Weekly Thoughts


Power Poses

Introducing the Chenmark NSFW Pump Up Playlist 

When your writer was in high school, on days with stressful events – a big exam, the SATs – her dad would play comedy routines in the car on the way to school to get her to relax and laugh.  Ahead of championship sports games, her coach (who admittedly was also her dad) would bring a boombox into the locker room to play oldies music and encourage the athletes to dance and sing before the game. He maintained that once we’d done the hard work of preparation – the best thing we could do to enhance our performance would be to simply relax.   

Mechanisms to bolster confidence in the face of high stakes situations aren’t new.  That’s good, because in the world of small business, there are plenty of stressful moments where we find ourselves uncomfortable.  We have to have difficult conversations with employees; score a new, high-stakes contract; resolve a customer service issue with an irate customer; the list is endless.  We don’t have a magical store of self-confidence.  We, like everybody else, get nervous, particularly ahead of difficult interpersonal interactions or high-stakes negotiations.  

Thankfully, there are a variety of techniques one can use to increase confidence.  For instance, Beyonce famously has her alter ego “Sasha Fierce” who allows her to have a “sexy, aggressive, provocative stage persona.” 

In 2012, social psychologist Amy Cuddy gave her now famous “Power Pose” Ted Talk, where she argued that “standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success” (cue swaths of people doing superman poses in bathroom stalls before large interviews).  

In 2016, Northwestern professor Dennis Hsu researched the connection between music and confidence, and found “the effect of music appears to manifest itself not only in its ability to entertain, but also in the ability to imbue humans with a real sense of power.” Techniques vary widely, but their efficacy is real.  So whether you bolster your confidence by tuning into your inner alter ego, listening to comedy, meditating, or rocking out to some music, there’s no right or wrong answer, just a variety of highly personal approaches.  This was evidenced at a recent team meeting, when we asked teammates to name their go-to pump-up song.  Answers ranged widely – from Win by J-Rock to Shallow by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.  So, if our readers are in need of some self-confidence boosting music, we are happy to present the Chenmark Pump Up Playlist (in an ironic twist, note that many of these songs are NSFW). Enjoy!

Have a great week,

Your Chenmark Team

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