Tag Archives: smiling

Body Language in Business – Can You Read it?

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Has it ever occurred to you how much you are saying to people with your body language? Even when you are not speaking, people can hear you. Unless you are a master of disguise, you send messages about your true thoughts and feelings whether you are using words or not.

Think about it.  In the business setting, people can hear what you are not saying. In other words, they can read your mind. By the same token, you can pick up on the unspoken words of colleagues, customers and client by paying attention to their body language.

A professor at UCLA did research on communication in which he arrived at the 7%-38%-55% rule. He found that 7% of communication is based on the actual words we say. As for the rest, 38% comes from tone of voice and the remaining 55% comes from body language.

The next time you are in a meeting watch for body language cues from others, and consider your own.

Eye contact is the most noticeable way you communicate.  When you look the other person in the eye, you show interest.  When you look away, it’s clear that you are not paying attention.

Smiles are also an obvious form of non-verbal communication. When it comes to smiling, the mouth can lie, but the eyes don’t. A genuine smile involves the eyes, crinkling the skin around them. If you want to know if that smile is authentic, look for the crinkles at the corners of the eye.

The position of your head sends unspoken messages. Keeping your head straight, which is not the same thing as keeping your head on straight, will make you look confident and authoritative.  People will take you seriously.  If you want to appear friendly and open, tilt your head slightly to one side.

Arms and legs give clues about how receptive a person is.  Arms crossed or folded over the chest signal resistance as do crossed legs. The move may not be intentional, but it is reveals that the other person is blocking off what is being said.

The best place for your arms is by your side.  You will look confident and relaxed.  If this is hard for you, do what you always do when you want to get better at something—practice.   After a while, it will feel natural.

The angle of your body gives an indication to others about what you are feeling and thinking.  Leaning in says, “Tell me more.” Leaning away signals you’ve heard enough.

Mirroring body language is a good thing. Copying another person’s posture and gestures is usually something we do unconsciously when we are in agreement and feel a bond with another person. If you are in negotiations, this tip is useful.

Posture sends an immediate message. The person who enters a room standing erect and using open expansive gestures looks self-confident and in control. That person commands respect.

You may not be aware of what you are saying with your body, but others will get the message.  Make sure it is the one you intend to convey. And watch for the signals that other people are sending. You may not be a mind reader, but you can learn a lot, especially when words don’t match expressions and gestures.

Photo from Savanah magazine

About Lydia Ramsey

Lydia Ramsey is a Savannah-based business etiquette expert, professional speaker, trainer and author. Contact her at 912-604-0080 or visit her at LydiaRamsey.com to leave a comment, ask a question or learn more about her programs and products.

 

 

 

Mouth Noises Over The Phone – Choose The Smile

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You may think that while you are sitting alone talking on your phone, people can’t see what you are doing. In this mad world of multi-tasking, absolutely no one feels comfortable doing just one thing at a time. We have to be doing two or three things at once or we feel guilty. So when we are on the phone, we can’t simply focus on the caller. We need to be checking email, sending text messages, shuffling the piles of paper on our desk, eating our lunch, drinking a soda, chewing our gum and cracking our ice.

Some people even smoke while talking on the phone. They sneak outside to the safe area for a cigarette and use the time to return phone calls.You know them. You’ve heard them exhaling. And how about the yawners?

All of those sounds and distractions are obvious to the person on the other end of the line unless you managed to hit the mute key. People know when they don’t have your full attention. They know if you have muted your phone.

To me the most offensive sounds are  mouth noises over the phone.  This is no time to grab your lunch, finish off those few potato chips, chew your gum, crack your ice or slurp your coffee. Not only are you not fooling people, you are offending them with your lack of phone courtesy. Instead of turning on clients, you are turning them off.

However, of all the mouth noises over the phone, there is one that your caller would like to hear. Can you guess? It’s your smile. People on the other end of the line cannot see your smile, but they can definitely hear it. Try it. Perhaps you don’t feel like smiling. Maybe you are having a bad day. Do it anyway even if it isn’t coming from your heart. A smile, genuine or fake, changes the tone of your voice.

When you choose to make mouth noises over the phone, go with a smile. It’s good manners. It demonstrates your attention to business etiquette…and it enhances client relationships which ultimately adds to your profits.

If you want more tips on telephone courtesy, I have written an e-book Business Etiquette 101 – Telephone CourtesyClick here to learn more.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.

Smiling is Good Manners and Good for Business

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Did you know that May is National Smile Month? Depending on where you live in the world, you may not. It actually began in the United Kingdom and is now one of the biggest not-for-profit events in Europe. It is managed by the British Dental Health Foundation in an effort to promote good oral health. I applaud the cause, but I see National Smile Month as having implications for the business world beyond dentistry.

Think about what a smile can mean for your business. What if every customer who walked through your door was greeted with a smile?  What if every customer who called your business could hear you smiling over the phone?  When the transaction was over, how would your customers feel if you smiled and thanked them for their business?

Do you think it would impact your bottom line?  The answer is obvious. A smile is one of the easiest ways to build your business. Not only do your customers feel good, you and your employees get the same positive benefit.

Some days you may not feel like smiling.  Perhaps it is late in the afternoon and you haven’t had a chance to eat your lunch. Just as you head to an out-of-the-way spot to grab your sandwich, someone walks in the door. You really have to work to smile.  Perhaps the last person you spoke to on the phone just chewed you out. When the phone rings again, if you haven’t recovered from that unpleasant experience, a grin is hard to come by.  Every customer deserves a pleasant greeting no matter how you feel.

In addition to exceptional services and products, people want three things from those with whom they do business. None of the three will cost you a cent.  People want and need:

  • Eye contact
  • A smile
  • To hear their name

If you and your employees didn’t practice smiling during the month of May, it is not too late.  Do it every day from now on, make it a priority and reap the benefits.

professional speaker

Photo from Savannah magazine

Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.

Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions.  Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.

Contact her via email at lydia@lydiaramsey.com or call 912-604-0080. Sign up for her free monthly newsletter and visit her website, lydiaramsey.com.