Deb Gruenfeld – Acting with Power: Why you are more powerful than you believe and how to access it 

Today we’re going on a deep dive into the sticky subject of power. What it looks like, where it lives – and how we can access it – deliberately and specifically – to create more impact, choice and authority in our lives.

If there’s two questions that have followed me throughout my career its these – firstly, how do you create influence? Is there a blueprint to owning your space in an industry, room or conversation – in such a way that you become the undisputed trusted authority.

And secondly – is it possible to communicate with power and certainty – without being perceived as cold, aggressive or unapproachable?

This conversation answers both of those questions.

My guest today is Deborah Gruenfeld, social psychologist, Stanford Professor, in demand keynote speaker and author of ‘Acting with Power: Why We Are More Powerful than We Believe’. What I love about her book is that it puts to bed the story that there are two kinds of people in world: those who have power, and those who don’t. Instead coming to the eye opening conclusion that we all actually have far more power than we think. 

Therefore making success not about how much power we have – but rather how we use it. 

In this conversation we dive into:

  • Why in your next interaction or presentation – you have 100 milliseconds before we decide whether or not you are competent – and what to do to make them count
  • Why most of us prepare for any big moment by focusing on what we want to say – when only 7% of the impact we make is actually based on our words!
  • The body language of power – how to move been playing high – a projection of authority – and playing low – a state where we are more connected and approachable. And why the real power lies in our ability to move between the two effortlessly and consciously.
  • The keys to gravitas – and why the answer might just lie in the world of flamenco 
  • Our perceptions and behaviour towards women in power – and how body language is the most effective way to offset negative assumptions. These insights are incredible tools to either use – or share with the women you either manage, mentor or love.
  • And finally, why being responsible for our state – and our ability to change it – has nothing to do with being inauthentic or changing the entire essence of who we are. But instead owning the fact that we have choice – in any moment – about which aspects of ourselves we choose to dial up. 

As a point of reflection while you listen to this conversation. If 2021 is going to be anything – I think we can all pretty much agree that it’s going to be a year of uncertainty. And, if history and politics have taught us anything, it’s that during uncertain times – our natural inclination as human beings is to avoid risk by seeking out those who communicate their ideas with power and certainty. Basically, we gravitate towards those we perceive as the trusted authorities. 

So now – as we close down on 2020 – it’s the perfect time to get curious about your current relationship with your own power. Where do you step into it? Where do you actively avoid it? Where do you overuse it? And where could you start to share it? 

All choice lives in awareness – and believe me our personal power is no different.

On that note, sit back, stride out, steer carefully – or just sip a cup of coffee – and enjoy my conversation with the literal powerhouse that is Deborah Gruenfeld.

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