Your non-verbal communication can affect business
I recently read a thought provoking article from the management consultancy firm Relationship Audits & Management on whether how you dress affects business relationships.
Relationship Audits knows a thing or two about managing business relationships as they are at the forefront of helping top agencies such as Publicis, Saatchi, JWT and Leo Burnett get the most out of their client relationships.
So have you ever stopped to think about how your non-verbal communication (appearance, clothing, facial expressions, eye contact, body language, postures, gestures and speaking style) might be coming across and potentially affecting business?
A court case could be swayed by the appearance of the defendant
Let’s look at some of the evidence:
According to Psychology Today not only are judges and juries swayed by an attractive defendant, the jewellery they wear, the way they style their hair can sometimes mean the difference between jail or no jail.
Judgements on your appearance could be accurate!
“Personality Judgments Based on Physical Appearance” published by SAGE in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (PSPB) also carried out a study to see how accurate someone’s assessment of their physical appearance was to their actual personality.
Researchers asked participants to assess the personalities of strangers based first on a photograph posed to the researchers’ specifications and then on a photograph posed the way the subject chose.
Those judgments were then compared with how the person and acquaintances rated that individual’s personality.
They found that while both poses provided participants with accurate cues about personality, the spontaneous pose showed more insight, including about the subject’s agreeableness, emotional stability, openness, likability, and loneliness.
This proves that physical appearance alone can send signals about someone’s true personality!
So whether we can stop it or not we’re being judged even before we’ve opened our mouths.
So what do you think your non-verbal communication is saying about you?
Would you like to know what your non-verbal communication is saying to others about you?
Ask yourself some questions:
1. Does my dress style reflect the kind of position I have, the situation I’m in and the impression I want my client to have?
2. How does my client react to me when he sees me? Are our meetings very serious? Is my client relaxed with me? If not, what could I try doing differently that may affect how my client reacts to me?
3. How easy is it to maintain eye contact with my clients during a meeting? How good am I at building rapport quickly?
4. Am I actively listening to my client and does my body language reflect the fact I’m listening?
The best way to know how you’re being perceived by others is to ask them. So ask a trusted colleague or boss for some feedback on how you use non-verbal communication with your client.
This can be scary but enlightening if you’re ready for it! 😉