Can Power Posing Negatively Impact Your Success?

Written by: Nancy Michieli, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Like many girls growing up in the ’80s, I loved Wonder Woman and wanted to be her. I thought her pose was strong and magnificent. In 2012, Amy Cuddy’s famous TedTalk on “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are”, led us on a movement of Power Posing as our inner Wonder Women. The study focused on evaluating if body language would allow us to increase risk tolerance with decreased stress by assessing levels of testosterone and cortisol.


The launch of this TedTalk, a series of studies on power posing, has struggled to validate Amy and her team's work. But here is the question, does power posing help women in the workplace be more successful. I propose No, it doesn't.


Imagine walking into a room or a meeting with a woman taking one of the two open power poses. How does she make you feel? When women come across as aggressive, they are less liked, negatively impacting our ability to be heard and respected. We don’t want to feel like we are entering a boxing match.


In research by Laura Kray, on feminine charm indicated that women are more likely to be successful in negotiating if she is both flirty and friendly. Women who are only friendly are seen as too nice and give everything up. Whereas using the combination of flirty and friendly in feminine charm has a sense of self-interest in the negotiation. These women who employ feminine charm can negotiate better while maintaining their likability.


So, if Women need to have more feminine charm, then I propose replacing power posing with boosting our self-esteem and learning how to be more Fun, Flirty and Fabulous.


According to Nathaniel Branden, when we have high self-esteem, we have the confidence to assert our needs and wants without minimizing those who are around us. Here are three tips for using body language for success:


  1. Fun - Engage Your Mindset Prepare yourself for a business meeting or life event like playing a game. Make it fun! When we look at challenges as hard, our mindset finds roadblocks which prevent our success. If we shift the perspective to fun and a game, this will allow our creativity to shine. It takes the pressure off, relaxing us and allowing us the opportunity to win.

  2. Flirty - Smile away We often think of flirty in a sexual connotation, but we can be more flirty in a non-sexual way when we have high self-esteem. A simple technique to learn how to be more flirty is to practice smiling in a mirror or laughing at yourself and the situation. These techniques will help you feel better about yourself and quickly shift your emotion from stress to success. When you smile at people around you, they relax, and you become more likable and approachable in the situation.

  3. Fabulous - Practice Yoga Standing Poses How we stand or sit in a room, people will take notice. In 2017, Agnieszka Golec de Zalava did a study to compare using Yoga Standing Pose to Power Poses to increase Energy and Self-Esteem. This study indicated that if we stand in the open position, we can increase our energy because our lungs are in a position to connect better with our breath. As well, the mountain pose opens our hearts, making our body is more receptive to those around us. You can walk into any room as confident and owning the space. When women increase their energy in a relaxed, confident stance, we increase our self-esteem, becoming fabulous.

In my experience in the Oil & Gas industry, when I walk into a room relaxed, with my head held high, my body open, with a smile on my face, and high self-esteem, I have been able to lead teams to save companies as much as 10 Million dollars in a single year. As well, I have received a job offer where I could write my paycheck at whatever value I wanted.


Women, if you want to increase your success in business and life, then stop power posing and develop your feminine charm by raising your self-esteem and learning the benefits of body language. You have the right to be happy and flourish in life and business.


Follow her Podcast Luv2bMe, on Instagram at nancymichieli, or take her free 60-Seconds to Boost Your Self-Esteem.

Nancy Michieli, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Nancy Michieli is excited to launch a new movement Luv2bMe. She is inspiring women to boost their self-esteem to be more fun, flirty and fabulous to flourish in life and business. Nancy is a Certified Rapid Transformation Therapy Practitioner, Certified Holistic Life, Career and Executive Coach and Certified Consulting Hypnotist. As well, Nancy holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, her Diploma as a Certified Sommelier from the Canadian Professional Sommelier Association and loves to compete in American Ballroom 9 Dance with the charming husband. During a successful 25 year career as an Engineer, Project Manager and Leader in the Oil&Gas Industry, Nancy discovered that women in the male-dominated field succeed when they bring their feminine charm. Her mission is to help women fall in love with being women, engaging their elegant, assertive feminine energy to achieve their life dreams.

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