Body Language is More Powerful Than You Know | Picture Book Professor

Body Language is More Powerful Than You Know

Body language is more powerful than you think.

Social psychologist and Harvard Business School Associate Professor, Amy Cuddy explains that even “faking” body postures that convey power postures (“power poses”), for at least two minutes, changes our body chemistry, increases our willingness to take risks, leads to better performance during job interviews, and overall programs our brains to better cope in stressful situations.
For Cuddy, you shouldn’t “fake it until you make it,” you should “fake it until you become it!” When we act powerfully, even if we don’t feel powerful at the time, we eventually become more powerful because our body informs our mind. In other words, our body language communicates to our mind about who we really are.

Cuddy’s research explains that when we feel personally powerful, we will become more present: better connected to our thoughts and feelings about others. By becoming more present, which is characterized by enthusiasm, confidence, engagement, and the ability to connect with others, will boost our performance in many ways (1).

This means that we don’t have to just rely on our own thoughts to make us more powerful and successful. We can rely on our body language, our posture, hand gestures, eye contact, use of voice, and so forth, to become stronger and more powerful.
This concept reminds me of a picture book called, Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon. It is a story about a little girl who is really small. Her Grandma gives her lots of great advise like, “Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you.” At the end of the story Molly Lou Mellon writes her Grandma after a day of school where she stood tall. She writes, “Dear Grandma, I want to tell you that everything you told me was exactly right.”
This is the message of Professor Cuddy’s research. If we stand tall, we can become tall.



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