Develop a positive communication style

Whether you have an important job interview or just want to be noticed in your current role – how can you make sure you stand out for all the right reasons? Suzy Greaves finds out and tells you how in seven short steps. Our final step, step seven, tells you why it's important to be kind


Develop a positive communication style

When you walk through the door, how do you think you come across? The real truth, says Heidi Grant Halvorson, author of No One Understands You And What To Do About It (Harvard Business Review, £14.99), is that most of us don’t come across the way we intend.

‘We can’t see ourselves objectively. Human beings have a tendency to distort other people’s feedback to fit their own views – which can be a huge problem at work and in your personal life. People may not trust you, may not like you, or may not even notice you as a result of these errors in perception,’ she says.

But also the way we come across is often in direct correlation to how we feel about ourselves. If you’re feeling scared, don’t panic. There are some proven and simple techniques that can help us get into a more empowered mode before we even enter the room – that will not only make us look more confident, but also make us feel more confident. Plus, there are some surprising counterintuitive secrets to making a powerful impression, by doing the opposite of what you think might impress.

Our final tip is the importance of kindness in how you can go about creating the right impression. 

Be kind

If you want greater collaboration and trust, then have a positive communication style, write Judith and Richard Glaser, in their study published in The Harvard Business Review.

They discovered that colleagues who demonstrated curiosity, concern and listened well painted a picture of mutual success – using the word ‘we’ – and were open to having difficult conversations had the effect of producing oxytocin (the feel-good hormone) in their workmates.

Photograph: iStock