A Life Hack to help you gain Confidence in Interviews and Meetings
by Georgiana Head :
Here is a simple ‘Life Hack’ which helps you to keep your cool and be more confident in stressful situations. Everyone has off days when they feel less confident and there are simple things you can do to make yourself feel better. Have a look at Amy Cuddy’s 2012 Ted Talk: ‘Your Body Language Shapes Who you Are’ https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are?language=en
Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist who studies dominance behaviours. Primates and humans use fundamental poses to show dominance. Perhaps the easiest pose to imagine is known as the ‘pride pose’. This stance is so hardwired in to us that even congenitally blind children who have never seen someone do this pose will do it automatically when they win a race. It is literally instinctive. Perhaps the most famous proponent of the pride pose is the fabulous Usain Bolt.
Amy Cuddy’s research started when she was trying to work out how to help female students at top American Universities - she found that where male and female undergraduates started a degree with the same grade point average, that in their final year the female undergraduates were falling behind the males. The key difference in the final year was the amount of marks awarded for class participation. Amy found the girls sat back and didn’t have the confidence to speak up in class. She found the boys spoke up and she made a discovery - dominant individuals in the class would unconsciously use a range of power poses. In her talk she gives examples of different poses. It is actually really intriguing as many of the poses are classic male dominance positions – think ‘man spreading’.
Amy experimented to see what happens when you strike this type of pose. After 2 minutes it actually affects your body chemistry - it increases testosterone and lowers cortisol e.g. the stress hormone – so it makes you feel more in control and confident.
So if you are nervous about attending a meeting or interview – be the best you can be.
Make sure that before you go in to an event you spend 2 minutes in the toilet in the pride pose. Stand with your feet hip width apart, take a deep breath and raise your hands up as if celebrating winning a race. Better still do it with a grin on your face as this will also release endorphins and make you feel happier and more confident. It will literally help you cope with the stress of the situation.