Between Trump, Putin and your client.

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The moves that will win your clients heart

When  Trump and Putin met earlier this month, body language experts were quick to jump in with their analysis. Some compared the meeting to a divorcing couple with both parties wishing they could be someplace else, whilst others saw Putin looking more relaxed and in control, looking bored at times and even smirking here and there.  One sharp eyed reporter even spotted Mr Trump winking at his counterpart – leaving conspiracy theorists and armchair analysts with plenty to think about. It’s worth noting however, that both these men are world leaders, no doubt well coached in the art of body language and were well aware of the cameras pointed at them. So in all actuality we may have been witnessing no more than a well rehearsed and staged performance.  

What about you however, unless you too are in the business of  politics, you probably don’t pay much attention to the way your silent communications on a day to day basis.

Here are some do’s and  don’ts to help you leverage the power of your silent communications:

Don’t Slouch:

Here’s one thing you probably shouldn’t  learn from the president of the United States, Donald Trump is known for his trademark slouch, leaning forward in his chair with his hands rested on his knees, slouching however is generally not a good idea, especially in meetings.

Slouching makes you look  submissive and like you don’t have much to offer, and that’s not a good look for anybody — particularly if you’re trying to have leadership presence in your organization.”

Slouching can translate to a lack of respect for the speaker and communicates an apathetic attitude, and unless that’s your intention, your best off heeding the advice of your school teacher and sitting up in your seat.

Don’t cross your arms:

In many settings, there’s nothing wrong with crossing your arms, in a meeting, though, it should be avoided at all costs.  Most people are going to interpret that gesture as you being resistant or closed off, or worse yet, you could be seen as giving off a hostile vibe – never a great impression to make.

Do email or text –  just put away that phone:

Yes that email or text is extremely important but it’s going to have to wait until the end of the meeting. Playing with your phone when someone is talking to you is a definite sign of disrespect.  People often justify it with “ oh but I can still hear!’ but that has nothing to do with it Remember! We’re talking about impressions here. Playing with your phone, pen, or Anything that takes your attention away from the speaker is a big no.   end the meeting early if you must but look focused throughout.

Do maintain eye contact with the speaker:

Don’t stare at their face, that’ll probably creep them out, but do maintain a healthy eye contact throughout.  Lack of eye contact sends a message to the person speaking: “I’m not interested in what you have to say” it can also make you look shifty and evasive as if you’ve got something to hide.

Do speak up:

Yes silence is golden, but sometimes you’ve just gotta speak up.

Sitting silently for too long can be perceived as disinterest in the discussion. Speaking up in a room full of people can be difficult if you’re shy, but it’s important to contribute early on.  You don’t need jump in and interject all the time, measure your thoughts by all means – but make your voice heard often enough to be seen as worthy contributor.

Do smile but not too much:

Smile too widely and it’s going to look like you’re covering up nervousness just look natural and smile when appropriate ( even though you don’t feel like it)  Even a small grin can go a long way towards diffusing tension and making others feel more comfortable around you.

Stand tall and shake hands:

Seal the deal with  a positive last impression.

After you’ve settled on a price, signed the contract, or accepted the job offer, remember to make a winning exit: Stand tall, shake hands warmly, make eye contact, smile, say “thank you,” and leave your counterpart with the impression that you are someone he or she should look forward to dealing with in the future.

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