The Body Language of Business

How could standing up straight, putting your hands on your hips and posing like Wonder Woman make you more successful?

Harvard Business School Professor Amy Cuddy believes it’s possible, at least two minutes at a time.

Ms. Cuddy outlines in her Ted Talk, that not only does our mood determine our body language, but that actively changing our body language can change our mood. She contends that by assuming various “power poses,” a person is able to train their body and mind to have more self-esteem and confidence. Her studies have shown that by adapting such poses, individuals are actually able to measurably increase levels of testosterone and decrease amounts of cortisol (the “stress” hormone).

Her video and theory have gone viral. A New York Times article commented, “Elementary school students, retirees, elite athletes, surgeons, politicians, victims of bullying and sexual assault, beleaguered refugees, people dealing with mental illness or physical limitations (including a quadriplegic): they have all written to say that adopting a confident pose — or simply visualizing one, as in that last case — delivers almost instant self-assurance.”