Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Posture and Non-Verbal Communication

How to feel more powerful and courageous: Strike a pose that takes up space. Open postures make people feel more dominant and confident.

Wish you were in a position of power? Strike a pose that opens up the body and takes up space. Not only will it command attention from others, it will help you feel more powerful as well. That’s according to a study from Harvard Business School researcher Amy C.J. Cuddy, who also found that closed-off poses have the opposite effect. Crossing your arms or legs or hunching over, for instance, can make a person feel weak and ineffective.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that when participants maintained open-bodied positions, testosterone levels went up and stress hormone levels fell. They also felt more in control and were more willing to take risks than those in closed-off positions. The next time you need to feel in charge, summon your internal reserves by standing up straight and making sure neither your legs nor arms are crossed. Stand with your feet slightly apart and your hands on your hips.

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