FIRST THOUGHT: The Power of Nonverbal Communication
I’ve been thinking about that phrase, “words are cheap.” What does that mean? In my line of work, language is everything. It’s the difference between “Let’s eat Grandma” and “Let’s eat, Grandma.” But remember those days back when you were love-struck and your crush held your hand? Those kinds of moments are pure, unadulterated magic, and not a single syllable is needed. You can’t get swept off your feet all the time. After all, you have work to do! But today, just think about how you can communicate your intentions in other ways.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 500,000 Hugs
Some days, when you get home, you need more than just the warm embrace from a glass of red wine. You just need a good, old-fashioned hug. Elizabeth Laird handed out nearly 500,000 hugs to almost every soldier deploying from Fort Hood, Texas, since 2003. She was known as “The Hug Lady.” So Laird committed, even if it was 2 o’clock in the morning, she’d be there ready to embrace our servicemen and women. Laird lost her decade-long battle with metastatic breast cancer at age 83. Now there is an online petition with more than 25,000 signatures to name the Fort Hood Deployment Center after her.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Amy Cuddy, associate professor at Harvard Business School
Strike a pose. It could help you land that job or win an argument with your partner. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy discussed her research on “power poses” in a 2012 TED talk, and some of my favorite ladies are huge fans, from Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg to Girlsstar Allison Williams. Close the door and try holding one of these poses for two minutes: the Performer (Lift your arms above your head to make the letter Y), the CEO (Place your hands behind your head with your fingers intertwined), the Loomer (Lean forward while standing tall), and my personal favorite, the Classic (Think of Wonder Woman, with hands on your hips). Cuddy didn’t always know how to exude strength. She trained as a ballerina in high school and college, requiring her to be delicate and dedicated. That all changed when a car wreck caused severe head trauma. It took work to regain her original IQ. Cuddy spent a long time thinking about her brain, and then thinking about other people’s brains. Through her research, Cuddy discovered that nonverbal behavior, like these power poses, not only influences how others perceive you, but it also influences your toughest critic: yourself.
QUITE THE QUOTE
You don’t need to click your heels and say this quote from Judy Garland three times to get the message. Just be yourself! Garland recommends: “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.