Sometimes effectively communicating in business can hinge on something really simple——the habits you bring to your interactions with others.
As we all know, we all have habitual behaviours that we carry around with us and use unconsciously. It could be "um" you sandwich between every fourth word of your presentation. It could be nervous 'fig-leaf' gestures of your hands. It could be your constant swaying and looking away from your audience, as if you should be somewhere else far more important right at that moment.
Whoever you are, whilst you may know your facts inside-out, whilst your work ethic is standard by which others are measured, if you don't recognise and work on your personal presentation habits you might eventually destroy all that you have strived so hard to achieve.
Whatever your particular habit is, you can best find out what it is by two great methods:
* Ask your colleagues what you do in face-to-face encounters that annoys them
* Have someone video a presentation to a group that you give
We all have a communication habit that works against us in some small way. But challenge we face is that, left unattended, they start adding up. The more you have, more unprofessional you look.
Here's eight interpersonal communication blunders that can wreck your career over time:
* Owning a weak handshake: A weak handshake signals uncertainty, hesitation, a lack of integrity, a lack of confidence and a lack of courage. It quite possibly also triggers subconscious responses in recipient that cause them to focus more and for longer on your handshake than on your message. To butcher Nike's slogan, "Just don't do it!"
* Displaying a nervous giggle: Just like a weak handshake, nervous giggle, in eyes and mind of your audience, turns you into a child. No one seriously does business with a child.
* Over-using "I'm sorry": A 'killer' for undermining your authority, a phrase like, "I need your report on my desk by 5 o'clock, sorry" just knocks your professionalism, your communication and your career for six. You have no need to apologise if you are boss or client. There is a place for politeness in business, as there are for courtesy and humility. But in shark-eat-shark world of nature and business, there is no room for weak and mousy. Sorry to have to break that to you...