What we say while we are talking to people are only part of the story that we are telling them and it isn’t not even be the most important part of the story. Since one of the key factors to our success is that we create that sense of trust with the people we speak with, we have to be hypersensitive about the methods that we may be using to create that trust or damage that trust. Our posture is one of the top things that can influence this.
There are many aspects to posture as I am referring to it. It is more than just sitting up straight and being attentive to the person that we are talking to, though those are part of it. I am also talking about the attitude that we display outwardly and the tone and conviction of our voice. Let’s take a more in depth look at these aspects of our posture.
The first portion is our physical body language, the way that we walk, sit and generally are in a physical sense. Are we building trust by wearing a ratty hoody and jeans with holes in them or is that a method to damage any trust? Are we hunched in on ourselves and not making eye contact with the person we are talking to? These are ways that our physical posture can affect the conversation and our ability to make that trusting connection. Instead, we need to be upright and attentive, looking our customer in the eyes and portraying the image of someone trustworthy. Even if you are working from home, take time to dress for success before making that phone call. The person on the other end of the phone may never see you but the tone of your voice will vary if you are dressed professionally or if you are still in your PJs.
Next up: verbal communication styles. We need to be sensitive to how our tone and verbiage affects those around us. We need to use tones that convey our passion and excitement without bowling the other person over with volume. We need to take careful stock of the words we use and how we use them. For one person, using everyday slang may make them more comfortable with you while another person might think it demeaning and damaging to the trust you are trying to build. We need to gauge our customer and what styles of verbal communication will work best for them. The behavior types are a great way to get an idea of how to speak with someone.
Finally, we need to be cognizant of our emotional posture. We need to be in the moment and concerned with the person that we are talking to. If we are somewhere else rather than with the person we are speaking with, that will be noticed and damage that trust we are building. Understanding our emotions and how we communicate them is vital to creating the trust that we are seeking in our endeavors. If you are mentally creating your shopping list while talking to someone, they will notice your lack of engagement. If you are worried about your child or pet, this will affect your communications as well. Be present and connect with them rather than distracted and disengaged.
All of these things add up to be our posture and that is vitally important to our endeavors. Studies have shown that most of human communication is nonverbal, so ignoring the conversation we our having while we are not talking is akin to ignoring most of the conversation and that will damage any trust that we are building. Trust needed to actually do our jobs as well as needed to be comfortable with ourselves.
Take some time today as you go about your life and pay attention to your posture. Where can you improve it to be more fully engaged with the people you are interacting with?