When a woman tells me she wants to work on communicating more effectively with her boss, she most likely is referring to her verbal communication. This is the number one mistake professional women make.
The more I work with women; I find that we often neglect the development of our nonverbal communication. Most of us think of communication as just talking.
Study after study has proven that body language is far more effective in communicating the right message than any words that may come out of your mouth. Therefore, using the right body language can make all of the difference in earning the respect and credibility you desire.
To help you earn the respect of your boss, below are 5 steps you can take to communicate the right message:
Always approach your boss as an equal. You must demonstrate that you have earned the right to be a prominent member of the team just like she has. Always be respectful, but think and act like you belong.
Establish good eye contact. Never look up, down or to the side when talking as this conveys uncertainty and mistrust. Practice keeping eye contact without staring by shifting eyes slightly to your boss’s forehead every now and then.
Walk tall and with confidence. When entering your boss’s office, walk all the way in. Linger in the standing position for some time, especially if your boss is seated. This will require him or her to look up at you, putting you in a dominant position and balance out the power.
Keep your hands visible at all times while seated. This is difficult for some women, as we tend to keep our hands on our laps. Use open-handed gestures to emphasize points.
Make sure you keep hands away from your face, mouth and hair. Touching any of these while conversing sends all the wrong messages from nervousness, boredom to weakness.
Try the above, and you should be off to a great start.
Remember, communication is more than just talking and is a skill that can be developed over time. Therefore, practice does make perfect.
Please share your comments and ideas. I’d like to hear from you.
© Jocelyn Giangrande and Sisters Keeping it Real, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jocelyn Giangrande and Sisters Keeping it Real with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.