That Pre-Meeting ‘Power Pose’ Isn’t Doing What You Think It’s Doing

It turns out the only beneficial result of a “power pose” is nice posture.

Previous research on the stance ― where you stand tall with your legs spread and hands on your hips ― found that it can boost confidence in a stressful moment, which could lead to better performance. But new research shows the technique may not enhance your success like scientists originally thought. While the pose may help you to feelpowerful, it won’t actually lead to improved performance.

“Feeling powerful may feel good, but on its own does not translate into powerful or effective behaviors,” said Joseph Cesario, lead study author and an associate psychology professor at Michigan State University in a statement. “These new studies, with more total participants than nearly every other study on the topic, show ― unequivocally ― that power poses have no effects on any behavioral or cognitive measure.”

Cesario and team conducted 11 total experiments as part of two separate studies and found there was little to no evidence that upheld the scientific assertion that power poses have an effect on performance. The first study was published in the journal Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology and a second was published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The first study looked to replicate that previous Harvard research that found power posing can improve confidence. Researchers tested to see whether the stance improved performance in settings like job interviews, but none of the seven total experiments were able to confirm previous findings and, in fact, the studies showed that power posing had no significant, positive effect on performance.

The second study tested participants in a new scenario using a different experiment design. Again, the researchers found no evidence throughout the four studies that power posing had an impact on the outcome.

Apologies if you were someone who relied on doing a few power stances before a big meeting (there’s totally a lot of you, right?). If you’re looking for a little confidence boost at work, try one of these tricks instead:

Plug in your headphones.

Try pressing play before your next big meeting. A study published by Northwestern University found that listening to music with a heavy bass made people feel more powerful and confident on a daily basis.

Wear red.

Opt for a fiery hue from your closet on the day of a major presentation. The bold color is said to sway people’s behavior and associated with power. Wearing it also makes people feel more confident in their appearance.

Spritz your favorite fragrance.

Your signature scent may help you muster up the courage you need. Research shows that the majority of women feel more confident when they wear perfume compared to going without a fragrance. Additionally, a 2009 study found that cologne helped men feel a boost confidence ― and the more they liked the scent, the more confident they felt.

Take a selfie.

Remember this the next time someone shames you for your selfie. Research shows that taking the personal photos is linked to a boost in self-confidence over time. Maybe Kim Kardashian had it right all along?

Sweat it out.

Nothing like a good gym session to get your endorphins running and your self-esteem skyrocketing. Research shows that working out regularly can lead to more confidence in your appearance and lower stress. How’s that for a boost?

Now go forth and conquer.

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