For millions of years animals have displayed confidence by making themselves big. Snakes flair their wings out, bears rise on two feet and raise their arms, and that annoying guy that steals your girlfriend puffs his chest out when walking in nightclubs.
The instinctive way to interpret that behaviour is to think that they are naturally confident and this behaviour is an outcome. But what happens if it’s also the other way around? What if you can fake it until you make it? What if by acting big and confident, you could become big and confident.
Psychologists got one group to stand in a ‘high-power pose’ for 2 minutes and another group to stand in a ‘low-power pose’ for 2 minutes. They were then given the opportunity to gamble.
86% of the ‘high-power pose’ group decided to gamble compared to just 60% of the ‘low-power pose’ group who gambled!
So what’s the learning? Body language isn’t just an output, it’s an input and the way we communicate non-verbally can change how we think about ourselves as well as how others think about us.
Now excuse me whilst I go walk around with my hands on my hips.