1/19/2008

Five actions you can take to gain the respect of others



Have you ever walked into a room and felt like no one noticed you? In conversations with others, do you feel like your voice gets lost in a crowd of people?
One thing I can not stand is feeling like I am invisible to someone. Even worse, is being acknowledged as someone who is not deserving of respect. If your goal is to increase the level of respect others have for you, clear specific actions must be taken. Here are some examples of steps you can take, right away, to gain the respect your deserve.

Be a presence
As soon as someone walks into a room, you can easily assess their level of presence. If an individual creates a strong presence from the moment they enter an environment, we immediately react subconsciously to the non-verbal message the person is sending. People naturally react messages they receive from others. A great example of this is a child who trips, falls, and looks around the room for the reaction of mommy and daddy. If the parents over react to the fall, the child responds accordingly by affirming her parent's concerns about the mishap. If, on the other hand, the parents calmly tell the child that she will be just fine because the fall was not a catastrophic event, the child is much more calm. I've even seen children laugh when they stumbled because of the amused reaction of onlookers. In the same way, other people are looking for our signals to dictate how they will react to us. If we display body language that says "I am unsure of myself", then people will immediately pick up on the signals and respond accordingly. On the other hand, if your body language says, "I am important and I know what I want," you will automatically create a diffrent perception of yourself right away.

Use your voice

Your voice is a powerful tool in helping you to gain the respect of those around you. When you communicate, you should be mindful to use these techniques that automatically impact how others perceive you:

*Control your speed-When you speak at a rapid pace, you are saying to others, "what I am saying is not important enough for me to clearly enunciate each word." If you speak too quickly, people will try to pick up on every word, become frustrated, and settle with trying to comprehend the gist of what you are trying to say. That is not what you want to happen. Instead, slow down slightly when you speak. When you do, you are requiring others to listen intently for the next word that comes out of your mouth.

*Project your voice-Even worse then speaking too quickly is speaking in such a low voice that others are constantly asking you to repeat yourself. You do not want to be that person. You want to be the person who says something once and is understood completely. You want your voice to carry your message to every person in the room. This may take some practice so you can naturally project your voice without sounding like you are yelling at the top of your lungs. The key to projecting without yelling is to take in large breaths before speaking and using the released air to help you carry your message.

*Speak up-Imagine a room full of people in active conversation discussing a topic of interest. Everyone chimes in with their point of view, popular or unpopular. Then there is you, standing there nodding and smiling but never saying a word. When the conversation is over, no one even remembers you being there. This is precisely the reason that you must involve your opinion in conversations whenever possible. Be mindful of the level of openness involved in the discussion. You do no want to simply barge into a private conversation, but you most certainly do not want to leave an open discussion session without contributing something to it. If you are not accustomed to speaking in a large group of people, you can start small by asking a question or agreeing with a statement someone else made. Either way, just say something. By doing so, you are saying to everyone else that you have just as much right to be a part of the conversation as everyone else.

Primp up
There's nothing like the feeling you get when you put on a brand new outfit. It is almost like the clothes came with an instant confidence booster. You also know how much of a drag it is to put on clothes that have seen better days. Being a sharp dresser does not necessarily mean that you have to break your bank. Instead make sure the clothes you are wearing have no holes or tears, are neatly pressed, fit your body, and match accordingly. Start with some basic pieces and accessorize as needed. Depending on your budget, include some high quality items into your wardrobe. You absolutely deserve to feel good about your external appearance every single day. It will not be long before you start receiving comments like "how are you able to dress so nice every day?" Remeber that every aspect of yourself is being visually assessed by those you come in contact with good or bad. Make the extra effort to improve your external presentation even if it is only a small step to where you want to be.

Prepare

You can not make a more lasting impression on a person than when you are knowledgeable about a subject. Any action that you take to prepare for any situation or conversation will not go unnoticed. When you prepare for conversations, meetings, or any other interaction with others, you are telling the person, you felt the meeting was important enough to invest a bit of time in preparation. Soon you will be viewed as the person who "knows his stuff" and you will reap the benefits of having established a solid reputation of being the person who is always on top of things.

Affirm yourself

You should always include positive affirmations about your unique strengths as part of your morning preparation. Tell yourself confidently that you are a person of presence. Remind your subconscious that you always receive the respect of others through your actions. Replay in your mind the message that you are deserving of respect from everyone that you communicate with. Do this exercise everyday until it becomes a part of your daily habits. These affirmations will also cause you to look introspectively at the level of respect you have for yourself. If you respect yourself first, you begin to automatically dictate how much respect you will receive from others.



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