Everyone wants to put their best foot forward for customers, employees, new family members and acquaintances. There are 3 key elements that you will want to remember in order to build trust with Spanish-speakers.
1. Spanish-speakers are relational.
What does this mean?
- When speaking with them, you need to stop what you are doing and look at them.
- They expect to have your undivided attention while communicating.
- In our culture it is common to look at the cell phone, type on the computer, and do a variety of tasks while speaking.
- If you are doing other things while speaking, you are communicating some negative messages to the Spanish-speaker which makes them feel uneasy.
2. Interpersonal communication is very important.
- Anyone with limited language skills looks for other cues to communicate.
- They will notice facial expression and body language. When facial expression and body language don’t communicate the same thing as the words, then red flags go up and trust is negatively affected.
- Make sure that you smile to show you’re pleased to see them.
- Be open and gesture with your hands. This goes a long way to building trust.
3. Communicate with everyone in the group.
- It only takes a second to greet everyone with a warm “Good morning!” and a quick hand shake.
- Don’t leave anyone out—including the children! It’s customary in many Spanish-speaking cultures to greet the children as well.
- The most important things in life for many Hispanics are Faith, Family, and Friends and in that order.
- Include everyone with eye contact and smiles to show your warmth and friendliness!
No matter the situation that you’re in, whether it’s business related, family oriented or building clientele keep these 3 key elements in mind. They’re vital in making a great first impression and building relationships with Spanish-speakers in the long run.