It’s interesting. One of my ongoing study areas is communication of all types. The subject of non-verbal communication is quite interesting but also the subject of much misinformation.
Recently a friend sent me an interesting study on the effects of “posing” on our internal states and behavior. In a nutshell we know that when people celebrate a victory they will do certain things. Pump their fists, jump up and down, yell, hug others, high fives, and all sorts of other things. What they study found is if researchers posed people they would begin to adopt the attitudes and emotions that the poses suggested. In other words if you were posed in the position of someone celebrating you would begin feeling and acting as if you were celebrating yourself.
The full title of the study was Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance. The study is pretty detailed and technical. Only click this link if you want all the details:
Now this is nothing new. I studied NLP in 1980′s and it was an early example we used. There just wasn’t a corresponding study to support it. There we would find “models” or examples of people experiencing what we would like to experience. By studying and putting yourself into similar physiological positions you can experience some of the emotions of the moment.
You can try this yourself. Just find photographs on the Internet of people celebrating for instance. Pick one and adopt the same pose. Pay particular attention to muscle tension and direction. Chances are good you will begin feeling the exhilaration they are experiencing.
Try a few of those on for size. This is fun to do with children too. Take it a step further though. Find a few poses that let you feel good that you can use even in a stressful situation.
This brings me to the second part of this. I was pointed toward a researcher who studied “Power Posing”. Her talk is interesting and worth your time. Especially if you take into consideration what I just talked about. Here are two videos featuring Amy Cuddy. They cover the same basic material but the first video is about 5 minutes long and the second 20. The short video emphasizes “Power Posing” and the second is more concerned with how your body language affects you personally. I think you will find both interesting.
Short video on Power Posing
Long video on non-verbal communication
Have you had experience in these areas? Share your thoughts below.