A study done at two prestigious business schools found that posture has a greater effect than even a promotion on your overall behavior. Subjects who assumed a so-called “expansive posture” – spreading out by crossing their legs instead of keeping them together and by draping an arm over the back of a chair instead of placing their hands under their legs – were found to exhibit a greater sense of confidence and power than subjects who sat more submissively but had been granted a superior role.
The results were so decisive that they surprised even those who conducted the study. “Going into the research, we figured role would make a big difference,” said Li Huang, a PhD candidate at the Kellogg School of Management. “But shockingly, the effect of posture dominated the effect of role in each and every study.”