According to Harvard Business School…
Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance”, Cuddy shows that simply holding one’s body in expansive, “high-power” poses for as little as two minutes stimulates higher levels of testosterone (the hormone linked to power and dominance in the animal and human worlds) and lower levels of cortisol (the “stress” hormone that can, over time, cause impaired immune functioning, hypertension, and memory loss).
What does this mean? In simple terms, holding yourself in a power pose causes proven hormonal shifts that lead to “increased feelings of power and a greater tolerance for risk.”
The basic theory being, you can “fake it until you make it” meaning that even if you fake a smile, you can actually “smile long enough that it makes you feel happy.”
This research could greatly affect those that suffer from low self-esteem or don’t feel confident to stand in their own power.
“It does appear that even this minimal manipulation can change people’s physiology and psychology and, we hope, lead to very different, meaningful outcomes, whether it’s how they perform in a job interview or how they participate in class.”
What it all comes down to in the end is how we connect and how we are all perceived by one another. Cuddy states that, “people form impressions of others through a matrix of how much we trust and like them and how much we think they’re competent and respect them.”
What this means is “warmth” overpowers “competence” – that in most cases how people feel about you plays more of an important role and influences people more so than what you actually say in words.
This study goes to prove how important it is to build your executive presence – executive presence is a learned skill, one you can practice and fake it until you make it.