Just watched a very interesting TED TALK by Amy Cuddy on body language. Watch the TED TALK here. Amy's research shows that just 2 minutes of creating a powerful presence using your body posture actually leads to a powerful presence of body and mind. She showed that by assuming a powerful posture subjects not only increased salivary testosterone [more power] and reduced cortisol [less stress], they put themselves out there, excelled at a high stress interview and were more likely to be selected by blinded observers. Her last pearl was that practising powerful poses leads to becoming more powerfully present over time.
The talk inspired me to think of how one could apply this wisdom in two common high-pressure situations in emergency medicine and residency training - code | simulation scenarios and oral exams.
My residents will tell you that I teach them to find some way of getting into the right head space before simulation scenarios and oral exams. The goal is to fashion a powerful presence while being stress-resilient. I believe that Amy's wisdom provides another avenue for this.
So next time you're feeling a bit overwhelmed before a code | simulation scenario or oral exam, try 2 minutes of a powerful pose [or assuming a powerful pose during the scenario] - see if you can create a more impactful presence. If it works - practise it! Comments welcome