When encountering people from different cultures, how do you interact with them? Are you outcoming and talkative or shy and introvert? Do you need time to warm up with a new person or do you judge them after the first two sentences? And how about your body language: are you forthcoming when speaking with them or would you rather leave the person out? What factors influence your behaviors and have you thought about making some changes?
Sometimes the smallest changes can make the largest difference. This is the closing slogan of a talk conducted by Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University’s Business School. A specialist in social psychology, Ms. Cuddy focuses on stereotypes, discrimmination, non-verbal language and the effects of social stimuli on the hormones. In October 2012, Ms. Cuddy conducted a talk through TED Global in Edinburgh on how body language can make a difference in how people interact with others. TED is global platform where people from all aspects of life present their speeches live- whether it is on politics, psychology history or even personal endeavors- and they are accessed online. A food-for-thought website for people wishing to acquire some knowledge for use, TED is available on the Files under Educational and Cultural Links. Ms. Cuddy first classifies the types of people based on their posture and body language, but offers a word of advice to people wishing to change that habit, based not only on her experience with her students, but also a tragedy early in her days as a college student. She just recently released a book entitled, Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, a book that is as interesting as the talk. 🙂
When watching her talk, it reminded me of some events in my life with some people which had I done things differently, we would not have had misunderstandings. Yet, as she even points out, if a person works with the flaws, they can disappear and make a person better than before. Practice makes perfect, and here’s why, as the Flensburg Files presents this Genre of the Week- especially useful when dealing with different cultures. Have fun! 🙂