The next time a difficult client or an angry boss makes you feel small, stand up straight. The perfect posture may just be the boost you need, according to a new study.
Researchers at Ohio State University have discovered that people with good posture were more confident in their own thoughts. The study involved 71 Ohio State students who were told to either slouch over their desk or sit up straight while answering questions about their job qualifications. Those with good posture tended to believe in themselves, while the slouchers weren’t as sure. The results were published in the October issue of the European Journal of Social Psychology.
Students were told they’d be participating in two studies at once—one organized by the business school and one by the art school. They were told the art school study was designed to test people’s ability to engage in activities while maintaining a specific posture. The students were also told that the business study was designed to investigate factors contributing to job satisfaction and personal performance.
While holding their posture, the students answered survey questions that asked for three positive personal traits relating to future professional job performance and three negative traits. After completing the survey, the students rated themselves on how they thought they’d do as a future professional worker. Students who sat up straight were much more likely to rate themselves in line with the characteristics they listed—whether positive or negative. The opposite effect was true in students who slouched.
So standing tall could help you face clients and team members. And, who knows, the next time you ask for a raise, a straight back might help you more confidently state your case.