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Do you have an effective executive presence?

Posted By Editor, Laurie, Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Contributed by Patrick Reilly, Resources in Action

Speaker session: 
Executive Presence and Managing Up: Building Your Brand


At the higher level of organizations and especially with Boards, executive presence is an essential success factor. Several years ago, I kept hearing from clients, who would say things like, “He needs to show up better. She does not have enough executive presence.”  When I would ask them what that looked like, I got a brief stare and then a “I don’t know, but I ‘ll know it when I see it!”

Business leaders need targets and goals to hit them.

Since most leaders are not able to define the issue of executive presence, I decided to research the question so I could build a model that leaders could follow and learn from. I wanted them to be aware of their executive presence strengths and challenges.

If you, as a leader, are required to have an executive presence, you need to know what that really means.

Executive presence is comprised of three core elements: how you act (gravitas), how you speak (communication) and how you look (appearance.) It can also be described as the skillful application of emotional intelligence and the effective presentation of your professional skills.  Sylvia Ann Hewitt’s research suggests that 67% of executive presence is comprised of your gravitas, 28% depends on the quality of your communication and 5% on your appearance.

My model, with its core components, is comprised of:

Gravitas

  1. Confidence – Can I share my point of view well?

  2. Competence Am I competent in my domain of technical expertise and able to communicate it effectively, especially to those who are not as expert in this area

  3. Courage Do I have the courage to take a stand for the things I believe in? Take well informed risks and drive change?

  4. Calmness under Pressure Can I project a sense of calm and poise regardless of the circumstances?

  5. Credibility (Balance) Do I have a balanced approach that includes being both assertive and results oriented while being compassionate and having empathy for others?

  6. Reliably deliver results Do I provide quality results in a timely fashion?

Communication

  1. Clarity and Crispness Is my communication in speaking and writing clear, crisp and succinct?  Do I have the tone and timbre in my voice that makes others want to listen?

  2. Connection Do I have strong relationships with people at all levels of the Organization? Do others see me as an effective listener, authentic, and approachable?

Appearance

  1. Do I fit in with my peers and those who are one level up?

  2. Do I dress professionally for my company and in line with today’s standards?

  3. Do I exhibit good manners, use appropriate language and employ good grammar? Why is this section in italics? I guess it is to make it parallel with the first two. Is that right?

Once you have attained clarity about your strengths and challenges you need to learn how to put your ideas into action.

To be a credible leader you must have followers (Kouzes and Posner), but how do you demonstrate those qualities convincingly so that they become more compelling over time? Some question if these skills are trainable and learnable, but one must also begin to learn some non-traditional business skills to become a leader. These skills require you to access the energy in your body and to learn to convey your passion to others with fire (in a way that works for you and is in concert with your true self). Actors are trained this way. They learn how to step into a role and convey to others what might be possible, while also communicating about how we might achieve an end-result or final goal.

Your leadership presence becomes more visible when you can convey a set of messages (about your organization) that:

  1. Will get the attention of your people,

  2. Support them to listen more carefully, and

  3. Ignite their drive to support you to reach the goals of the company as well as the future you have described and set forth.


If you need guidance around finding or creating a stronger executive presence, please visit my website,
http://www.resourcesinaction.com/. You can also contact me directly at patrick@resourcesinaction.com or 510-524-4934. 

Are you going to HR West next week? My session, Executive Presence and Managing Up: Building Your Brand, will cover more about how to cultivate a new or better executive presence.

 

About Patrick Reilly

President of Resources in Action, Reilly’s coaching career (25 years) began when a client asked him if he would provide some leadership coaching. He soon realized that he was adept and well suited to help leaders leverage their strengths to become more powerful. His business background in operations, technology and R&D informs his work as an executive coach. Reilly’s work focuses on supporting leaders in developing their executive presence and managing up. Clients describe him as approachable and compassionate while being focused, organized and results driven. He has two grown children who, he says, “trained him to work well with others.”

Tags:  effective communication skills  effective leadership  Executive Coaching  HR management skills  HR West 2017  leadership  leadership development 

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Where Do You Get In Your Own Way?

Posted By NCHRA Blog Editor for Guest Contributor to the HR+ Blog, Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Contributed by Mike Normant

Do any of these tendencies seem like you?

  • I frequently interrupt others when they are speaking.
  • I am too easily distracted (emails, texts, etc.) during meetings and/or conversations.
  • I talk too much in meetings (i.e., I “take up too much space”).
  • I don’t speak up in meetings (even when something wants to be said).

These are just a few examples of “self-limiting behaviors.” Whether or not you personally relate to these patterns, it’s likely that you know someone who exhibits one or more of them. And I’d bet that it’s easy to see how such behavior can block someone from reaching her/his potential.

What if you turn the mirror back on yourself? If you aspire to reach your fullest potential, it’s helpful to identify and begin to work on shifting your own self-limiting behaviors!

In this article, I will:

  • Provide some context about the importance of working on self-limiting behaviors.
  • Share a list of common self-limiting behaviors.
  • Suggest some action items to use these ideas to help yourself, your team, and your organization.

Behaviors and Professional/Personal Development

Many companies ask their employees to identify development/growth goals in two areas. The first is “The What”, or technical/functional skills. The second is “The How”, which are more behavioral and soft-skill oriented.

It’s easy for employees to identify development areas associated with “The What”. However, many people struggle with identifying behaviors to work on (The How). Those of us in the HR arena know that “how” a person shows up at work has huge implications for her/his overall career success

Think of someone you know that frequently interrupts others. It’s pretty easy to imagine how their baseline career “trajectory” will be constrained if s/he doesn’t work on that self-limiting behavior.

Now imagine a different trajectory if that person starts to make small shifts toward becoming a better listener.  How much more of their potential will they realize in 6 months? A year? Five years?

How many more career-enhancing opportunities may be presented to that person because they are engaged more productively in meetings, or within teams or with their direct reports?

By making small shifts in our behavior we are literally “bending our future” toward realizing more of our potential and being our best selves. 

I want to acknowledge you readers who embrace an emphasis on developing strengths. I’m a huge fan of strengths-based development. And I also believe that each of us has self-limiting behaviors that warrant attention.

By the way, behavior may be a loaded word for some people. I use this word literally and non-judgmentally: “the way in which one acts or conducts oneself.”

It may seem obvious, but most of us don’t simply decide to change a behavior and make it so. We must first acknowledge that one or more of our behaviors (that may have served us in our past!) are now detrimental to our success, whether at work or in our personal life. This requires self-observation and the willingness to identify behaviors that don’t serve us well.

We must also recognize that this will push us out of our comfort zone and will hence often trigger fear and internal resistance. This work is important but not easy.

Example Self-Limiting Behaviors

As noted, it’s often difficult for individuals to identify behaviors that they want to change. Below I’ve listed some relatively common self-limiting behaviors for your review. This list can also be shared with employees to help get them thinking about this topic.

Check out the list below. Do you see yourself in any of these statements? Here’s a hint: don’t beat yourself up….be curious!

  • I frequently interrupt others when they’re speaking.
  • I don’t listen to others when they’re speaking.
  • I succumb too easily to distractions (emails, text messages, etc.) during group meetings.
  • I succumb too easily to distractions (emails, text messages, etc.) during 1:1 conversations.
  • I’m unable to say “no” (when it’s a viable and reasonable option).
  • I talk too much in meetings (i.e., I “take up too much space”).
  • I don’t speak up in meetings (even when something wants to be said).
  • I speak too softly.
  • I solicit the input of others with no intention of changing my position.
  • I take credit for the work of others.
  • I blame others when things go wrong.
  • I talk about others behind their backs.
  • I react too negatively / emotionally when issues arise.
  • I get frustrated too easily / often.
  • I complain a lot.
  • I’m unable / lack confidence to make decisions.
  • I’m condescending and/or dismissive of others.
  • I frequently ‘bully’ others until they acknowledge that I am right.
  • I am consistently late.
  • I treat people as objects (lack of empathy).
  • I don’t solicit advice or help from others when it would help me to do so.

It is common for people to identify with multiple behaviors on this list. However, it’s also normal to not identify with any of the behaviors listed. While it’s possible to not have any self-limiting behaviors, I’ve not yet met anybody who matches that description. 

One way to push through uncertainty is to consider soliciting feedback from people you trust. Ask them to help identify one or more self-limiting behaviors they see that may be in your ‘blind spot.’

Call to Action

I hope you’ll agree that if we aspire to unlock more of our potential, it serves us to always be working on our personal/professional development. This includes addressing our self-limiting behaviors.

These behaviors influence how we impact and are perceived by others. Imagine how powerful it would be for you to minimize, or even remove, one or more of these self-imposed barriers from your life.

Here are some ways you can get value out of the ideas shared in this post.

  • Choose one(!) self-limiting behavior and commit to working on it for at least a few months.
    • Research shows that we are more likely to succeed with behavioral change if we are focused in our efforts.
    • If you can’t think of any self-limiting behaviors that apply to you, consider sharing the list above with colleagues you trust to give you candid feedback. You likely have one or more self-limiting behaviors hiding in your blind spot.
  • Document your goal / intentions somewhere (e.g., personal journal, formal development planning tool).
    • Research shows that the simple act of writing down our intentions increases the likelihood that we will follow through.
  • Share your goal / intentions with one or more trusted colleagues / friends who can help hold you accountable.
    • Expanding the sphere of accountability will help you stick with your plans. You’re not only more likely to stick with it if you’ve shared it with others, you can ask for support from those people as well.
  • Share this list with your team or department, and encourage others to join you / start a larger dialogue. “How can we help each other be more effective at working with each other?”
    • This can be a simple process of encouraging everyone, in the spirit of being his or her best self, to be working on a self-limiting behavior.
    • This helps to create an environment where employees can become more comfortable being vulnerable and feeling like the team/organization is supporting their ongoing development.
    • Here’s a clean one-pager that you can use to share this information with others.

About the Author

Mike Normant is a leadership trainer and executive coach with a 25-year corporate career including running the global Learning & Development functions at both eBay and ServiceSource. His current passion is to help people unlock their fullest potential by removing self-limiting barriers.  His flagship training program, Coach Your Self Up, is bringing the revolutionary concept of Self-Coaching into organizations, allowing them to experience higher levels of employee effectiveness, engagement, and retention. He also works as a leadership coach with individual business leaders. You can reach Mike and/or sign up for his email newsletter on his website, coachyourselfup.com

 

Tags:  executive coaching  HR leadership training  self-coaching 

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HR Communication Tip: Say What You Want… Not What You Don’t Want.

Posted By Laurie A. Pehar Borsh, Wednesday, June 22, 2016

By Paul Endresscoach, speaker, and founder of Maximum Advantage International. 

Endress will present Adapting Your Communication Style to Get Results at HR West Seattle on July 15, 2015. Go to www.hrwest.org/seattle for more information and to register for the conference.

This article was recently published on: www.paulendress.com

The Mind Can’t Directly Process A Negative
So Say What You Want… Not What You Don’t Want

In this post, I’m going to give you a tip that you can use to instantly improve your communication, and it comes from something that happened to me recently.  So here’s what happened.

My wife and I went out to dinner at the Harvest Café.  It’s a great place we love to go there.  Sometimes it’s a little slow for us because I’m usually in a hurry, but we went there and then we just were sitting down to enjoy it.  Then I saw this sign that they had up in there and (upon reading it) I thought, what better way is there to do this? Because it’s going to reveal a good communication truth that you can put to use right away.  The sign said, “Don’t forget to vote for 2016 Simply the Best.”

This local magazine, here in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has a contest where people submit votes for the best restaurant and then once a year they publish a special issue, then the restaurant can use that in their advertising. -- i.e. “Yes, we are the best restaurant in Harrisburg.” So they’re putting up a sign that says, “Don’t forget to vote.”

This is a great example of the effective communication principle that says: the mind cannot directly process a negative.The Mind Cant Processs A Negative - Small

There’s a famous story about Fran Tarkenton, who was a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. They’re in the championship game with two minutes left, and he goes to the sidelines. The game is within reach. They’re six points back, they’ve got to score a touchdown — two minutes.  Which if you don’t know football, that’s plenty of time to score the touchdown if you’re playing well!

Fran says to the coach, “What should I do?”  And the coach says, “Fran, no matter what you do don’t throw an interception.”  An interception is where he accidentally throws it to the other team and that’s exactly what happened when he went back on the field because what had the coach put in his mind?  “Don’t throw an interception.”

The interception might have happened for other reasons, but one of them is that the mind can’t directly process a negative word like “don’t.”  So when something says, “Don’t forget to vote,” the words that we really get are: “Forget to vote.”

“Don’t throw an interception” becomes “throw an interception.”

What could they have done differently? Change it to say, “Remember to vote.”  Which is the positive version of what they want you to do instead of the negative version!

Changing the wording from a negative to a positive greatly increases the chances that people are going to remember to vote for them instead of forget to vote for them.

Putting It To Use

The next time you need to get somebody to do something, and you need to give an instruction, give it instruction in a positive way.  Tell them what you do want... not what you don’t want.

Ask yourself this question: In what situation do you express yourself in terms of what you don’t want --- how can you flip that around and turn it into a positive so you say what you do want instead of what you don’t want?

Just flip it around, express it as a positive.

And whenever you think about this, just think about:  “Remember to vote” versus “Don’t forget to vote.” 

Small change, big difference, great results.

You can also listen to/"watch" Paul discuss his communication style tip on YouTube.*

About the Author

Paul Endress is an in-demand coach, speaker, and founder of Maximum Advantage International, a company that gives organizations and individuals the skills necessary to communicate effectively in an increasingly difficult business environment.

An inspiring speaker, Endress is the author of Dealing With Difficult People and has helped thousands of individuals and business executives from companies such as Shell and Mitusbushi through his seminars, speeches, and products.

His latest project is the Communication Styles 2.0 model and software, which is based upon eight years of research and solves communication problems by creating visual models of interactions between group members.

*Adapting Your Communication Style to Get Results 
HR West Seattle - July 15 • 03:05 PM - 04:05 PM

Register

Tags:  business communication skills  effective communication skills  Executive Coaching  HR  HR coaching  HR Management Skills  HR West 2016  HR West Seattle  Paul Endress 

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