Are you having trouble with people not taking you seriously? There are lots of irrational reasons people may have for being dismissive--your age (too young or too old), race, sex, voice, height. It may even be that you did something to earn their attitude by making an inappropriate comment or missing an important meeting.
Whatever the cause, if you're not being taken seriously it's up to you to change hearts and minds. Here are 14 powerful things you can do:
1. Always be informed. Speak in a way that lets people know you know what you're talking about and have something to say--and so others like to listen to you. It's not enough to be intelligent. Information is power and people take it seriously.
2. Add value. Make it a point to speak only when you can value to what is being spoken about. Think of ways you can contribute genuinely helpful ideas or details.
3. Be truthful and genuine. The surest way to be taken seriously is to be honest and authentic. They're qualities that don't come along that often.
4. Keep your word. Plenty of people are willing to promise everything to everyone. If you want to be taken seriously, simply keep your word. Always. Never make a promise that you are not 100 percent committed to, because trust is the foundation of every relationship.
5. Be clear and concise. The things you say and the way you say them are a principal indicator of your competence, so learn to get to the point quickly. Filter out anything that's not essential.
6. Stand for success. How you show your presence is important. When you take yourself seriously, so will others. Allow your presence to make an impact and allow it to stand for success.
7. Be relatable. Tell stories that make you relatable to others. Leave them in awe of who you are and what you know. Draw people in and let them resonate with you.
8. Dress well. Make an effort to dress for the success you want. Even in an era when people are dressing more casually, let your clothes send a message you are taking yourself seriously. When you dress well, people think well of you.
9. Be mindful of your tone. Our tone tells the truth--even when our words don't, even when we're unaware of that truth ourselves. Always keep an ear on your tone, because that's what others respond to.
10. Speak with assurance. While you're listening to yourself speak, make sure you're conveying confidence in your words. A common vocal habit is to turn the end of each sentence up with a rising intonation, as if it were a question. It makes you sound tentative and uncertain, and if it's something you do, you need to train yourself to eliminate it.
11. Draw people out. Instead of talking about yourself to persuade people to take you seriously, become a great listener. Let others do the talking--encourage them to speak about themselves and truly listen and you'll quickly build trust and respect (and a reputation as a great conversationalist).
12. Be respectful. Treating others the way you want to be treated is a sure-fire way to be taken seriously. When you show respect, you get respect. You don't always have to share the same opinions, but you can always choose to be respectful.
13. Always, always be on time. Being on time tells others that you know the value of time. Arriving late, on the other hand, says you hold yourself in higher regard than the people you've kept waiting. If you're chronically late, you're probably thought to be chronically rude.
14. Be confident. Self-assurance has a wonderful way of making a great impression. If you're serious about being taken seriously, exhibit your self-confidence and let it tell who you are.