By: Helen Perry
Corporate & Personal Image Consultant
How To Bring Your A-Game To The Table – Part 3
Dress Up, Show Up, Speak Up, Follow Up
To speak or not to speak, that is the question…Seldom sorry for things we don’t say, we sometimes regretfully ponder words already spoken. Like feathers in the wind, they are impossible to retrieve. The solution: First, be clear in your motives. As a man thinketh, so is he… or as we might say in Texas, What’s down in the well comes up in the bucket.
* Clarify goals and motives so that you clearly communicate who you are while remaining other-centered
* Wordsmith, fine-tuning verbiage in order to convey solid information, eliminating words that no longer elevate individuals or concepts you respect
* Listen to the way in which you speak
Word Choice- “I” or “You” Message
When delivering one of these two types of messages, the I message almost always surpasses the You message. For example, I’d really appreciate it if you’d help me meet our deadline of five o’clock is far more palatable than, You should have this finished by 5 p.m. You messages can sound punitive.
One-liners to Avoid (Believe it or not, these are actually pretty common).
* What are you doing here?
* I don’t read the paper.
* I never watch the news.
* How can you eat that?
* I’m so tired.
Tone of Voice
Face-to-face communication is comprised of 38% tone of voice. Over the telephone, tone accounts for 86% of or our message. The receptionist is the voice of the company and vital to its brand. In Professional Awareness Training, we recommend keeping a mirror by the phone as a reminder to smile. Callers will hear and appreciate it.
Diaphragmatic breathing vs. shallow, chest breathing produces a calm, resonant and pleasing vocal tone.
A nasal voice is perceived as dull and lazy, expressing repugnance and self-deprecation. Conversely, the orotund voice, created by too much resonance may give the impression of pomposity or arrogance. Too little air expelled through the vocal folds creates a tense voice conveying uncooperativeness, anger and rudeness.
Conversational Faux Pas
* Rambling, monotone, or boring
* Close talkers
* Loud talkers
* Revealing confidential information
* Gossiping, negativity, mocking, sarcasm
Tips for initiating conversation
* Relax, smile and have eye contact
* Speak clearly and succinctly
* Ask Tell- me-about questions instead of ones that evoke a Yes or No answer
* Silence after the other person’s sentence; pause from time to time when you are speaking
* Lighten up! Appropriate humor at the right time is always a plus
* Avoid offering unsolicited advice
Graciousness, sincerity and authenticity will cover any nervousness and, if you have nothing to say, never underestimate the power of listening.