Whether you’re heading into an interview, an important meeting with a client, or even a year-end review with your boss you’ll want to be aware of the image you’re projecting. In all areas of business trustworthiness is a quality that people admire and look for in those that they associate with. While you may be the most trustworthy person on the planet you may not appear like you are if your body language is projecting a different image. Use these 5 body language secrets to display your trustworthiness and make a great impression throughout your career.
1. Subtle Mirroring: No, you don’t need to mimic their exact personality, agree with everything they say, and abandon all of your own opinions in order to properly mirror someone. However, simple gestures like nodding to show that you understand what someone is saying, smiling when someone is discussing something positive and frowning when someone is discussing someone negative will help show that you’re an empathetic, trustworthy person. This kind of subtle mirroring isn’t intended to make you seem more like the person you’re talking to but, instead, it’s intended to show that you’re empathetic and engaged.
2. Eye contact: If you’ve ever read a mystery novel you know to be on full alert when a new character is introduced and described as having “shifty eyes”. That’s because sporadic eye contact subliminally communicates dishonesty or a lack of interest. Keeping good, steady eye contact throughout your important career interactions will help immensely with your efforts to project a trustworthy image.
3. Uncross Your Arms: Keeping your posture open and inviting will make you appear more trustworthy than keeping your arms crossed. That’s because crossed arms signal a closed off, threatening demeanor that can often communicate a lack of openness from your part that will be subconsciously mirrored by whoever you’re speaking to. Instead, maintain an open posture to appear more inviting and friendly which will translate into trustworthiness over time.
4. Posture: Who would you trust more if you were a client or an employer, the person who looks confident and prepared or the person who looks like they lack confidence or didn’t care to put the effort in? Of course you’d go with the first one! And, believe it or not, standing up straight with your shoulders back can communicate all of the attributes of the first example while sloughing and letting your shoulders sag can communicate all of the attributes of the second, negative example. Posture is incredibly important if you want to appear trustworthy and capable!
5. Steady Hands and A Smile: People who appear positive will often appear more trustworthy. This is because a smiling, friendly face is automatically received better than a stoic facial expression. Additionally, keeping your hands from fidgeting and holding them in a comfortable, casual way will rid your body language of a nervous demeanor. People are often nervous when they aren’t telling the truth so any fidgety hand motions may subtly indicate a lack of trustworthiness that you aren’t trying to project.
No matter how trustworthy you are people can often get the wrong impression of you simply based on your body language. Use these 5 secrets of body language in your next interview, client meeting, or year-end review to appear more trustworthy, friendly, and capable. It will do great things for your career!