Four Small Things You Can Do To Be An Exceptional Communicator


After spending 25 years in the FBI as a special agent in the area of counterintelligence (catching spies), you learn a thing or two about dealing with people. You learn that what motivates people is not your words but your body language. You can’t get someone to trust you just because you say so, you have to demonstrate it.

Actions are powerful but they have to be timely.

You have to move to action at the right time to let others know you are in charge and that you care. Similarly you have to be an effective communicator, not just of the obvious but of the nuanced. And of course you have to be able to observe, because nothing can be achieved without the ability to observe, decode, and interpret.

That is what I learned and those lessons apply to any business person wishing to get ahead. These four areas, when mastered, allow the average person to compete at the highest levels, they allow you to be exceptional.

  1. Observation
    Observaton is important to every profession. Observe the world around you for clues and trends. Note the body language of your customers and clients; they will let you know, in real time, how they feel about you and your product. Body language, after all, is our primary means of communication.
  2. Communicate effectively
    This means both verbally and nonverbally. Trust, empathy, and leadership is communicated nonverbally not verbally. Learn to use your body language to garner respect and loyalty so that you can communicate more effectively.
  3. Comfort for your clients and customers is supremely important.
    There is a “comfort dividend,” only now recognized, and it is repaid by having customers and clients who want to visit more frequently, stay longer, and increase face time with you.
  4. Move to action
    Nothing makes a customer or client feel more attended to than your movement to action. Anything small from walking over to greet them to making a key phone call, lets them know you care. Even if you fail they will know that you tried.
Written on 2/13/2010 by Joe Navarro. Joe is a retired FBI agent and recognized expert on nonverbal communications. He is the author of What Every Body is Saying and Louder Than Words (Harper Collins). Photo Credit: Ian Sane

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