The Importance of Body Language

When we are speaking with someone our body tends to have a mind of its own.   Did you know that you can help to control your mind and thoughts through body language?  There is a direct correlation between body language and certain mental faculties, and that's what this blog will be examining.

All around the world a non-profit organization called TED organizes talks dealing with every facet of life, and one of these that has intrigued me the most was a recent talk done by social psychologist Amy Cuddy titled, "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are."  Throughout this presentation Cuddy presented facts and studies that were very interesting, a majority of them dealt with workplace situations.  One of the most intuitive body language changes that affects your mental faculties is having a "power pose", as Cuddy calls it, instead of a more retracted, sheltered pose.  Having a power pose can help lead to higher levels of confidence and testosterone, the dominance hormone.  This chemical reaction in the brain can simply be caused by a pose that presents you in a bigger, more confident manner, and can have a major effect on your communication skills.  On the other side of that coin, though, we see that a sheltered pose tends to reduce the amount of testosterone in the brain and actually release another hormone called cortisol which is the stress hormone.  So something as simple as striking a pose can lead to a higher stress level. 

Cuddy then presents results of a study conducted where people were interviewed for a job after posing in one of the two types of pose for only two minutes. The blind study participants who determined who would get the job rated those who had been in power poses much higher in communication skills and overall presence across the board.  This study showed a direct correlation between the body language of the individuals interviewed and the pose that they had struck for only two minutes prior to the interview.  This shows a great possibility for us to control our stress and nerves in any situation, not only job related. 

The power of body language is incredible.  You can change any person's view of you with a simple body movement, and even striking a pose for a couple of minutes can completely change your presence and your overall mindset.  Although body language is talked about it may be far more important than it has ever before seemed to be.