Straighten up. Stop slouching. Chances are, most people have heard these phrases from others concerned with their sloppy posture. It is common knowledge that the way one holds his or her body transmits a message to those around them of confidence and self-assurance, but did you know that maintaining frequent good posture could also affect your leadership abilities?
A study by Sarah L. Arnette and Terry F. Pettijohn II, from the Department of Psychology at Costal Carolina University, found that having good posture “may bolster individual leadership perceptions,” which would come in handy “before important interviews, meetings, tasks, and decisions” that many individuals face on a day to day basis. The experiment consisted of 42 university students, who were told to sit with good or bad posture and then indicate where they would like to sit in reference to a picture of a table with nine chairs. Arnette and Pettijon’s study found that those with better posture repeatedly picked chairs closer to the front and head of the table, while those with worse posture stayed with chairs closer to the end. The authors concluded that these results showed that those with better posture (even if only for the moment) conversely felt that they had stronger leadership abilities and therefore would want to be in a position of power near the front of the table.
If you feel like your leadership skills are lacking, good posture just might do the trick in making you believe that you are more powerful than you previously thought. So go ahead, sit (or stand) a little taller today. Why not?