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Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

Overview

What does your body language reveal about you? Is there a connection between body language and success? In this TED Talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains the mind-body connection of non-verbal behavior and how body language can ultimately influence how your life unfolds.

What You’ll Learn

After completing the work on this page, you will be able to:

  • Know that non-verbal behavior (body language) is important to human communication and interaction
  • Recall that body language governs our perceptions of others and also ourselves
  • Recognize that our minds change our bodies and our bodies change our minds
  • Realize that body language can have an impact on your own life outcomes
  • Empower yourself with confidence boosting poses

Watch the Video

Dig Deeper

After watching the video, reflect on the following questions. Jot down your thoughts. Consider sharing this video with a colleague or a work group for an insightful discussion.

  1. Acknowledge your body language right now. What does it say about you in this moment?
  2. Choose one of the following work situations: in a meeting, on a call, driving a vehicle, at your computer, in the field, or walking/moving around the office. Describe your body language in this situation (posture, stance, pace, facial expression, hand movement, audibility, etc.) What does it say about you?
  3. Ask a trusted colleague to help you compare your self-assessment from #2. Find a colleague with whom you have a comfortable relationship (can talk openly) and who is familiar with you in that workplace situation. Ask them, “What do you observe about my body language in that situation? What does it say about me?” Thank them for their observations and reflect on what they shared with you.
  4. Your body language is one element of your leadership character. Does your body language portray what you want to convey? What changes, if any, do you need to make to your body language to make it more closely align with how you want the world to see you?
  5. Stand in a power pose for 1 minute. Do you feel more confident? Reflect on the results.
  6. Share this resource with one other person and have them try a power pose for 2 minutes.

Still Hungry?

Here’s more to spark your thinking on this topic:

  • From Harvard Business Review:

— 6 Ways to Look More Confident During a Presentation (article)
— Your Body Language Speaks for You In Meetings (article)
— Pay Attention to Your Body Language When Giving Feedback (article)
— Take Control of Your Nonverbal Communication (video)

NOTE: There is a limit of viewing 4 online resources per month at Harvard Business Review without a paid subscription. If you click on the above HBR links, each will count toward your limit.

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  2. This Ted talk was amazing! The way Amy explained the different examples of our Body Languages was great and she encouraged the audience to use different types. The fact that she used a personal example in her life was a bonus to the listener and did touch my heart because we all experience similar situations in our lives!

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