Have you ever noticed that the harder you push when selling or doing business, the more resistance you get? Wouldn’t it be great to have your prospects, clients, and the people around you hang off your every word?
When we connect with someone on a deeper level with the intent of communicating to understand them, the way we show up changes, and one thing people rarely resist is someone trying to meet their needs.
When the thought of communication comes to mind, what often comes up is the words we speak, but it goes much deeper than that. According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, three central components make up the whole, and it’s a lot more surprising than you might think! As you can see, the words we speak only equate for 7% of the overall message that we are conveying. That means our voice’s tonality or nature makes up 38 percent, and our body language makes up as much as a whopping 55 percent.
How we communicate matters, and it dramatically affects the results we get in our day-to-day lives. Hence, it makes sense that to deliver to the best of our ability, we need to ensure we are looking at the whole picture, not just the words we speak.
Apply these top tips to communicate more effectively and persuasively:
- Listen to the person who is speaking to you, and I mean listen. There is a difference between actively listening and waiting for your turn to speak. Then look for shared experiences or circumstances; this builds connection.
- Demonstrate that you can see the other person’s point of view. Imagine what it would be like to be standing in their shoes and show empathy.
- Listen to the language they use and repeat back to them in a similar manner. For example, reiterate key or favorite words or phrases that you pick up on.
- Watch the other person’s body language, the way they hold themselves, and the expressions they use. Use a technique called matching and mirroring. For example, if the person opposite you sits with their legs crossed or arm bent half resting on their face, you could match them by doing the same thing. Or to mirror them, you would do the same posture with the opposite leg and arm. The key is to be subtle as you want to reach a point where you’re naturally synchronizing your behavior out of conscious awareness. Mirroring and matching can be difficult skills to master. We all unconsciously mirror and match family, friends, and colleagues every day. You will notice this when you change your body language, and they change theirs to match yours. Practice it by trying it on with friends or family first and see if they pick up on it.
- Use this in moderation and with care. Nobody wants to feel like they are back in school, having someone copy their every move or looking like they are mocking them.
We live in a world that is rapidly evolving through technology, a connection that is human to human will leave an imprint long after the conversation has ended. It could be the difference between making or breaking a deal.
Helping people reach their potential is something I love about my role as a business coach. If you’re looking for some tips or help with how you can do more of this, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.