A recent study in the Harvard Business Review categorically confirms that face to face communication is still the most preferred medium and is considered the most productive to the bottom line. Yet, we continue to try and build contacts and relationships through email or e-communication.
Email has its place. It can span great distances and reach huge audiences on the click of a mouse, but it is only a tool that can effectively manage relationships, it cannot build them.
If we want to achieve professional success, we need to understand how to interpret signals correctly to build long lasting business relationships. Communication is key and it is important to understand that there is more to communication that simply talking. We are constantly communicating without saying a word. We speak at approximately 160 words per minute and think at about 800 words per minute. That is a lot of words being communicated through body language signals – and we don’t realise we are doing it.
Great communicators use every tool they have to deliver their message. Interpreting body language is one tool which is often forgotten. When you are able to understand and control your own body language you will communicate with confidence and persuade with passion.
Tip 1: The Handshake
To build rapport, to lead negotiations in the right way, start with a firm, reassuring handshake. Touch is considered to be the most primitive but powerful form of communication.
Studies show that people are twice as likely to remember you if you shake hands with them. Do not be dominant – your hand on top, or submissive – your hand underneath and never squeeze so hard that it hurts the receivers hand. Balance is what you are looking for.
Touch is powerful. You feel more connected. A small touch on the forearm, lasting a micro second, can make the receiver feel better and the giver is perceived as being kind and warm. Rapport is being created.
You can’t get that in an email!
The next tip on this subject will be tomorrow.