You may be familiar with Amy Cuddy from her Ted Talk about body language. If you haven’t seen it, watch it here:
If you have seen it and are looking for more, start with her book Presence. The main idea is that our body language shapes who we are by shaping how the world perceives us. This idea fascinates me, because there are a million little subconscious things I’m aware I do that hold me back, and who knows how many more there are that I am unaware of. For example, I have this annoying habit of twirling my hair when I’m thinking. I’ve been told that in a professional setting this has the impact of making me look like a little girl, which is not at all the impression I’d like to give off in the workplace.
Most often I hear Amy Cuddy referred to in gender workplace equality discussions. Her “power posing” exercises do come in handy in that setting. But here’s the thing, which Amy Cuddy astutely notes: people are savvy and get really turned off if you blatantly power pose in front of them. In fact, they may be quite offended if they read that you are trying to exert power over them or intimidate them with your power posing. Maybe you are just trying to come off as confident, but public power posing doesn’t always work. Rather, Amy Cuddy recommends you power up by holding a power pose in a private place (like the bathroom) for a few minutes prior to a big meeting, presentation, or setting where you need to be put together.
In this regard, it’s a great way to prepare for teaching a yoga class! Where the body goes the mind will follow. When you need a quick pep talk prior to yoga class, power posing is a great way to give your nonverbal communication a little boost.
Anyway, you can easily find Amy Cuddy’s book on Amazon. If you have a long commute or travel coming up, you can always listen to the Audible book like I did. Since I drive so much and spend little time sitting when I am at home, popping on an Audible book helps the time go by faster and also helps me work through my reading lists. Two birds. One stone. Efficiency ftw.