If you're going to get anything done (especially in business), you need people to respect you. Sometimes getting others to listen to your ideas can be difficult. So, after looking at the research on social perception and relationship building, we identified the following strategies for instantly getting respect.
Let people talk about themselves. People spend 60% of their conversations talking about themselves. It feels good: "Activation of this system when discussing the self suggests that self-disclosure like other more traditionally recognized stimuli, may be inherently pleasurable," Scientific American reports, "and that people may be motivated to talk about themselves more than other topics." Research shows that when people disclose information about themselves, they like each other more. It's also the primary way to form social bonds, or another way of saying it helps earn their respect.
Win people over with the first introduction. On the street, in the lobby, square your shoulders to people you meet. Make a handshake matter — eye contact, good grip, elbow erring toward a right angle. Do not pump the hand, unless the other person is insistent on just that. Smile. If you can't smile, you can't be gracious. You aren't some dopey English butler. You are you. Why is this important? Because paying full attention to someone is a way of showing respect, and social science confirms that we get respect when we give respect. Add that to the list of reasons that conscientiousness predicts success.
Keep your posture open and upright. Posture can influence the way others see you and the way you feel. Researchers have found that keeping your shoulders open and arms wide — a classic power pose — activates your hormone system in a way that makes you feel and look more confident and capable. The same logic carries over to the way you sit. If you're scrunched over your laptop, you won't feel very bold, but if you're sitting at a large desk, you'll feel more assertive.
Be way more prepared than you think you need to be. Ignorance is one of the world's least respectable traits — if not the worst. If you want your ideas to count, be better informed than everyone else. Know exactly what message you want to communicate. Anticipate the objections, not only will your ideas be stronger but you'll feel more confident presenting them.
You need to be both humble and confident. Respect requires a balance of humility and confidence. You need enough self-confidence to command the respect of others, but that needs to be counter-balanced with knowing that there is much you simply don't know. Humility is the path towards earning respect, while self-confidence is the path towards commanding it. With that balance comes not only respect but also intellectual curiosity and optimism.
This article was written by Drake Baer, we shared it with you because we thought it could help improve confidence and in return gain you more respect.