Friday, October 25, 2013

Self-Confidence and Power Posing

 Continued from  Part  1  and Part  2

Do you feel nervous about an upcoming presentation or job interview or some important meeting?  


Harvard Business School professor Amy J.C. Cuddy’s research is addressed to people who suffer from feelings of powerlessness and low self-esteem due to their hierarchical rank or lack of resources.

People often are more influenced by how they feel about you than by what you're saying.

Research discovered

two poses of “weakness” and “uncertainty.”

Do you find yourself be in one of these two poses from time to time?

Aggressive people feel unconsciously your social fears (i.e., your expectation to be valued and appreciated)

…and dominate you…

Forget about your weakness!

In "Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance", Cuddy shows that simply holding one's body in expansive,

"high-power" poses for as little as two minutes,

stimulates higher levels of testosterone (the hormone linked to power and dominance in the animal and human worlds) and lower levels of cortisol (the "stress" hormone that can, over time, cause impaired immune functioning, hypertension, and memory loss).

Holding your body in "high-power" poses for as little as two minutes a day can summon an extra surge of power and sense of well-being when it's needed.  

In addition to causing hormonal shifts, power poses lead to increased feelings of power and a greater tolerance for risk and challenge.

Warmth versus competence

It is very important how we connect to one another.

In general, people form impressions of others through a matrix of how much we trust and like them and how much we think they're competent and respect them.

For the most part people underestimate the powerful connection of warmth and overestimate the importance of competence.

How warm are you? Do you smile sincerely? Do you emanate genuine friendliness going with your power?

Natalia Levis-Fox


  1. Dana R. Carney, D.R., Cuddy A.M., Yap A.J. Powerful Postures Versus Powerful Roles: Which Is the Proximate Correlate of Thought and Behavior? Psychological Science January 2011 22: 95-102, first published on December 13, 2010
  2. Carney, D.R., Hall, J.A., & Smith LeBeau, L. (2005). Beliefs about the nonverbal expression of social power. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 29, 105–123.
  3. Hall, J.A., Coats, E.J., & Smith LeBeau, L. (2005). Nonverbal behavior and the vertical dimension of social relations: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 131, 898–924.

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