How will you introduce yourself as the new leader? You have a wonderful window of opportunity to set out your vision, purpose & expectations all round in your own authentic way.
The uncomfortable truth is that, yes, people are judging you. They may be excited, or they may be worried. Either way, they want to know where you are coming from personally and where they fit in. It’s only human.
In this type of coaching, our clients want to think through what they want to do and what type of Leadership Presence they need to have to be authentic but also to be useful in their culture. What do they need to dial up or down? A big part of the ‘introducing yourself’ coaching brief is also how to communicate well at that first key ‘kick off’ meeting. It’s good to have a focus.
Here are 6 questions which we find help our clients introduce themselves as a leader. If you or a colleague would like Leadership Coaching or Leadership Presence coaching to tackle your leadership introduction, please do contact us to find out more.
- What are your initial goals and strategy? – who and what is important to focus on first and how, when to fact find and listen, when to have a view. You don’t have to have the whole business strategy sorted, this is about you and direction!
- What are your own top 5 personal values? – identify stories that bring them to life for your people. (Be honest with yourself where you might over-use or under-use some of them) This will help your team have an idea of how to work with you.
- What do you want to say ? – your people will welcome knowing what they can expect of you and what you expect from them. The question is, how to do this in an inspiring and genuine way. So, you’ll learn to analyse the audience and develop your message and a communications piece that suits
- Do you need to adapt your Leadership Presence for this role? – You are excellent at what you do and your values are strong. This is your inner world. As a leader you must find a way to live it and express it to the outer world – your team and your customers. You can’t keep it secret! There are 4 styles of strong leadership presence we’ve identified so far – you will find yours. We’ll give you an honest answer on where you are and where you need to develop.
- How are you thinking about yourself or the situation in this new role? – let’s face it, most of us have doubts and blocks. It’s useful to take time to think, rethink them and develop strategies and skills to be resilient in the tough situations like the live group 360s.
- How will you physically communicate? – your physical presence (mindset, voice, body language, energy, engagement, humour) will really help you or hinder. We’ll coach you to find your own authentic style which will engage your team and rehearse for that event.
KineticFuture works with CEOs, Finance Directors, Medics, MSLs, Legal & Regulatory, Marketing and Strategic sales leaders at companies including GSK, Abbvie, Novartis, MSD, Amgen, Gilead, Mars, Pladis, Reckitt Benckiser. It was founded by Karen Moyse in 2000 and has a repeat assignment rate of 100%. Karen Moyse is a Time to Think™ leadership coach and a communications expert having spent 20 years as CEO and MD at one of the world’s largest communications consultancies.
Are you too self-critical? Many of my clients bring it up in our Time To Think™ coaching sessions. I’m talking about that critical voice in your head that says ‘idiot!’ or ruminating over something you might have done wrong? Or could it be that you find it difficult to say ‘well done’ to yourself for fear that somehow your motivation and drive might falter if you do anything less than perfect? In fact, the reverse is true.
Research shows that learning to be your own ‘best friend’ (I mean, really, would you really talk to a friend in the same way as you talk to yourself!) and actively having self-compassion, will boost your work performance, improve your leadership, reduce your stress and enhance your relationships.
If you’ve just sucked in your teeth hard at this idea, you need to keep reading. When I found a great, practical book on this, I wanted to pass it on. I’m using it for myself and I’ll be recommending it to my Time To Think™ coaching clients. It’s called Kindfulness by the Irishman Padraig O’Morain. Don’t’ be put off by the mindfulness part of it – 3 minutes is all you need! And the rewards are worth it. You are worth it.
Here are three gems which rang true for me from the book:
- You practice accepting the person you already are without making yourself jump through rings of fire to become ‘acceptable’ to your internal critic
- Your starting- and-also finishing point – is to take a friendly attitude towards yourself and know that you have your own friendship no matter
- If you need to make changes in your behaviour, you will do so from a standpoint of friendship towards yourself and not hostility.
If you would like coaching for your leadership, your leadership presence or communications do ping me and we can have a chat. I lead my 1-2-1 work with a coaching approach called Time To Think™. Its singular purpose is to create space and a thinking environment where you can do your own best and newest thinking. It’s exciting, different and liberating. You’ll amaze yourself with your own thinking. Your brain is extraordinary.
Many of you will be presenting your plans to the board very soon. To get what you want, know that the strongest predictor of who gets investment is not the credentials or the content. Research shows that the strongest predictors are the traits: confidence, comfort level and passionate enthusiasm.
If you would like to be coached to craft the message, build executive presence or confidence to get that plan through, do contact us. And if you are presenting now, have a look at the executive presence & presentation tips we post. They might get you over the line!
Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy reveals data from Lakshmi Balachandra in her Presence book. Balachandra investigated the way entrepreneurs made 185 pitches to potential venture capital investors and the way investors responded. It tells us a lot about how to win business budgets internally and with other investors.
The other interesting part of this research is that the investors distrusted ‘slick’ communicators and were looking for authenticity.
The clear message is that it’s important to focus as much time on your own ‘professional presence’ as on your content. But how many times do you find your teams pouring over the final slides at the last minute rather than working on how they communicate? It’s like going into bat with your hand tied behind your back.
The data may sound puzzling but it makes a great deal of sense. What the investors or your board are looking for is people who will deliver the plan. If the person looks like they don’t genuinely believe in the proposition or isn’t genuinely confident, why should the investor believe?
KineticFuture can coach you to be a world-class communicator and leader. Coaching 1-2-1 and in groups. Clients include Abbvie, Amgen, Gilead, GSK, Novartis, Mars, Pladis, WPP and Barclays. We have six main areas of work: Time to Think™ coaching, executive presence, presenting and storytelling, tricky conversations, resilience and communicating purpose.
Can your team lead key meetings without you? They have the technical expertise but well… ‘they are not you’. Sadly, your bosses, clients and other key stakeholders recognise that they lack the confidence, gravitas and executive presence. The impact of having to be in each meeting on on your time and your team’s development is huge.
We coach Executive Presence. It really is the missing link between merit and success. We base our KineticFuture approach on solid global research and use theatre skills, real simulations, psychology and practice to ensure each person in the group can find their own authentic way forward. Contact us if you’d like to know about our group courses and one to one coaching.
It’s highly skilful coaching work but you can help your team
right now with some quick tips and hints below. It’s worth it.
Quick Tips for Executive Presence, Confidence &
- Just do it – get them leading meetings
without you. They will survive and grow with a bit of guidance. It’s worth the
- Super prepare – some of your team will
back off the prep because they are scared, others will spend too much time on
the wrong things. Give them guidance on what to prepare and ensure they are
clear on objectives, key messages and proof points. Can they answer the tough
questions succinctly? Rehearse them through it.
- Physicality – they can make a huge
difference just by rehearsing their physicality in a room. Ask them to walk in,
sit down and start to explain the topic. Coach them to sit tall, open arms on
the table, make good eye contact and stop any fiddling. Then maintain it come
what may. Ask them too where they plan to sit – in easy eye-line of the key
decision maker will help.