Whether you’re garnering new clients, bonding with coworkers, or forging relationships at a networking event, making connections is essential for any professional. A person’s ability to make and keep strong connections is heavily influenced by the quality of their communication skills. While the ability to make small talk and articulately communicate what you and your business have to offer is essential, non-verbal communication, or body language, can also have a enormous impact on your ability to connect with others. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve discussed how eye contact and posture can impact your professional interactions. Today we touch on another essential aspect of non-verbal communication: smiling.
Smile to Connect with Others:
Humans are hardwired to respond to facial expressions in others. Seeing others smile naturally inspires trust and a sense of connection. A sincere smile immediately warms up any conversation; business or personal. There are subtle details that can separate a genuine smile from a forced one, but the best way to ensure a smile looks genuine is for it to be genuine; let go, relax, and try to be open and pleasant in your interactions.
I remember several years ago I presented to The New York State Society of CPAs in New York City. At the end of the presentation, a gentleman came up to me and requested my services. His goal was to become a partner in his firm, but he knew he needed to improve his public speaking and presentation skills; especially as they related to meeting new prospects and working with existing clients. We met at his office for the first session and completed our ten-point assessment. The most significant feedback was that in the entire meeting he did not smile or attempt to smile one time. When I mentioned this to the client he responded, “Yes I know. I need to work on that.” The next week when we met again I complimented him at the end of the session that I noticed an attempt to smile at least two times. He responded, “I know. I worked on it all week!”
Although that story may make some of you chuckle at the thought of needing to practice the smile, it is actually quite important in business. IF you recognize this as an issue, than you too may benefit from our initial assessment. It can make a big difference in bringing in that next client!
Want to learn more? Give me a call at 212-308-7725 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
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