automobile accident in her early 20’s, and how it took her 4 years to recover sufficiently to get back to school. My 22-year old son is in the same boat, and her story is terrifically inspiring to both of us. I read it aloud to Dylan (who is currently on medical leave from college and can’t read or look at a computer, phone or television). We both found the book fascinating.
Amy’s work allows all of us to gain increased self-awareness and to influence our own outcomes, from job and college interviews to making professional presentations and in simple daily interactions.
Truly remarkable stuff.