When it comes to success, it's easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust, but social psychologist Amy Cuddy knows first-hand how attitude can outweigh IQ.
Cuddy suffered a car accident at the age of 19 which resulted in brain damage that took 30 points from her IQ. Before the crash Cuddy had an IQ near genius levels; her post-crash IQ was just average.
As someone who had always built her identity around her intelligence, the significant dip in Cuddy's IQ left her feeling powerless and unconfident. Despite her brain damage, she slowly made her way through college and even got accepted into the graduate program at Princeton.
Once at Princeton, Cuddy struggled until she discovered that it was her lack of confidence that was holding her back, not her lack of brainpower. This was especially true during difficult conversations, presentations, and other high-pressure, highly important moments.
This discovery led Cuddy, now a Harvard psychologist, to devote her studies to the impact body language has on your confidence, influence, and, ultimately, success. Her biggest findings center on the powerful effects of positive body language.
Positive body language includes things like appropriate eye contact, active engagement/listening, and targeted gestures that accentuate the message you're trying to convey. Studies show that people who use positive body language are more likable, competent, persuasive, and emotionally intelligent.
Here's how it works: