Office politics

Power posing could be better for women at work than speaking up

Anne Fulenwider and Amy Cuddy demonstrate power poses. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Marie Claire)

Remember practicing your “power pose?”

The popular term from Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk a few years ago brought attention to how women could increase their confidence and power in the office place through nonverbal, physical cues. And it turns out that standing tall may still count for more than speaking up when it comes to perceptions of women’s behavior, according to two researchers studying perceptions of assertiveness by women. Emory University’s Melissa J. Williams and Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Larissa Tiedens synthesized data from 71 studies on people’s reactions to assertiveness and found that women are often penalized for speaking up, but are not punished for nonverbal assertiveness. The researchers found that the difference in perception is because nonverbal cues are recorded at the “nonconscious level” and are not triggered to think about how a woman “ought” to behave. While asking for that raise may be difficult, standing tall and looking someone in the eye could go a long way toward helping, they found.

Read the full story at New York magazine.


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