Ways to Get People to Take You Seriously
Being new to the business world can be difficult. More so being a woman in the business world can be hard as well. Some people inherently find it easier to turn to a man who is in a position of power. So how can you be taken seriously?
Based on some research that was done on building strong relationships and personal perception, here are my tips for making a good first impression and demanding respect (without overtly demanding anything at all).
Actively listen to others when they talk about themselves.
Talking about yourself just feels good. In fact, in recent studies scientists have found that when you talk about yourself, you activate the same part of your brain that lights-up when you eat a good meal, have sex, or do something else that you find enjoyable. Scientists have concluded (on a chemical and biological level) that self-disclosure is inherently pleasurable.
When you actively listen to people as they talk about themselves, you are showing interest in them and allowing them to feel good about opening up about other topics. You are showing them respect.
Posture and handshakes are still important.
I’ve done quite a bit of research on first impressions. I am, by nature, a quiet and mousy woman so when I am in a position of leadership, people don’t often look at me with respect. However, you don’t have to be big and overpowering in order to demand respect either.
Stand up tall. You may not actually be tall but proper posture (when you’re standing and while you’re sitting) is a sign of power and intelligence. Also, it’s good for your back.
Have a firm but friendly handshake. Make sure that you’re grabbing the other person’s hand (not just the fingers). Give it a nice firm grip (like when you grasp a doorknob).
Be comfortable. When you are comfortable with your open and upright posture and handshake, you appear friendlier.
Don’t forget to smile.
People who smile are more approachable. Some people confuse fear for respect. If people are fearful toward you, they won’t want to open up to you. They will turn to someone else if they need something done. Fear and respect are two very different things. Don’t confuse them or you’ll find it difficult and more stressful at the office.
Be prepared and informed.
You know what is the most powerful tool that you can own? Your intellect and confidence. When you are well-informed about a topic, you are more confident and it will show. So prepare yourself before you go to a meeting, conference, lunch, or whatever social or professional event you are attending.
In addition to that, you may need to engage in some small talk. If you keep well-informed about the current trends in pop culture and the world, you will find people more apt to be open to you and your thoughts.
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