By: Jacquelyn Gist, UCS Assistant Director
Conventional wisdom has long held that a person’s emotional state can be read by their body language. Someone with their head down and their arms tightly crossed is seen as being nervous or insecure. Someone who strides into a room with their head high, hands on hips is seen as being a take- charge confident type.
Recent studies have shown however that not only does our body language indicate our emotional state our emotion state can be altered by our physical stance. Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy’s research has shown that the simple act of standing for 2 minutes with your arms stretched high over your head and your feet planted in a wide V causes an increase in the chemicals in your body that are linked to feelings of confidence. Walking with a confident stride also increases physical feelings of confidence.
Last semester I began encouraging students who were nervous about upcoming interviews to try taking “power stands” for a few minutes before their interviews. Many of these nervous students reported that it had worked and that they felt more confident speaking with employers! One student even told me that she now does power stands before tests.
Do you have an interview coming up? Try doing a power stand first!
Below is a link to Dr. Cuddy’s Ted Talk on body language: