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Warmth and Power

TED Blog has a fascinating piece with Amy Cuddy that focuses on the upcoming Presidential debate but also has something to offer for both those interviewing for jobs and those who are already leaders.  It is all about nonverbal cues.

First, for those interviewing for a new job, there is this advice:

Strike a powerful pose (in private) before a job interview, and your performance will improve.

The recommendation is to strike the pose for 2 minutes. 

Then the piece moves on to be more about the political arena and focus on nonverbal cues that can really affect how we view candidates.  Next comes the part for leaders about exuding warmth as well as power:

You must understand the people you’re trying to influence or lead. You must be able to show them that you understand them – and, better yet, that you can relate to them. By doing that, you’re laying the groundwork for trust. And it’s only then that they can really hear you and be open to your ideas. Trust is the conduit for influence; it’s the medium through which ideas travel. If they don’t trust you, your ideas are just dead in the water. If they trust you, they’re open and they can hear what you’re offering. Having the best idea is worth nothing if people don’t trust you.

Cuddy goes on the explain how women in particular are judged as being EITHER powerful or warm.  It is difficult for them to be seen as balanced.  There are also suggestions on how to convey warmth which involve contracting the muscles around your eyes and mouth, engaging in small talk, and thinking about things that make you relax.

There’s a lot in this blog post that should help people at all stages of their career.

Categories: Leadership
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