Marymount B.L.O.G.S

TED Talks

February 18, 2014 | Leave a Comment

Recently, the organization TED compiled a list of their 20 most popular TED Talks.  If you are not familiar, TED Talks are short lectures about topics that fall within the organization’s focus, i.e. Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  Every TED Talk I have seen is at least interesting and most are downright fascinating.  One that I keep thinking about, and telling others about, is a talk by Amy Cuddy, associate professor at Harvard Business School, titled “Your body language shapes who you are.”

Professor Cuddy came to a conclusion as part of conducting a study, that your body position can reflect your mental state.  I feel that this idea on its own is not very surprising to people.  When people feel a curtain way it will often show on his or her face or in the way that he or she stands.  The part of the study that I found more inspiring was the idea that we are influenced by our own body language and non-verbal communication as opposed to just the other way around.  That is, the reflection works in either direction and you can use your body to “prime” your mind before a situation so that can increase (or decrease) your chances of success.  You do this mental priming by positioning your body in certain ways.  Professor Cuddy found that if one of the participants engaged in certain “high power” body positions they were most likely to be selected as the best in a group.  On the other hand, if the participants engaged in certain “low power” body positions they would perform poorer in the activity that followed.  These high power positions normally involved standing in a fashion that makes your body appear larger and more dominant.  The reverse is true of low power positions.

I found the concept of adopting high power poses to be very interesting.  After watching, I think the bigger challenge for the viewer is to put Professor Cuddy’s ideas into practice; not just in interview situations (like in her study) but into everyday life.  The older I get, the more I look for ways to control and master my life.  Finding a way to boost my successes goes along with and will support that mastery.

Professor Cuddy’s talk goes into far greater detail and I encourage everyone to watch and be inspired by it.  I have provided a  link below to her talk along with the link to the 20 most popular TED Talks.

-Chris M.

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