Welcome to Week 12 of the Authenticity@Work Leadership Tool-kit! My intention for this series is to share a quick tool each week to help you lead with more authenticity, adaptability and inspiration so we can together create workplaces where we bring the best of ourselves and inspire others. So grab a journal and an accountability partner to make these practices even more powerful for you!
In last week’s post we discussed how your body is your GPS system and how intuition really works. Did you note when you’ve had a visceral reaction to something and how that experience connected you to your body’s GPS?
One of the underlying miracles of our bodies is found in our neural pathways and connections. Remember, 93 percent of communication is nonverbal. In a fascinating TEDTalk, Harvard researcher and social psychologist Amy Cuddy discusses how our body language shapes who we are. She shares data that shows how our bodies can actually help us change our minds, change our behavior, and significantly improve our leadership outcomes.
Cuddy’s research suggests that we ourselves are influenced by our own nonverbal communication and that changing our posture can actually shift our attitudes. Her research shows that the most powerful people of both genders have high levels of testosterone (linked to assertiveness, confidence, and optimism) and low levels of cortisol (a stress hormone where low levels indicate an ability to deal well in stressful situations)
Another reason to connect with our bodies is that often our triggers (events that lead to derailing behaviors) are quite resistant to change. Why? Because they are actually coded in our brains and body posture at an early stage in our lives. This is why knowing the right behavior is simply not enough. We must actually reprogram our behavior through reprogramming our bodies. What if we could use the power of muscle memory to take a more powerful stand for our authenticity?
This Week’s Tool:
Notice your body posture, and reconnect with your core. How is your body posture around certain people and in certain situations versus others? Notice when you’re more guarded. Practice releasing the guard by doing deep belly breathing to re-center yourself. How does this impact your ability to be fully yourself?