Communication Alert: When it comes to leadership, do what is valued: build solid rapport with workers.
Everyone needs to brush up on actions that imply ability and competence (called "task cues" in the psych trade) and play down their dominance cues (actions that imply control and threat), reports a team of psychologists headed by James E. Driskell, Ph.D.
In one study, 159 college students, male and female, listened to the pitches of task-oriented speakers and the same arguments from dominance-oriented speakers, male and female. Almost everyone thought men and women who exhibited task cues were more competent, group-oriented, and likable. Those showing dominance cues were thought of as self-oriented and disliked.
For a corporate decision-making group sitting around a table in a board meeting, poise, attitude, and approach matter more than most people realize.
Here's the rundown on which behaviors they say will earn you respect and which won't:
- Rapid speech rate
- Eye contact
- Verbal fluency
- Choosing the head of the table
- Fluid gestures
- Well-moderated voice tone
- Loud voice
- Angry tone
- Finger pointing
- Lowering eyebrows
- Stiff posture
- Forceful gestures
What will you do differently today?