When you fade into your surroundings, how can you expect to be taken seriously?
Diminishing is #6 on the list of 8 Mistakes Men Don’t Make and it goes beyond simply making a weak introduction or otherwise blending in to your physical space. Read on to find out if you’re diminishing in one of the following ways.
Sending Weak Signals
Averting your eyes and failing to offer a handshake (or giving a wimpy one), and using the wrong tone of voice are all physical cues that will sabotage your credibility. Make an effort to look directly at people when interacting. What may be shyness on your part can translate to dishonesty or hostility.
The handshake is extremely important. Think about all that non-verbal information communicated when you actually touch someone. Lead with a firm and friendly handshake every time. Not sure if it’s appropriate? To withhold a handshake can be considered extremely rude – and weak.
Watch your tone. Women sometimes inadvertently raise the pitch of their voice at the end of a sentence making it sound like they’re asking a question. This communicates that you’re unsure. Poof! Bye-bye credibility.
Try this: for a day or a week count the number of times you say you’re sorry – for anything. As you’re tracking, think about why you’re apologizing. Is it really necessary or has it become your default setting? If you assume everything is your fault, others will start to agree.
Staying at the Party Too Long
I had a friend in high school who was hyper-aware of precisely when we should arrive and leave any social gathering. She had this idea that you had to be late enough that people anticipated your arrival, and leave early enough that they wished you’d stayed. It was all too complicated for me to master at the time, but she had a point.
When the business of a meeting is over, get out. Some people linger, chatting or just milling about, not wanting to be rude or maybe just honestly wanting to catch up on a more personal basis with the people involved. The problem is that when you do this you’re perceived as having nothing better to do, no other important business to conduct. This decreases your value.
So throw your shoulders back and make eye contact. Do like momma taught you and watch your tone. And remember that once the business is done, so are you.