Utilizing the Power Pose in Leadership

Quite bluntly, your body language shapes who you are, from one on one conversations to high end negotiations with potential employees and employers. Having a consciousness of how to match your pose to the situation is a learned skill, but knowing what is actually happening within your body can bring your conscientious behaviour to a whole new level.

The Superman and Superwoman Pose

Not only does this pose feel comfortable by relaxing your arms and taking pressure off your sternum, it imposes a sense of readiness to those around you. Called the superman pose, or superwoman pose, as it resembles the ready stance of a super hero, it relies on a few factors to impart strength and confidence to those around you.

The pose begins at the ground level, with feet firmly planted and at least shoulder’s length apart. Your sternum is facing who you are speaking with, and your chin is slightly elevated at to one side at an angle. On your hips, both hands are planted firmly, with your elbows cocked outward.

Poses such as these not only give an appearance of solidity and leadership, but also raise testosterone levels in the body that relate to dominance and power. On the same note, they reduce levels of cortisone, which created anxiety and fear signals of weakness.

The gorilla

Of all the poses, this power pose is by far the most aggressive in an office setting. Working from the end of the table, stand up and place both hands on the table’s edge with your fingers curled under as if you are about to raise and punch the surface. Keep your elbows locked and lean forward, letting your weight fall upon your knuckles. This pose incites submission, and should only be used when a show of true power is required.

True confidence

Though not something you would pull out at a job interview, the True Confidence pose does nothing less than share your expression of knowing exactly what is what at all given times. Sit back in a chair, preferably one that tilts on its own, and place your crossed feet on the table ahead of you. Raise your arms behind your back and interlock your fingers behind the neck. This pose keeps your body in a relaxed but actionable position, and exudes complete confidence. As noted above, it is not recommended for an office interview lest you peeve off your interviewer for your showing of cockiness…

I would love you to give it a go – it works!

P.S. watch Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on the subject, it’s amazing!

Share your experiences with me at  sonia@soniamcdonald.com.au

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organizations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realize what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognized as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognized for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humor will enhance any event she appears.

  1. Leadership Attitude
  2. Just Rock It
  3. Leadership for Small Business
  4. Leading the Next Generations
  5. Courageous Leadership
  6. Future Leaders of Leadership
  7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616



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