Body Language: How to Find the Most Important Person in the Room

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Networking events. Association meetings. Conferences. Regional meetings. Trade shows. Each of these events represents an opportunity. Making the sale. Making the right connection. Exchanging business cards with the right person.

But how do you know who Mr. or Ms. Right is? Who is the person who can green light your product or service within their company?

One option is the internet. Do your research, find the bigwig’s name, do a Google Image search, and you have your target. At the event, you can scan the room until you see the person and introduce yourself.

But what if that’s not possible? What if they don’t show up? What if Google Image search pulls up nothing? What if you’re not sure who your ideal target is?

Thankfully, when this happens, you don’t have to randomly approach people and hope they are your mark. You can be a detective at all your future business meetings and use the skills of deciphering body language to discover the most important people in any group.

After speaking at an event, I went to the hotel’s lounge to relax and unwind. Wanting to enjoy some alone time, I sat in the far corner booth and began one of my favorite activities: people watching.

There was another conference at the hotel and some of their attendees came to the lounge for a social hour. At first everyone was shaking hands, welcoming one another and being very friendly. After awhile the large group started splitting up into subgroups. 5 women chatting at one table. 3 men laughing at another. 2 women standing and gossiping. But, there was one subgroup that caught my attention.

I noticed 3 gentlemen. One tall, good posture, well dressed. The second was of average height, well dressed, good posture. The third was short, had poor posture, and was – quite frankly – poorly dressed. Who is the most important person of the group?

Most people would say one of the first two gentlemen. They had strong posture, knew how to carry themselves, and their clothing reeked of success. Most people would be wrong.

After knowing a few body language basics, you would know to look more closely. While posture and clothing are good variables to observe, they are surface level indicators that can easily and consciously be altered for any situation. As a body language pro, you would want to look at the unconscious indicators to discover your alpha-person of the group.

In this case – as in most – the feet gave it away. Even though the men were standing in a circle, politely facing each other and looking at one another while they spoke, the feet pointed toward Mr. Important himself, gentleman #3. That’s right. Mr. slumped-over-I-don’t-need-to-iron-my-clothes-or-put-together-a-snazzy-outfit-like-the-rest-of-you.

The feet of the other two gentlemen were pointed directly at guy #3 like a pointing dog during the hunt. The feet give away so much information unconsciously. They almost always will point towards the direction where you want to be or towards the person you perceive to be the most important person in the conversation.(Where was Mr. Important’s feet pointing? The door.)

While initial looks might lead you to one conclusion, body language will give you the power to detect the subtleties that lead you to the truth.

Use this body language detective skill for your next meeting. If you want to converse with the “top dog” just follow the feet.

Shari’ Alexander is a business presentation strategist and professional speaker who helps professionals get what they want when they speak. As the owner of Presenting Matters, her many clients have included an Emmy Award winning executive, an NFL player, and an ESPN announcer. Shari”s articles and advice have been featured in Presentations Magazine, Counselor Magazine, Training Magazine, along with other international publications. Shari’ is available for keynotes and seminars and may be reached at 918.346.8506 or shari@presentingmatters.com.
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6 Tips For Building and Maintaining Rapport

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Rapport building is the art of helping another person minimize their perceived difference between themself and yourself. This can be achieved by tactfully allowing the other party to see the common ground in your personality or point of view. Rapport happens at the subconscious level but here are a few ways that you can consciously help the process along.

1. Rapport Starts At The Beginning

The best time to start building rapport is when you interact with a person for the first time. Then each subsequent time that you meet ensure that you start by re-establishing rapport.

2. Give Appreciation and Importance To Others

Accept that the most important person in the world in the eyes of most people is themself.

When interacting with someone else allow them to feel important. The easiest way to do this is to learn their name and use it often during your conversations.

If you are involved in some task with others, you can help them feel important by trusting them with appropriate responsibility and showing appreciation for their contribution. In fact, why not make a habit of showing genuine appreciation for things well done in all interactions with others.

3. The Skill Of Asking Questions

Remember that the person asking the questions is leading the direction of the conversation. Ask interesting questions that allow the other person to talk about themself or their interests and then listen attentively to what they are saying.

4. Active Listening

Listening is a skill and it’s easiest learned if you develop the habit of being genuinely interested in other people.

Allow the other person to do most of the talking unless they are specifically asking for your contribution or opinion.

Give them positive feedback followed by non-threatening questions that allow them to expand on what they are saying.

5. Keep Your Ego Under Control

Ego has been responsible for breaking rapport on more occasions that any other behaviour. Ego is a sign of low self worth. If you develop a strong feeling of self worth then you will not have the need to allow your ego to get in your way.
Be willing to admit you are wrong when you are. Do so quickly and happily and gratefully acknowledge the other person’s role in helping you see your error.

Be willing to allow others to take credit for your good ideas if it helps you achieve your desired end goal.

Rather than argue for your point of view every time you are challenged, encourage the other person to express their point of view. If you do have to state an opposing point of view, acknowledge the value of their point of view first and then tactfully promote the additional benefits of your ideas. Gently lead them to your desired outcome by concentrating on the ways in which they would receive benefits, that they really want, from adopting the point of view that you are promoting.

6. Friendliness

Nothing breeds friendliness like friendliness.

Develop a friendly nature and establish a habit of smiling often. A friend is generally much more valuable than an enemy and your life will travel a lot smoother if people like you.

Rapport building is an easy skill to learn and it is extremely valuable in both your personal and your business life. People like to help people that they like and people like to do business with people that they like. It all starts with building rapport.
Author : bollrakanth

Article Source: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1044778_24.html

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