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The Simply Effective Guide To Reaching Anyone Online

The Simply Effective Guide To Reaching Anyone Online
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    Networking online is very similar to networking face to face. You’re ultimately trying to connect with people and forge relationships. The only real difference is that you’re using slightly different tools to communicate, and have to compete a bit harder to get their attention.

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    It’s not always easy, but it’s never impossible, if you commit to being a certain type of person, and taking appropriate measures to reach your goal. I’m not recommending that you become a fake, used-cars-salesman type figure. I’m saying that in order to let the extraordinary person that you be noticed, you may need to make a few adjustments to your approach.

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    Here is a list of everything you need in order to be successful in reaching people online. Remember, that online-people, such as bloggers, are all regular people just like you and I. With that said, this guide can be applied to networking of all types, both online and off.

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    11 Ways To Think About Online Networking

    1. Intend a win-win. Build the win-win mentality into your approach. It’s very possible that your excellent at faking it, but chances are that your intentions will eventually become transparent. Find ways that your interactions can be a win-win, and you’ll develop a great reputation.
    2. Mind the clock. Start out with the assumption that whoever you are trying to reach really values their time. Take the time to craft and polish your ideas before beginning any form of communication. Being concise and to the point will be much appreciated.
    3. Keep it real. Instead of trying to manipulate the situation, focus on being direct in what you want. It’s easy to beg a minute of someones time, and than spring something huge on them. As you can imagine, this will lead to a bit of resentment, and will not facilitate an excellent relationship.
    4. Become a giver. Instead of leaching, develop the reputation of someone that under-promises and over-delivers. Besides the fact that it’s more fulfilling to give than to receive, you will come to find out that people are more willing to communicate with you more often.
    5. No special treatment. The best way to relate to people is to treat all of them with respect and dignity. However, it is important to note that people do not feel comfortable when you talk up to them, and really dislike being talked down to. My solution? Talk to them as if they are on the same level as you! This is the way to build rapport.
    6. Put Yourself Out There. If you don’t ask, you aren’t going to get the connect. In fact, that’s a sure-fire way to make sure they don’t even know you exist. Just ask.
    7. Do Not Doubt Yourself. Be ready for your success, and treat now as an opportunity to cease the success and utilize all those skills that you’ve worked so hard to build up.
    8. Be Dirt Free. If you don’t know by now, googling people’s name is no longer considered a stalker tactic, it now falls into the jurisdiction of standard policy (unless I’m a stalker, and it happens to be my standard policy). Seriously, people will google you, so have a site, blog, or profile up where people will find the best of you.
    9. Platinum (not Gold) Rule. Treat them the way they want to be treated, not the way you would want to be treated. This is an excellent way to show someone you have an interest in understanding them, instead of cramming your own desires onto them. This tactic requires a bit of proactive listening on your part to really hear what people are talking about between the lines. In the end, this method pays up big time.
    10. Unlimited Persistence. Once again, this might be a stalker mindset, but I once asked a person 12 times for an interview, until they finally caved in and got it to me. The satisfaction of knowing I got what I wanted what worth it. I even have reason to believe that this person doesn’t hate me after all that. Win-win!
    11. Enroll Them Into Your World. Are you trying to contact someone because you want them to see your vision and participate in what you are doing? Present your vision in such a way that they can relate to, and live into this dream.

    The Tools That Work

    1. The Classic (yet short) E-mail. Be aware that you are now about to give someone a first impression of you. Keep this e-mail short and direct, respecting their time, and not steering them down some dark path.
    2. Comment (or trackback) Conversations. Who doesn’t have a blog these days? By being an active participant in the discussion a person has on their blog, you can become a well-known and well-liked presence. This will help facilitated additional contact.
    3. Twitter Talk. Many people use twitter, which allows you to ‘follow’, or watch what they’re talking about. This will keep you informed to the important topics on their mind, and also facilitate conversation.
    4. Skype, Cell, Speech. Yes, you are allowed to use your voice to reach people, even if they are on line. See if their website offers a telephone number, or request it after a couple of e-mails.
    5. Networking events. I have traveled numerous times to meet to places like New York City, Chicago, and even Panama, with the intention to make a genuine connect with them. Since I know many of you are bloggers, I will mention that two of the best known blog networking events are SOBConvention and BlogWorld.
    6. Countless ‘other’ tools. Just because there are so many social-community tools out there, you shouldn’t take them for granted. Things like Facebook and LinkedIn are great for networking with people. Do not forget the classic instant messenger for having a quick, real-time chat.

    As an example of how all this works, I invite you to see and experience the list of high-caliber participants I have been able to get to participate in my Happiness Project, including our very own Leon Ho and Dustin Wax.

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    Last Updated on January 15, 2021

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

    The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

    Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

    Posture

    First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

    • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
    • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
    • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
    • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

    All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

    Facial Expressions

    Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

    • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
    • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
    • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

    If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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    1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

    A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

    The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

    This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

    2. Relax Your Face

    New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

    The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

    To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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    3. Improve Your Eye Contact

    Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

    The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

    To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

    3. Smile More

    There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

    Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

    4. Hand Gestures

    Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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    It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

    5. Enhance Your Handshake

    In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

    “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

    It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

    6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

    As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

    Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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    Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

    Final Takeaways

    Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

    If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

    More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

    Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

    Reference

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