Renowned executive coach, author and former President of Global Services of AT&T, Rick Miller offers the following Tips on Body Language and Management:
- Joint construction – Up front remember that communication is “the joint construction of meaning.” You can’t communicate alone.
- Set the stage – Close your appointment book, shut off your monitor and ask your receptionist to hold your calls; announced or unannounced, showing someone you respect that they have your undivided attention is a powerful way to communicate, even before the meeting starts.
- Consider losing the tie – What does your attire say about your ability to relate to others in your organization? From Mark Zuckerberg’s pullover to the infamous mock turtleneck made famous by Steve Jobs, the uniform is changing at the top.
- Posture – Even when innocent or unintentional, the most subtle slouch can be a key indicator of apathy or indifference. Lean in instead.
- Get out from behind the desk – A symbol of inequality, a surface can be as much of a communicative barrier as a physical one. Connect eye to eye and face to face.
- Two-way – Insure adequate time to allow for both parties to speak their piece and avoid interrupting. You may just learn something!
- Put up your antenna – You’re looking at someone, but how present are you? Eye contact alone doesn’t cut it. Practice whole-body listening. The polar opposite of multitasking, having your antenna all the way up can be more beneficial than knowing your industry’s latest news, trends and competitive market data.
- Tone it down – Be aware of your volume and tone. These are as important as the words you choose.
- Recap – After both parties have spoken and been heard, acknowledge they were “heard” by summarizing the exchange.
- Simple thanks – Show appreciation for their time and the conversation.