Why People Aren't Taking You Seriously
and how to fix it
Have you ever had the feeling that people aren’t taking you seriously? The ideas you come up with getting brushed aside. Your suggestions land on deaf ears. People fidget during your presentations. Your opinions don’t seem to carry a lot of weight.
If you’ve experienced this, you know how frustrating it can be — particularly in the workplace. If you are in roles like customer service, sales or any level of leadership it can present serious challenges to your effectiveness and confidence. The good news is that it’s fixable, and it’s easier than you might think.
8 Practices to Enhance Your Credibility
It begins by recognizing that there are many people who don’t experience this problem. There is an art to being taken seriously, and making small changes to the way you interact can have a big impact. Here are eight practices that will enhance your credibility and engagement levels.
1. Establish your expertise
Unless you are already recognized as an expert on the subject by those around you, make a point to support the things you say with a few facts. Make sure they are from credible sources, (but don’t go overboard with a litany of citations).
2. Establish commonality
People like to listen to people who support their own opinions. It’s called confirmation bias, and we all have it. Always begin with common ground, and build from there. If you are a contrarian by nature, you may find this difficult, but if you get a reputation of always zagging while others are zigging, people simply won’t want to listen to you.
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3. Use your voice tactically
This may be the most important item in this list. Improving your voice will greatly improve your ability to engage, persuade and project credibility. There’s a reason that Morgan Freeman and Meryl Streep could, as they say, “read a phone book and make it interesting.” (Check out Belding Training’s powerful Voice Mastery program.)
4. Choose your words carefully
One sentence can mean the difference between engaging people and alienating them. If someone tells you that the world is flat, saying, “No, it’s a sphere,” will have a very different impact than, “It sure looks that way to the naked eye, doesn’t it?” We refer to this as Talk Judo.
5. Use humor
A number of studies tell us that humor, particularly self-effacing humor, is a very effective tool for gaining engagement and credibility. Little things like, “Granted, there are times when I forget how to spell my own name, but this is something I’m absolutely certain of…” The willingness to poke a little fun at yourself sends the message that you are confident.
6. Listen to everyone
Be that person who respectfully listens to others, regardless of their perspectives. Acknowledge validities in ideas different than your own. People will respect you more when they perceived you as being open-minded,
7. Be relevant
Talk about things that are meaningful to others. Remember that your audience may not share your passion for a topic, and will tune you out if it is a drum you beat too loudly or too frequently.
8. Don’t ramble
Articulate your point clearly, concisely and in a logical sequence. if it If you can’t get the core of your message across in less than 30 seconds, people will stop listening.
These eight practices will begin making a difference for you almost immediately – particularly #3. Try them. Your career may be pleasantly surprised!