Customers and business partners alike will engage better when they know, like, and trust you. If you’d like to be trusted more by others, one of the ways you can influence that positively is by communicating with greater confidence. This is great because it’s a way for us to proactively influence the trust that we earn from others. Here are 5 ways to be more confident in your communication and build better trust.
When you go into a communication situation with someone, are you ready? Some communication is spontaneous, but much isn’t. Think beyond presentations to meetings, coaching sessions and phone calls. Before situations like these on your calendar occur, reflect and identify what you want to accomplish and learn in that interaction. Think too about your audience, and think about what they may want from you in this situation. When you’ve planned for the meeting, you’ll begin more confidently, with less fumbling and stumbling – and that will lead to better results and will help the relationships too.
Pause (and breathe)!
When someone never slows down and never takes a break when they speak, they seem, at least a little bit, nervous. Slow down a bit. Take a breath. Pause. Doing these things create greater presence and seem to give a bit more weight to what we are saying. Working on your pace might have a much bigger impact on your communication results (and trust building) than you realise.
Engage others physically
We engage people physically through our gestures, movements, facial expressions and eye contact. When we make eye contact our communication will be more effective. Use open body language (palms up, relaxed open stance). Just think about who you trust more, the person who looks you in the eye, or the one who avoids your gaze?
Engage others mentally
Start with open-ended questions to get to know the person better. When we find out what others think we not only are building trust (“they really want to know what I think”) by our actions, but building trust in the results of the conversation (people don’t argue with their own data). When we ask people’s opinions, acknowledge them and especially when we agree with them, trust grows quickly. Even if trust at the start of a conversation is at very low levels, as we consistently and authentically engage people mentally, we build trust.
Engage others emotionally
When we engage people mentally, we may also be building emotional connection as well. But it goes deeper than that. When we communicate with people at an emotional level, expanding the range of topics we touch or connecting business messages to personal examples, we’re building an emotional connection and trust. People want to believe in something, and if they feel they can believe in you and your message, you have a strong connection.
Each point takes the other person in the communication into account – their time and their opinion. Build trust in yourself and you build trust in the messages you are delivering.