This post seems to be a follow-up of Friday's post about courage, although that isn't what I was thinking about when I wrote it.
I was, in fact, writing because of an email I read about copywriting...
Your Power (Courage) and Your Posture
When a dog is threatened or wishes to be threatening, the hair stands up on his back and he bars his teeth. When a cat is threatened, his hair is apt to stand out over his whole body while he hisses. When a bird is threatened, it fluffs it's feathers. When a horse is threatened, he might rear on his hind legs.
It's the same reason that a cop who feels threatened or wants to assert authority stands with his or her feet wide apart and elbows sticking out.
It's the same reason why an effective speaker stands up straight, looks at the audience, and keeps his or her shoulders squared.
Would anyone pay attention to a speaker who slumped at the podium and delivered the message to his shoes? (Oh wait, now I just realized why a couple of the continuing ed classes I took were so useless.)
YOU can use the same body language to give yourself confidence.
You probably wouldn't want to assume an authority pose when you're talking with clients in person - you might look a bit silly adopting a "cop stance." (However, you could do so if you're talking on the phone.)
But you can school yourself to avoid using a meek, submissive pose.
You can stand or sit up straight, with shoulders relaxed, but squared. You can keep your head up and look people in the eye. (And you should also adopt that posture while you're on the phone.)
For More Confidence and Courage, try "Power Posing."
You can use "power posing" to give yourself a confidence boost prior to an important interaction with a client, or even with a friend or family member.
- Researchers have proven that you can make yourself happier by smiling even when you can't think of anything to smile about.
- Others have proven that you can reduce stress and banish a "down mood" by sighing and turning your eyes skyward a few times.
- Now we're learning that you can reduce your fear and increase your confidence by power posing - even if you do it privately and only for a few minutes.
Here's how it's done:
First, find a private spot. If you're working from your home office or have an office door you can close - wonderful. If not, find a private spot, even if it's a stall in the rest room.
Your goal will be to make your body as big as it can be, so...
- Adopt a wide stance, then stand as tall as possible. (Streeetch yourself upward.)
- Reach your hands high in the air - as if you just crossed the finish line in a big race or made the winning touchdown.
- Or... put your hands on your hips with your elbows sticking way out.
- Hold that pose for 30 seconds, and let yourself "feel" large.
And then... since anxiety over the coming meeting is probably what made you need a little extra confidence, do the "Sigh and look up" exercise. Just take a deep breath and let it out in a sigh, while turning your eyes to the sky. Repeat 3 or 4 times and you'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel within a few minutes.
Now put on a smile and get going!