What Socially Inept People Need To Know

Published: June 2, 2010
By: Faye Hollands

Some people unintentionally send out really bad signals the minute they meet someone new.  And if that ‘someone’ is YOU the chances are you’re hindering your career opportunities, possible friendships and the prospect of meeting the love of your life!  Regardless of your agenda, being able to set a good first impression is one of the fundamental keys to success so make sure you’ve got it mastered…

The Full Package

Imagine this …. a husband asks his wife “Are you OK?” and she replies “I’m fine” whilst standing there with her arms crossed, staring at the floor and a voice full of venom.  Is she really fine?  Come on, we all know she’s not!

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that our words don’t always convey how we actually feel.  However, far too often people rely solely on their words to get their message across,  and forget all about the other key components that significantly impact the overal message that’s conveyed – a very risky move!

Back in 1971 Albert Mehrabian undertook a study which concluded that face-to-face communication consists of three separate elements – words (what is actually said), tone of voice (how the words are said) and body language.  Importantly he identified that the majority of what is put across when we communicate with others is through non-verbal communication with words only accounting for 7% of the overall message, versus 38% through tone of voice and 55% through body language.

So when it comes to interviewing, meeting new clients, going on a date, or any other social interaction it’s imperative that you focus on much more than the words you say.  Of course you need to ‘know your stuff’ and talking gibberish won’t get you very far, but being an expert in your field with inept social skills won’t launch you to the top either.

So the next time you meet someone new consider…..

  • What is your body language saying about you?
  • What are you doing with your arms? How are you standing? What message are you sending across….bored, interested, uncomfortable?
  • Where are your eyes focusing?  Darting all over the place is only good if you’re a security guard!
  • Are you sitting back slouching in a meeting or are you sitting upright and showing you’re alert and engaged?
  • What is the tone of your voice conveying?  High pitched doesn’t generally portray a calm, in control person and flat, lackluster tonality doesn’t show interest or enthusiasm

There’s a LOT more to body language and tonality than I’ve covered here, but the first step forward is recognising that you can’t rely on your words alone to get your message across.  Don’t be lazy – put the effort in to focus on all 3 areas of communication and you’ll instantly be a step closer to mastering the fundamentals of smart social interaction.

Would you like to improve your communication skills to get ahead in your career?  Book your free 30-minute coaching consultation now.  Simply click here to schedule your appointment.

Written by Faye Hollands – Director at Outshine Consulting.  Faye is an accomplished Career Coach and Time Management Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.  You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

Faye Hollands

About Faye Hollands

Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success. To receive weekly articles to improve your career, business and time management skills click here or book your Free Focus Session here.

You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email fayehollands@outshineconsulting.com

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