But how do you earn trust? Simple body language is an excellent place to start. Nonverbal communication has a much greater impact than many believe, and research indicates that 70 percent of our communication is perceived nonverbally in face-to-face conversations, according to Lifehealthpro.com.
Creating a solid foundation of trust and rapport is critical in face-to-face interactions, and it’s not always based on the words you use. Here are seven simple body language techniques to use to build trust with others in business settings.
Start with a genuine smile. A simple smile has an instant effect on others, telling them nonverbally that they can relax and trust you. A gentle, casual smile will make others feel more open and willing to share information.
Make eye contact. A strong level of eye contact shows you are interested in what others are saying, they matter to you, and you feel comfortable. Eye contact lets others know you have nothing to hide.
An open posture. First impressions are crucial, and posture can reveal much about how you feel. Have open arms, stand tall, nod in agreement and use simple hand gestures that act in concert with your words.
Utilize facial expressions. Smile slightly while you talk to convey that you are positive about what you are saying. Give face-to-face attention and react when others are speaking while making eye contact. These facial gestures create a circuit between two people.
Add the impact of a handshake. Shake hands at both the start and end of a conversation to come across as confident and charismatic. Handshakes are underused, and can add impact when meeting, thanking or congratulating someone. It’s believed that saying your name with a handshake when you meet someone makes it 75 percent more likely to remember your name.
Maintain extra eye contact. Looking someone in the eye for an extra moment when shaking hands can create a great deal of extra impact in how you are perceived. When you maintain eye contact for longer than usual throughout conversation, you will be more memorable.
Learn about matching and mirroring. The ideal way to portray yourself is to match and mirror the body language of who you’re speaking with. Reflecting back the same gestures makes others feel relaxed and comfortable. It conveys that you are in agreement, and most people want to do business with others whom they believe have similar interests and goals.