You walk into a meeting with a new client and your shirt has wrinkles, your shoe tips are scuffed, your eyes are red from lack of a good sleep, and your supporting documents are crammed into a coffee stained folder. Obviously, you immediately think to yourself I would not do that, right? Some of the signs we put off are not so obvious to ourselves but to an observant client or connection, we may be putting off the wrong message. You have all heard others say, “You can’t be a positive person all the time”.
Think of the people you interact with, how many of them have you said “Are you ok” too? What did you see as stress, irritation, confusion, exhaustion? In my years of networking, I have enjoyed cultivating the art of reading people. Primarily because I enjoy helping others and to be helpful you have to sometimes see more than what is being said. We should all be aware of what we are saying without speaking, that first impression, or even that last impression.
When a person is happy they glow, when they are stressed they carry a pinched look, uncomfortable you will notice folding of arms or not making eye contact. These are more obvious signs but if we are taking note we can take notice of other not-so-obvious signs in others to improve the way we appear ourselves. In business there are a few sayings; act like you already won the contract, dress for the clients you want not what you may have, never let them see you sweat, and fake it till you make it.
Now, there is obviously more to it than that but taking notice of how others act when they are not at the top of their game and how it affected you being around them should cause you to be more self-aware of your own behavior. On the flip side taking notice of how people behave when they are on the top is a behavior you want to try and immolate.
A past connection of mine is a perfect example of behavior that speaks volumes he was generous, everyone got a kind word and he appeared to enjoy being helpful and sharing his knowledge – when he was making sales… But, when times were tight he wouldn’t tip, he was short in his dealings, made no time to help others, and actually treated people he saw as window shoppers or not helpful to his bottom line poorly. Now he might not ’say’ I am struggling in business but his actions said it for him.
Making sure what we say without speaking is how we want to be heard means that we at least in the professional world have to behave as if we are on top of the world. We all have a bad day we are only human but saving venting about it till when we are hanging with our best friend is what a professional does. We do not bring our problems to the workplace. Getting your mindset right before placing yourself in a public atmosphere will help you when interacting with people no matter where you are financially. This is true for how we dress for work I am not saying we have to be in a three-piece grand outfit to dress for success but taking pride in our appearance; not looking like we just rolled out of bed even if we did.
We do not bring our problems to the workplace. Getting your mindset right before placing yourself in a public atmosphere will help you when interacting with people no matter where you are personally, financially, or physically.
And finally our behavior speaks volumes when we are tired or stressed we tend to behave badly. Treating others well no matter how we feel is the sign of a professional’s professional – we all should desire to reach this level where our clients do not see anything other than what they need a professional that has their ‘stuff’ together.