Sometimes we are offered a simple solution to help us succeed in life. Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School offered us just that: the power pose. Her joint research showed that adopting a power pose for a short time could increase testosterone and improve performance at job interviews. As a result, her confidence cure has been readily seized upon.
Put your hands on your hips – widen your stance…
At the time of writing, Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on the ‘power pose’ has been viewed by 36,456,233 people. Consider that for a moment – the video has been watched by a population akin to that of Canada!
The problem? This simple solution was simply too good to be true. Follow up studies, with larger numbers of people, from Zurich and more, couldn’t prove Cuddy’s point. And yet, before the inconvenient truth could don its boots, Cuddy had sold her bestselling book across the planet and the power pose myth has taken on superhero strength.
Now, to steal the last puff from the inflated power poser, one of the original co-authors of the 2010 power pose study, Dana Carney, has completely eviscerated the research – see HERE. Her unequivocal position on power posing?
So what can we learn from this power posing parable? Well, if a solution to our complex lives seems too simple, it almost always is that; that if we are going for a job interview, we are best off preparing well and boost our confidence by actually proving ourselves competent. We should also be healthily skeptical when presented with research that offers to solve all our ills.
Can power posing be your confidence cure? No.
Right, you can stop posing and relax. #slouchforsuccess
Image credit to Juhan Sonin at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/juhansonin/15270359572/in/photostream/