You really inhibit your power to affect others, if you inhibit yourself.  So don’t.  Make sure you are ready to roll.  Let yourself, the people you meet and the entire universe know you are in charge, even if you do not feel like you are.

I really want you to actually try this.  You will be glad you did.  Stand up.  Spread your feet just a little wider than your shoulders.  Put your hands on your hips.  Hold this for two minutes.  Please time it.  Over is OK, but two minutes is the minimum.  If you need to move a little, take one hand off your hip and point at what would be your audience.  Feel it?

If you were a test subject and we swabbed your saliva before and after this exercise, your estrogen would have dropped 30% and your testosterone would have increased 30%!  The posture you struck is a power posture.  While you stand that way your body is telling your mind you are dominating the situation.  Your mind increases the testosterone release and decreases the estrogen release.   The chemical change tells you body you are dominating. Your body stands a little straighter and tells the mind, “We sure are!”

This cycle will sustain itself for a while. It will sustain itself longer, if you are in a social situation because there will be continuous feedback that you are in charge.   You are. You are in charge of yourself.  Power postures send a physical message of dominance to your audience, but more importantly the postures send the same message from your body to your mind.  Pitiful, “I am sad“poses tell everybody you are vulnerable and defensive.

Here are some other things you can do to beef up your feeling of control.  Stand with your arms raised in a “V” victory pose.  Strut.  Get your head up, shoulders back and arms swinging slightly. Make an entrance!   Feel silly doing the poses?  Step into an empty hallway, close the door to you office, or use a stall in the rest room.  Get it on in your car.  After you park spread out.  Put an arm up on the window ledge, an arm up on the seat back, and a foot over into the passengers’ side.

Spread out at the table or in your seat.  Claim some space.  Grow as you speak.  To avoid over doing this do it briefly.  At times offer some neutral, or slightly submissive, postures, as a temporary sharing of the floor and the spotlight, or just an invitation to speak.

If you are naturally dominating in groups, dial it back a bit.  People are not leaning back from you because of your breath.  You are blowing them back with too much power.  Try this mini meditation and calming exercise.  Take four really deep breaths.  Hold for a beat at the end of the inhale.  Concentrate on finishing the exhale all the way.  This oxygenates your blood and your brain, calms you, centers you and changes your message to a less aggressive combination.

You are not just happy.  You are strong happy.  You a bomb of joy waiting to explode into lives!

Now that we have some well being to share, let’s get to sharing it!


We have an ability to affect everyone we meet with our mood.
Remember the times you had a perfectly wonderful morning mood destroyed by an encounter with one grouchy person? No? Your mood was probably not destroyed, but I’ll bet it was toned way down. How about the times you had a just sort of good mood? Those were the times an encounter with an unhappy person could knock you into neutral, or even into a little bit grumpy.
Then there were the days you started in neutral, or maybe even a little below neutral. Nothing much happened between leaving the house and getting to work. By the time you reached your desk you were smiling a little and ready for the day. Could it have been that stranger that smiled and wished you a good morning? Maybe it was the driver that waved you into their lane? Maybe it was the “Hi, Nik!” from somebody you didn’t think knew your name? Any one of those little things might have been enough to nudge you over the line. If you got all three, you were probably way above the line by the time you hit your desk.
Neuroscience research has proven that we have a 50% chance to affect every person we meet with our mood. In turn that person has a 10 % chance of passing on our mood. We can’t keep this effect from taking place. We can choose the mood we transmit. It’s easy to have a good mood when your day starts of well. Just feeling well rested is a good start. Good moods are still accessible on bad days.
You can influence yourself, before you influence others. If you are not at your tippy- top, happy best, you can start a cycle of the body is happy, the brain is happy; the body is happier, etc. going. Then you can take that start and ramp it up. How can you do that?
Just smile with your facial muscles. It helps, if you look into a mirror. Seeing the smile, as well as feeling it, doubles the effect. Hum, or sing your favorite happy song (I love ‘em too, but this is not the time for the blues.) These simple actions tell the brain that has been sending the body sad, or neutral, signals that the body is sending happy signals. So, the brain responds by shutting off the unhappy. It may even send a happy signal back to the body. At least, it will be receptive to continuing cheerful signals from the body and join in. While this is going on think of the best thing that happened to you yesterday. Think of a good thing that is going to happen today, or decide to make something good happen today.
Tomorrow: RAMP IT UP


One of my groups recently had a long discussion (after 4 weeks it is still going on.)  The topic was the source of motivation.  The options were that the employees brought it, the employer created it, or some combination of the two.  The initial premise was a statement that to hire the already motivated was the best way to build a strong work force.  I believe the group was trying to identify before hiring was a “strong work ethic.”  A work ethic is a general tendency we have to put a real effort into any assignment.

My opinion, based on extensive reading in psychology, is that everyone has some blend of six basic self actualization motives.  These are the needs we seek to satisfy after we have enough to eat, a warm dry place to sleep, sex, and a sense of security.   These motives are not aligned with the employer’s motives until we know what the employer’s vision, objectives and motivations are.   An employer that understands these motivations can select employees that are likely to find self actualization in that organization.

The comments got pretty snarly from time to time.  That happens when people are heavily invested in their opinions.   What struck me was how many of the commentators disliked employees and regarded them as lesser beings. Those with this view definitely did not want the responsibility of supplying the motivation.  If they had to supply the motivation, their preferred system was the whip.

Those that are shirking their leadership and management responsibilities will find things going their way in a weak economy.  The employees without specific motivation, but with the strong work ethic, will be enough to support the 40% who admit to working just hard enough not to get fired. 

However, when the economy recovers you don’t want to be standing in the exit door.  You will get trampled by the unmotivated with a strong work ethic.  They will lead the charge to a better place to work.  They will find an organization that aligns with their motivations.

For students reading this the lesson is to plan to be an entrepreneur.  Bring an entrepreneur is hard.  It is the best chance you have to work for a good leader or manager.

ACROSS THE GREAT DIVIDE: Briding the Conversation Gap between Artists and Clients

I will be speaking at the Create Denver Expo Day of Information, Saturday, May 12th @ 2:45 PM.

The Expo is at the Denver Convention Center Friday & Saturday, May 11 & 12, 2012.
Information about Denver Creates may be found at
Website: http://www.denvergov.org/CreateDenver
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CreateDenver
My talk will cover the differences between artists and clients. These differences occur in almost every conversation. Artists often have greater difficulty reaching out from their world to the worlds of business, marketing, etc.  These worlds need their services, but don’t speak their language. I guarantee the session will provide the artist with immediately usable ways to eliminate the language barriers.