Monday, September 2, 2013

Leadership,your Body and your Power Pose

As an ontological practitioner (how we, as human beings use our language i.e. speaking and listening, our moods and emotions and our physiology i.e. our body to create our “Way of Being”), I am really excited about some research that has been undertaken by Social psychologist Amy Cuddy.  Amy shows how “power posing”, standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident, can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on your chances for success. Her research on body language reveals that you can change other people’s perceptions and even your own body chemistry, simply by changing your body positions. I encourage you to watch her TED talk which takes about 20 mins.

As leaders what can we draw from this research? How can the benefits of privately ‘power posing’ each day, help you to be powerful?  What does being a powerful leader mean?

The following is drawn from Sieler’s reflections on the notion of power:  

·        Power – your capacity to take effective action
·        Capacity – what is inherently within you that can be realised
·        Capability – application of an ability in a domain of action
·        Ontological spirit of power – power for and power with
·        Inherent personal power within each person  – potentiality-for-being

The notion of personal power

·        Not shrinking from your own inherent capacity to learn to take effective action across many domains of your life 
·        Underpins your utilisation of your capabilities; and 
·        Supports being a continual learner 

Personal power as a Way of Being in the world can include at a minimum the following:

·        Being continually in touch with your own legitimacy and dignity
·        Comfortable in your own skin
·        While not being the perfect human being (which I argue does not exist) assured in your fundamental worthiness as a human being
·        Standing your ground and making a stand
·        Being self-authoring and a committed learner
·        Courage of your convictions
·        Legitimising others and not taking criticism personally
·        Open to other opinions, judgements and choosing which ones ot ‘take on board’
·        Comfortable to make offers, request and public declarations
·        Dealing constructively with conflict and broken promises
·        Not feeling the need to ‘follow the herd’

My invitation to you is to 'play' around with how you hold your Body, consider creating your personal private 'Power Pose' to support you to take effective action in your life.  It only take 2 minutes a day... 

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