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2nd and 4th Wednesday Discussion Groups

We welcome any old, new or doubtful adults on the autism spectrum, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Asperger’s syndrome or autistics that would like to listen or engage in a discussion with like minded people. The neat thing about the group is that no one can say anything embarrassing even if they try. We have heard it all and do not take offense. We will meet from 7 till 9 PM at Grace Lutheran Church at 112th and Greenwood Ave in Seattle as we do every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Significant or insignificant others are especially encouraged to come for the following discussion.

This meeting is also posted in the Meetup.com website under squarepegs as the Victor Hellberg discussion group and is ongoing in 2016-

How Body Language Trumps IQ

 Coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & President at TalentSmart

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:

Positive body language changes your attitude. Cuddy found that consciously adjusting your body language to make it more positive improves your attitude because it has a powerful impact on your hormones.

It increases testosterone. When you think of testosterone, it’s easy to focus on sports and competition, but testosterone’s importance covers much more than athletics. Whether you are a man or a woman, testosterone improves your confidence and causes other people to see you as more trustworthy and positive. Research shows that positive body language increases your testosterone levels by 20%.

It decreases cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that impedes performance and creates negative health effects over the long term. Decreasing cortisol levels minimizes stress and enables you to think more clearly, particularly in difficult and challenging situations. Research shows that positive body language decreases cortisol levels by 25%.

It creates a powerful combination. While a decrease in cortisol or an increase in testosterone is great on its own, the two together are a powerful combination that is typically seen among people in positions of power. This combination creates the confidence and clarity of mind that are ideal for dealing with tight deadlines, tough decisions, and massive volumes of work. People who are naturally high in testosterone and low in cortisol are known to thrive under pressure. Of course, you can use positive body language to make yourself this way even if it doesn’t happen naturally.

It makes you more likeable. In a Tufts University study, subjects watched soundless clips of physicians interacting with their patients. Just by observing the physicians’ body language, subjects were able to guess which physicians ended up getting sued by their patients. Body language is a huge factor in how you’re perceived and can be more important than your tone of voice or even what you say. Learning to use positive body language will make people like you and trust you more.

It conveys competence. In a study conducted at Princeton, researchers found that a one-second clip of candidates for senator or governor was enough for people to accurately predict which candidate was elected. While this may not increase your faith in the voting process, it does show that perception of competence has a strong foundation in body language.

It’s a powerful tool in negotiation (even virtually). There’s no question that body language plays a huge role in your ability to persuade others to your way of thinking. Researchers studying the phenomenon in virtual communication found that body language in video conferencing played an important role in the outcome of negotiations.

It improves your emotional intelligence. Your ability to effectively communicate your emotions and ideas is central to your emotional intelligence. People whose body language is negative have a destructive, contagious effect on those around them. Working to improve your body language has a profound effect on your emotional intelligence.

Bringing It All Together

We often think of body language as the result of our attitude or how we feel. This is true, but psychologists have also shown that the reverse is true: changing your body language changes your attitude.

Have you felt the impact from changing your body language? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

If you’d like to learn how to increase your emotional intelligence (EQ), consider taking the online Emotional Intelligence Appraisal test that’s included with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book. Your test results will pinpoint which of the book’s 66 emotional intelligence strategies will increase your EQ the most.

January 13th, 2016: How to be happy

We welcome any old, new or doubtful adults on the autism spectrum, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Asperger’s syndrome or autistics that would like to listen or engage in a discussion with like minded people. The neat thing about the group is that no one can say anything embarrassing even if they try. We have heard it all and do not take offense. We will meet from 7 till 9 PM at Grace Lutheran Church at 112th and Greenwood Ave in Seattle as we do every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month. Significant or insignificant others are especially encouraged to come for the following discussion.

In the middle hour the group will discuss how to be happy with emphasis on helping each other.

December 9th 2015: How we can support each other.

In the middle hour we discussed how we can support each other. I will no longer co-facilitate the group or pay for the $15 a meeting rent or provide transportation for 2 or more members to the meeting. I have enjoyed the experience and grown but now I am newly married and as pastor Gumm has stated, I have graduated. I will still keep in contact with some of the  participants I have met. I have the emails of all who have attended the group in the last 4 years and I would be glad to hand that over to a responsible person who would like to inform others of future meetings. I will not be maintaining this blog in the future.

November 2015: Art

Last evening on Veterans day we talked about how those on the autism spectrum enjoy and participate in the arts. This included acting, singing, poetry, photography, gardening and comedy. We celebrated a new autistic child character who is coming to Sesame Street this fall on HBO and PBS.

August 12: Relationships: both friendly and romantic

July 22nd: How we can Improve our Relationships