Effective Communication shouldn’t be limited to the meeting room

Effective communication in business starts from the moment we enter the office in the morning. Terrible isn’t it? We don’t even time to grab our first coffee or straighten our tie, we’re sending out signals non-stop!

Training people to be effective communicators means that they have to be aware of this.This was brought home to me by one of my clients who arrived for his second day of training with this to say: « Hey Ann, what I realized is that even the way I walk in the corridor expresses who I am, where I’m at, in fact my whole ethos! »

So true! We are visual before anything else. Our right brain, our old brain, our « reptilian » brain is watching, observing, picking up signals  from people we meet, who cross our paths, who we run into the corridor and it then decodes – all in a timeframe of seconds!

So what could that mean in concrete terms? Well, here’s an example: You’re heading for a meeting where the manager wants you, the audience, to leave on a motivational high. You see this manager a short time before the meeting, he/she is walking, head down, shoulders slumped, no eye contact… However, when the meeting kicks off, there is the same manager in a dynamic and energetic posture, doing his/her utmost to achieve the takeaway. Now the problem, although you probably don’t realize it, is that when you saw that manager in the corridor those first images and the feelings they triggered are now rooted in your mind making your unconscious doubt the credibility of his/her message!

Of course, we are only human and everyone has the right not to be at the top of his/her game 100% of the time. However, it’s worth bearing in mind, for key occasions, that you have to get yourself in the « zone » or  « flow » right from point A and that those casual meetings in the corridor can sometimes carry more importance than you actually think.

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