Body Language

Here is where I admit that I am a TED talk junkie. I love them. I watch them while I eat lunch sometimes (the perks of working from home), and the talks that move me I watch over and over again. I am not sure if the most powerful talks I've seen were really powerful enough to get me to see things from a different perspective, or if I was ready to hear their messages and therefore they held some power. I've talked about the Brene Brown talks in a previous blog post, but her talks especially her TEDx talk is one of my all time favorites. I have watched it at least 10 times if not more. Maybe that makes me a stalker, or maybe the message is just that good that I want to hear it repeatedly. Anyway, I won't drone on about Brene Brown, but seriously watch her first talk if you haven't already, and read her books. You won't regret it.

The most recent TED Talk that has me fascinated is a talk by Amy Cuddy about body language. I watched it several weeks ago, and was curious about whether her power pose suggestions would work. I decided to try it for myself. In the past few weeks when I have had to give a presentation or just try to get my point across on one of the many many calls I find myself on each day (the perks of working from home again) I have done some form of power posing as I sit comfortably in my office where nobody on the phone can see me doing so. I also did more subtle forms of power posing while I was at my company's HQ and giving in-person presentations last week. The results of my not at all scientific study with a sample size of one and no control group have concluded that power posing is in fact effective. I have not managed to convince everyone at work that I am right about everything yet. However, I've made some small chips away at progress forward, and got approval for something that seemed almost impossible just a few months ago. Was it the power posing, or was it the year + of work I've put into honing my message? It was likely mostly the latter, but the power posing possibly helped me to deliver the message in a way that made me sound more convincing.

I was so excited by my power posing experiment that I told my kids about it. I showed them what power posing was, and then told them that they could do it before tests at school (the more subtle poses I suppose, though I think kids could get away with even the more overt poses). I also told them that they could do it before track meets and soccer games. They both rolled their eyes at me.

This week both kids had their first soccer games of the season. I don't think I reminded tortured the Girl with a reminder to power pose before her game - as I was likely busy just trying to get her there on time. She played well despite no power posing, scored a goal and got out of a 4 on 1 and away with the ball during one of her shifts playing defense. Her team won that game 8-2 - imagine if they had power posed! I think their success could be attributed to the cheer her team came up with. It is creative and pretty awesome - The Girl keeps repeating it. Or maybe it had more to do with skill and the mismatch between their team and the other.

I did say something to the Boy before his game though. He rolled his eyes at me. The first half of his game was rough. His team has 14 players, and I think 13 were there last night. 3 of his teammates have never played with the group before - and I think at least 2 boys are U11 players playing up to U12. Their passing fluidity wasn't quite there. I think they were all trying to get a feel for each other in a game situation again. The Boy looked okay during the first half, but even he was struggling a bit to find his groove. The second half took on a different note though. The Boy (and several others on the team) had some nice opportunities. He had at least one great shot on goal from a good distance away that was just perfectly placed - high in the net, hard for the goalie to save, but the goalie had a great jump save and managed to deflect it out over the back of the net. That led to a corner which The Boy took, and nearly led to a goal, and then a second corner shortly thereafter that he also took and did lead to a goal. His team ended up losing 1-2, in a game they certainly had the ability to win, but it was still a good game. When The Boy found us at the end of the game I asked him who had tipped in his corner kick for the goal, and he said the other team did so he got the credit for the goal. He was beaming, and clearly proud of how well he had played.

In the car on the way home he said "Mom, I didn't want you to be right, or to tell you about it, but I tried the power posing you talked about when I was sitting in the rain shelter tent between shifts. I pretended I was tired and stretching, but I was really power posing." He had a small little impish grin on his face, and he said "I think it works." So was it the power posing? Or was it the 9 months of him getting extra skills training at Left Foot Academy? I guess we can't really know, but hey power posing is pretty easy to do, and if it gives you a mental boost, why not try it?

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