Have you ever left a nerve-racking challenge and immediately wished for a do over? Maybe after a job interview, a performance, or a difficult conversation? The very moments that require us to be genuine and commanding can instead cause us to feel phony and powerless. Too often we approach our lives' biggest hurdles with dread, execute them with anxiety, and leave them with regret.
By accessing our personal power, we can achieve "presence," the state in which we stop worrying about the impression we're making on others and instead adjust the impression we've been making on ourselves. As Harvard professor Amy Cuddy's revolutionary book reveals, we don't need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives.
Amy Cuddy has galvanized tens of millions of viewers around the world with her TED talk about "power poses." Now she presents the enthralling science underlying these and many other fascinating body-mind effects, and teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same.
Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every reader will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret.
"Presence feels at once concrete and inspiring, simple but ambitious -- above all, truly powerful."-New York Times Book Review
Cuddy, a professor at Harvard Business School, expands on her popular TED talk about adopting confident body postures, or "power poses," to enhance self-confidence and bring presence to social and professional situations. She defines presence as "feeling connected with our own thought, values, abilities, and emotions, so that we can better connect with... others." Drawing insights from successful venture capitalists and from a host of social psychology studies conducted by herself and others, Cuddy discusses self-affirmation, the role hormones play in confidence, mood enhancement via facial expression, and reinterpreting anxiety as excitement. She uses William James's belief that physical experiences trigger emotional states to lend credence to her own invention of power poses, providing specific instructions on how and when to use them. Further inspiration is provided by Cuddy's interviews with actress Julianne Moore about presence on film sets, Rev. Jeffrey Brown on his work reining in gang violence through active listening, and author Neil Gaiman on overcoming "imposterism." Lest the reader remain unconvinced, Cuddy concludes with letters from admirers who have used her methods effectively during job interviews, business meetings, and athletic events, as well as to overcome PTSD.
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An open mind opens the heart!
I read this and felt like I was actually in person hearing her at a seminar. Personally, I see this as important research into how we self-discover new things about the mind, body and ultimately our souls. I'm truly happier now with implementing some of the guidance and direction she suggested. It's definitely a must-read for those who think they have the subject figured out.