Culture, How To's, Just for kicks

How to strike a power pose


At a recent event called Creative Mornings I found myself embracing a bold new stance. Not exactly the ethos of Creative Mornings, but I’m going with it anyway. Certainly the sort of environment that lends itself to meeting new people and opening up to new ideas. With this in mind, my friend and I introduced ourselves to the folks sitting next to us in the crowd. “Hi, I’m Dayna Neumann. I own a marketing agency here in Louisville.” Blah, blah, blah. You get the idea. And then a certain gentlemen, we will call him “Reginald The Realtor”, barely makes eye contact and mumbles the following, “I’m Reginald. I’m just a realtor.”

Woah, hold up Reggie.

Something came over me. I couldn’t help myself. I saw something in Reggie, something familiar. Something that creeps into your psyche and plants the seeds of self doubt. Stealing your confidence. I saw something that I’ve struggled with in the past and I knew exactly what to do.

Rocky doing the Power VI didn’t hesitate. I said to Reggie, “I know I just met you, but do you want a suggestion? I know you can do better. You are NOT just a realtor. You are Reginald The Realtor!!” And I threw my arms up into the air to form the Victory V. He laughed. People around us smiled. I asked Reggie to put his arms up and say, “I’m Reggie the Realtor!!”. He obliged and it was amazing. He smiled. He was engaging. He looked confident. He looked like a whole new Reggie. Yay!!

And then I told him and the people sitting around us my secret obsession with Power Poses. I told them about how your poses can influence how you feel about yourself … and how others feel about you. The Victory V is one of them. It’s innate. There is also The Wonder Woman Pose or Super-Hero Pose. A personal favorite.

I was first made aware of these poses from Amy Cuddy and her brilliant research at Harvard and her Ted Talk on the subject. She researches the effects of High Power Poses on our feelings about ourselves and likewise what others think of us. She also researches the evil counterparts, The Low Power poses. The science is fascinating.

Wonder Woman doing the Super Hero PoseIf you strike a High Power pose for 2 minutes you will see a 20% increase in your confidence hormone (Testosterone) and a 25% decrease in your nervous hormone (Cortisole). Almost the exact opposite happens when you strike a Low Power pose – 10% decrease in testosterone and a 15% increase in cortisole. Get with Wonder Woman and strike a pose!

Before a job interview, a big presentation, a pitch, a first date, try doing a Power Pose for 2 minutes.

High Power Pose How-To:

  1. Fists on hips.
  2. Feet hip-distance apart.
  3. Head up.
  4. Chin raised a bit higher than level.
  5. Hold for 2 minutes.
  6. Kick some ass.

As for Reggie The Realtor, he’s an inspiration to me. He was open to the suggestion. He bravely took the challenge without hesitation. He tried something new and I’m pretty sure it made an impact. Also, I want to publicly say “Thank You” to Reggie for his willingness to listen to me. I’ve never told a stranger to reintroduce themselves. But watch out, because now I’m on a roll! You might be next…

Dayna Neumann

boundless. curious. renegade. founder @ execuity

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