A great posture, heads up look, a confident smile, a direct gaze – all somebody needs, who is a somebody.
– Leil Lowmdes
This is all you need to be armed with when it comes to letting your incredible, inescapable and unique essence come through. Armed with empathy and care, a smile can make any woman, or man, appear soft and comfortable to be around.
Lowmdes beautifully puts out the use of smile as the most potent tool in establishing connect. She recommends, set aside five minutes. Lock yourself in a room in front of the mirror and flash a few smiles. Discover the subtle difference in your repertoire of smiles.
Just as you would alternate between greetings, alternate between your smiles. Let each smile reflect the differences in your feelings towards the recipient. This is especially true when meeting a group of people, if one person is more important to you than the others in a group, let that reflect with a bigger smile for that particular person. You would convey the feelings loud and clear.
Then comes the slow, but flooding smile.
Lowmdes further reflects on a study that shows that women who are slower to smile in a corporate life were considered more credible. Women like Margaret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Madeleine Albright were not known for their quick smiles. Rather their smile, a flooding one, was an asset when it came a little slower.
The delay needs to be only momentary, a second or so, as you pivot towards the recipient. But it is imperative to show that it was exclusively for the recipient and came about as they connected. The split second delay would convince people your flooding smile is genuine and only for them.
Women are reluctant at eye contact, most thinking they will give away more messages than they intend to. This can also be cultural. There are cultures and background where women are not comfortable with looking right at the eye, and/ or are not comfortable being looked at in the eye. Having said that, eye contact is hygiene to create a connect and establish mutual trust between two people.
Maintaining eye contact is especially important when the other person is talking of personal experiences. It not only makes you look intelligent and attentive, but also shows that you care. It broadcasts a message of trust and respect. Most importantly, it helps you to record how your listener is reacting to what you are saying and maneuver accordingly.
Look at me
Accompanied by a smile is undivided attention. In many situations, especially when standing, I have found people misaligned physically to the person they are speaking to. This can create an unspoken gap.
When speaking with anyone, ensure you turn towards them for a face to face talk, such that your head and your body are in a straight line. Not doing so gives a message of half-heartedness and that you would move away at the first available opportunity. We do not realize this mostly when in a group setting, but be cognizant and remember to turn towards the person you are talking to. You can always turn back to your primary conversation partner, once this part is over.
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Author: Deepshikha Kumar Anand
Deepshikha is the founder and Managing Partner at SpeakIn – India’s first and largest consortium of business experts servicing over 200 areas of expertise. The winner of 2017 Asia Women Icon Award for entrepreneurship she works with speakers, industry experts and thought leaders globally, engaging these leaders to inspire, motivate and channelize events.