02 Aug 6 Body Language Hacks to Engender Trust
We’ve all heard that actions speak louder than words but did you know that the tiniest actions can influence how people perceive you? 55% of communication is non-verbal. That means that body language is crucial to the message we give to others. Whether you have a job interview or an important meeting with a customer, here are our top body language hacks to foster trust with others:
- Eye contact
Eye contact is important to engage with others and give the impression that you are actively listening to them. Avoiding eye contact may suggest you are hiding something, nervous or distracted when you are trying to appear open, confident and focused.
Posture is important to seem professional and confident. Physically inhabiting a space shows that you are comfortable in that space, which is a great way to give the impression of confidence. Leaning towards the person you are speaking to and tilting your head during conversation also makes you look interested, which people will respond warmly to.
Smiling is a great way to convey friendliness and positivity. Showing your teeth will make your smile appear more genuine. Be sure not to let your smile drop too quickly as though it was something forced.
Be conscious of your hand placement when in conversation. Folding your arms can send the message that you are quite literally closed off from the interaction. Meanwhile, holding your hands palm up sends a subconscious message of openness and trustworthiness. Finally, don’t forget the all important handshake – this simple gesture at the start of an exchange can make or break the interaction depending on the confidence you express with the firmness of your grip.
Mirroring someone’s facial expression and actions is a subtle way of showing empathy for someone’s situation and opinion; it makes it seem as though you are both on the same page making further agreement more likely.
Use your voice effectively. Speaking slowly and with a lower register has been proven to engender more trust. Speaking quickly can suggest you are trying to get the conversation over with and, along with a higher pitch, can be an indicator of nerves. Studies have shown that we tend to vote for politicians with a lower register as it suggests authority and inspires trust.