Unspoken Truths of Promotion

If you want to secure that top job, you must understand that the rules of the game are totally different. It’s like a switch has been thrown. At the senior levels there are unspoken truths which will block you or help you win that senior role. Are you ready to play in a very different sandpit? That’s what we coach on our executive presence courses.

These unspoken truths of promotion are infuriating but easy to unravel. You need to take a big gulp, decide whether you’re prepared to play the game and work on your strategy. Fear not, you do not need to lose your authenticity but you will need much more insight, personal flexibility and savvy.

You may hear phrases like “She just doesn’t seem to be (name senior job) material” or “I’m not sure if he’s really got what it takes for us”. Behind closed doors at senior levels, it’s these ‘gut feel’ type comments that really drive whether you are invited into the senior level roles. Vague yes. Unfair yes. Not a fair process. True. But this is the reality when you strip it right back.

The reason is pretty clear. At the senior levels it’s a tough billet. Colleagues expect a lot from each other and often they play rough behind closed doors. They need to know you can hack it. They want to know you’ll thrive with minimum support. And now expectations of you are very different. You are representing the company brand as well as your own. 

So your job is to work out the unspoken truths in your culture, your own company. Then decide how you want to play the game. What really matters? What do you need to demonstrate by how you behave and how you communicate? And to whom? And yes, it is a game but one which will help you achieve great things for yourself and your team.

Global Executive Presence research clarifies overall key leadership behaviours such as being able to ‘show your teeth’ and integrity. Being clear on your own values, strengths and how to play to your differences will also help. Our coaching and planning tools will ensure you can think all this through and handle things in your own way. Then we’ll coach you on your practical communication across meetings, presentations, tough conversations or in social situations so you can send a consistent message, physically and by what you say when. Have a look at immediate easy executive presence tips now and pass them on.

I appreciate that my honesty may be uncomfortable for some people, but it reflects my own real-life experience past and present working at the top. Read my biography here. These unspoken truths exist so let’s be frank. And anyone can learn how to develop and use their executive presence at work. It is absolutely possible with a good coach behind you.

KineticFuture specialises in coaching leaders to be highly skilful communicators. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. They have six main areas of work: – Time to think coaching, executive presence, presenting and storytelling, tricky conversations, resilience and communicating purposeContact us to find out more.

EP & Gravitas Part 4 – Warmth & Authenticity

Warmth & Authenticity

 Q: I’m very comfortable talking to other senior leaders. But my colleagues tell me I lack warmth and emotional connection with less senior people. How do I do this in a genuine way that still maintains the gravitas and presence of a leader?

A: From what you say in the rest of your note you seem to have warmth and connection in your dealings with familiar senior colleagues or with people who share your hobbies. What you’re going to do here is get back to being your authentic self. And to build on what works for you already. The right level of gravitas will come through naturally.

Exercises

  1. Get real. It may be useful to ask yourself “what am I assuming that stops me from connecting well with less senior colleagues?” And “do I have evidence for this view/fact?” Often seeing something written down and challenged can start to loosen up your approach.
  2. Get over yourself. Go into situations with less senior people with genuine curiosity. Ask their views. Listen. Engineer a different communications forum that’s more relaxed and personal. Use your imagination!!
  3. Build on what’s natural to you. Think of a situation outside work where you are your most relaxed self. With the family? At the pub? With your football mates? Practice your next presentation or conversation ‘in the style of’ – talking and listening to one of these groups. It will feel strange. Good. You could even film yourself to see the difference or ask a friend to give you feedback. See what happens.

To receive high quality coaching on HOW to develop your own executive presence and gravitas for your own situation do give us a ring. We develop bespoke courses for individuals or groups of all sexes, ages and cultures.

Gravitas For The Real World

As the planning season is about to go full throttle, we’re going to focus the next few inspirations on the HOW of gravitas and executive presence.

Looking at real challenges for the real world.

Could you let us have your questions and views on this subject? No names will be attributed unless you’d like us to! We’ll make sure we answer them.

For example, the questions we often receive on our courses are:

  • How do you convey your competence and be heard?
  • How do you get the balance between authenticity and fitting in?
  • How do you encourage and mentor diversity?
  • How best to handle traditional male cultures if you are a woman?

We look forward to hearing from you.

If you would like to know how developing gravitas helps you to ignite people around your own purpose we can help. We coach leadership teams to be exceptional communicators.

Contact us to find out more about our bespoke inspirational courses.

Ruby Wax Shows Us How

Authenticity beats perfection every time when you’re presenting.

Have a look at this great presentation by comedian Ruby Wax on Ted.com talking about mental health issues and your brain. There are a number of reasons this is a great presentation for me, including:

1. The talk clearly means a great deal to her as she’s suffered from depression herself.  Ask yourself how we know it genuinely matters to her?

2. She uses an excellent opener which involves the audience in an amusing and personal way.  It nails the key message and the big theme for the presentation

3. She makes a complex subject simple

4. Her white coat, homemade brain and signs were great fun and much more engaging than if she’d just used formal diagrams

5. Her pace, emphasis and vocal energy are just what you’d expect from a talented comedian and writer

Essentially, a wonderful presentation by Ruby – there are lots of ideas here you could adapt for your own presentations, give it a go!