If good posture meant the difference between getting hired and being passed up for your dream job, would you start paying more attention to being upright?
Sounds crazy, right? How could body language be a make or break point? How could it be even more important than an extensive resume or good college GPA?
The majority of people tend to think that they need good posture so that other people see them as confident and poised, but forget the effects good posture has on the mind and mood.
In reality, posture doesn’t just benefit your external appearance but also improves your internal mindset. Rather than just looking confident, with proper posture, you will feel more confident.
I know, I was skeptical once too. But a study conducted by Harvard University a few years back found that being in a “high power,” open and relaxed pose, instead of a “low power,” guarded and closed pose, affects your hormone levels, so that you trick yourself into feeling confident.
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Quite revolutionary if you ask me.
The study was called: “The Benefit of Power Posing Before a High-Stakes Social Evaluation,” and conducted by Amy Cuddy, Caroline A. Wilmuth, Dana R. Carney, in 2012.
The basics: The experiment tested whether body language affects one’s performance in high stake social situations, such as job interviews. The main question was, if good posture, or what the researchers called a “high-power” pose, positively impact these situations.
The experiment went like this: the participants took on either high-power poses or low-power poses and then prepared to deliver a speech as part of a mock interview.
The conclusion: the people who took on a “high power” pose were more successful and chosen for hire by the interviewers.
The main takeaway: “Not only do these postures reflect power, they also produce it; in contrast to adopting low-power poses, adopting high power poses increases explicit and implicit feelings of power and dominance, risk-taking behavior, action orientation, pain tolerance, and testosterone (the dominance hormone), while reducing stress, anxiety, and cortisol” (Cuddy, The Benefit of Power Posing Before a High-Stakes Social Evaluation.”)
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It sounds totally rational, yet it’s still hard for people to remember the power of having upright posture. To be upright, posture has to always be on your mind. When posture isn’t on your mind, you might just slump back down into what you might feel is a more relaxed pose.
Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy, continued to promote her theory that body language impacts the chance of success in her TED talk “Your body language shapes who you are.”
In the TED talk, Cuddy explains, “When we think of nonverbals, we think of how we judge others, how they judge us, and what the outcomes are. We tend to forget the other audience that’s influenced by our nonverbals and that’s ourselves. We are also influenced by our nonverbals.”
Photo Credit: HBS People Space — Harvard Business School
If a job interviewer decides your future, why not make the best impression? Why not feel confident and powerful? Good posture is easily within our control and can be achieved.
I get it, it’s hard to constantly remember to get into that high power pose. And it takes the time to build good posture habits. With posture wearables such as Upright, you don’t have to remember. It reminds you to correct your posture so that your mind can focus on other important tasks.
I dare you to start being upright, to feel powerful and upright in your next high stake interview, and get that dream job.
Citation: Cuddy, Amy J.C., Caroline A. Wilmuth, and Dana R. Carney. “The Benefit of Power Posing Before a High-Stakes Social Evaluation.” Harvard Business School Working Paper, №13–027, September 2012