Have you ever noticed how we buy from people we know, like and trust? I notice this in myself when I am at the doctor’s office, when I shop for clothes in a store or food at a restaurant or when someone tries to convince me to buy into his/her idea. It has been proven that we are more likely to “buy” (material goods or ideas) from someone we like than someone we don’t. Think about your own shopping experience or even when someone is making a case for something they believe in. Have you ever felt like walking out of a store when you didn’t feel comfortable with whomever was helping you? Did you ever stop listening when someone you didn’t trust tried to sell you his/her idea? Admittedly, I have.
Now, think about what criteria you need to like and trust someone. What do you need to know, hear or see in order to like someone? A smiling face? Enthusiastic tone? Let me first say that there are no right answers. We all differ with our criteria based on our experiences and our own likes and dislikes. Of course, this is natural because our life experiences have shaped us. Our response is a necessity to make informed decisions. (But it can also hurt us when we aren’t open to new experiences.)
The fact remains–we make judgements and others make judgements and we only have a few seconds to make a positive impression. The perceptions people have of us are their reality and the perceptions we have of others are our reality.
Are you thinking this is a little shallow? Me, too. But what if I told you that it doesn’t have to be? What if I told you that you can be in charge of the way others perceive you? That is, you intentionally think about how you would like to be perceived and then you intentionally define what that looks and sounds like. Then, you alter your behaviors to meet that expectation you have of yourself. Does it feel less shallow to you when you are intentionally behaving and giving the impression that is important to YOU? It gives you the opportunity to be and sound like the person you want to sound like and then, who cares what others think? You are acting in the way that is important to you and you are being your authentic self!
My hope is that you will think about how you would like to perceived, figure out what that looks and sounds like and then self-evaluate your skills to see if you are aligned. If you are aligned, great job! If you aren’t, what do you need to do become aligned?
This month (and every month), I am offering my Voice Makeover to help as many people as possible to become intentionally aligned by discovering their desired perceptions and finding out how to go about becoming aligned through their speech, language and voice skills. Join this important FREE webinar.
Lynda Stucky coaches mid-senior level executives on using their speech and voice effectively to establish credibility, position themselves within their company, and enhance their reputation as a topic authority. She provides training through one-on-one coaching and online courses to reduce foreign accents, “redd-up” regional accents, and teach speech and voice branding for image control. She is President of ClearlySpeaking, and is a certified and licensed speech-language pathologist. She is the author of "Voice Branding for Executives: How to Align Your Speech, Language, and Voice Skills with Your Professional Goals." Her background in speech pathology offers unique skills for dealing with professional communication skills in the corporate world. She believes communication skills should not hold anyone back from achieving personal and professional goals.