How ‘Power Poses’ Can Help Your Career

The Wall Street Journal:

Can how you stand or sit affect your success?

New research shows posture has a bigger impact on body and mind than previously believed. Striking a powerful, expansive pose actually changes a person’s hormones and behavior, just as if he or she had real power.

Merely practicing a “power pose” for a few minutes in private—such as standing tall and leaning slightly forward with hands at one’s side, or leaning forward over a desk with hands planted firmly on its surface—led to higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in study participants. These physiological changes are linked to better performance and more confident, assertive behavior, recent studies show.

Hunching over a smartphone before a meeting or presentation may be self-defeating, because it forces the user into a low-power pose, according to a recent study led by Maarten Bos, then a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Business School. Participants were assigned to complete several tasks on one of four gadgets—a hand-held device, a tablet, a laptop or a desktop. Then, the researcher tested subjects’ willingness to interrupt another person, a power-related behavior. He left each subject alone in the room with instructions to come get him if he didn’t return in five minutes.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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