You can do better. You deserve better.
If you’re going to get anything done in business, you need people to respect you.
But when you’re young for your position, new to an industry, or a woman in a male-dominated field, for example, getting others to listen to your ideas can be difficult.
After looking at the research on social perception and relationship building, we identified the following strategies for instantly getting respect.
1. Let people talk about themselves.
People spend 60% of their conversations talking about themselves.
It feels good: Harvard researchers have found that talking about yourself activates the same brain regions as sex, cocaine, and a good meal.
“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.”
2. Win people over with the first introduction.
Esquire’s Tom Chiarella perfectly captures how to make a great first impression. He writes:
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. Then pump the hell out of their hand. 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.
3. 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.
“If you take an expansive pose, it can actually lead to power,” MIT professor Andy Yap tells Business Insider.
4. Be way more prepared than you think you need to be.
“Ignorance is one of the professional world’s least respectable traits — if not the worst,” Roberto Rocha writes at AskMen. “If you want your ideas to count, be better informed than everyone else.”
So if you have a big pitch or meeting coming up, know exactly what message you want to communicate. Anticipate the objections your boss could have to whatever it is you’re pitching. Not only will your ideas be stronger but you’ll feel more confident presenting them.
Read more at Entrepreneur.com.