We're all familiar with how other people's nonverbal behaviors change our perception of them—from the person who gives a weak handshake or doesn't meet your eyes while presenting. But did you know your nonverbal behaviors can change how you think about yourself?
Research done by Dr. Amy Cuddy and her colleagues at Harvard Business School suggests that taking only two minutes to strike a "power pose" can significantly impact how powerful you feel and the actions you take. In her brief TED Talk, she's careful to mention that the intention is not to display a power pose (e.g., standing with your hands on your hips or sitting with your feet up on a desk) during an interaction, but to take a few minutes prior to the interaction by yourself to hold the pose. It's about preparing yourself so you walk into your next interaction, like a presentation or meeting, feeling confident and strong. For us, this comes into play when we think about job interviewing, both in-person and over the phone.
Despite how much professional experience you have, there are always triggered nerves when interviewing for a job. While you can't control the facial expressions of your interviewer or distracting background noise, you can control how you feel going into a situation. Practicing interview responses with family or friends can help, but what you do immediately beforehand matters. Changing your nonverbal behaviors for a few minutes before your interview can change your career for years to come.
From a job interview to a tough conversation with your manager, we will all be placed in situations that make us feel less than comfortable. Dr. Cuddy's research suggests that taking just two simple minutes can help you bring your best self to the table. So why wait? Strike a pose.