How to undermine your credibility in a split second

People make split second judgements about us based on how we show up. They decide if they like us, want to work with us, and if we’re capable, all in the blink of an eye. In that short moment our credibility is decided at an unconscious level before we’ve even had a chance to prove ourselves. Once this decision is made, we need to either work hard to undo the judgement or we get to ride high on the benefits of being judged favourably. The question is, do you know how to steer the judgement in your favour?

One of the ways we send signals about our credibility is how we use our tonality at the end of a sentence. Does it go up as if you’re asking a question? (Like you probably just did in your head when you read that sentence.) Does it go down at the end as if you’re giving a command, or does it stay quite flat as if you’re simply making a statement? 

The quickest way to kill your credibility is to make statements with a questioning tonality. This plants a seed of doubt in the listeners mind as to whether or not you know, or in fact believe, what you just asserted. All because your tone was questioning even though you weren’t asking a question. 

Next time you’re in a situation where you need to assert your credibility, drop the questioning tonality (even when you’re asking a question!) and replace it with a command tonality (down at the end), or a statement tonality (flat all the way through). This will buy you enough credibility points to actually prove your real competence

As a professional People Whisperer, Anneli has been working with leaders and teams to improve their communication and interpersonal intelligence for almost a decade.
If you’d like to improve your interpersonal effectiveness and influence, or decode the behaviours’ of others, contact Anneli today.

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