Fake it ‘til you become it

Amy Cuddy

“Our bodies change our minds, and our minds change our behaviour, and our behaviour changes our outcomes” – Amy Cuddy

If you haven’t already watched it, I urge you to watch Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy, author of the book Presence, TED talk on body language and how it changes our behaviour and, by extension, outcomes in life.

Presence bestselling book

Personally, I don’t do the Wonder Woman in the office bathroom, or lean back in the chair with my legs spread out in meetings (although I am sure the other meeting participants – mostly elderly men – certainly wouldn’t mind if I did…). I do, however, enjoy an occasional “star fish” pose, where you stretch yourself as big as possible, especially in the morning – to my boyfriend’s big frustration, as my power pose nearly kicks him out of bed.

Amy Cuddy - Power Pose

According to Amy Cuddy, a power pose such as the Wonder Woman directly affects testosterone, a dominance hormone, and cortisol, a stress hormone, making you more confident and resilient. Although I do not necessarily feel super risk tolerant following my morning pose, I must admit it feels really good to stretch myself biiig… And kicking my boyfriend out of the bed actually does make me feel stronger and more confident!

Anyways, I do believe we could all learn from Amy Cuddy and become more aware of our postures when attending meetings. Personally, I am very aware of and affected by how people – and myself – appear in meetings. Although I would not necessarily describe my posture as a power pose, I aim to appear engaged and confident – “leaning in” and sitting with my back straight. Whether it works or not, I am at least quite certain I appear professional – and with time I hopefully succeed in faking it ’til I become it!

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