Whether trying to gain new clients, make a connection with a colleague, or make an impression on your boss, being viewed as trustworthy is essential for making professional connections.
Most of us know how to keep someone’s trust once we’ve earned it
: by following through on our actions and being open and honest in our professional conduct. But earning that trust in the first place can be tricky. However, there are ways you can use your body language and non-verbal communication to help others see you as someone they can trust.
Check out our tips below!
Learn how to “Mirror”:
Instinctually, we feel more comfortable with those who we feel are similar to us, are on the same page, or simply “get” us. When two people share a social bond, they often unconsciously mirror each other’s actions by adopting similar postures and gestures as they interact. Clearly you don’t want to imitate each and every movement of your conversation partner, but subtly mirroring their actions in conversation can make them feel more comfortable with you without realizing why. If they use a certain hand gesture frequently, insert it into your conversation once or twice. If they adopt a certain posture or position, wait a minute or so, and then adopt a similar posture. Your conversation partner will get the subliminal feeling that the two of you are on the same page, and that you are someone they can trust.
When speaking with someone, try to keep your pelvis and torso angled towards them. This makes it appear that you are completely open with nothing to hide. Angling your body away from someone can subconsciously make it appear that you are trying to keep something from them. Crossing your arms or legs or holding an object (like a folder or coffee cup) directly in front of you has a similar effect. If you’re someone who naturally closes off their body when nervous, make a conscious effort to break the habit.
Effective Eye Contact:
People often think that when someone is avoiding eye contact, they have something to hide. But using eye contact to build trust goes beyond simply meeting the gaze of your conversation partner. You want your gaze to be direct, but not overly intense. Try to maintain natural eye contact by meeting your partner’s gaze for roughly five seconds at a time, and then momentarily allowing your eyes to shift to the side before immediately returning to your partner’s gaze.
Related: 3 Ways to Handle Conflict with Grace