I coach many leaders of technical teams with complex topics. If the ‘am I technical enough?’ worry is on your mind and it’s holding you back, I hope these tips help. It’s a common concern and one that’s really worth thinking about. Call me if you would like to talk about how leadership or communications coaching can propel your confidence and impact to the next level.
Some people are already experts and are learning to lead and communicate well. Others are strong leaders but lack all the technical expertise & knowledge they think they need. With everything in between. This ‘expert’ concern can hold back both groups from leading confidently, presenting well and ultimately impacts on results. So how do you tackle it?
The main point is to gain some perspective on the reality of the situation and then actively shape how you personally want to tackle the job. Here are some tips that help you work out how.
Get Perspective & A Reality Check
What is your role today, what are the expectations from your company?
What do you offer, why are you the leader?
What Must You Know?
- Normally, there is technical or structural knowledge you must have to operate. However, it’s unrealistic to think you can be as expert as the ‘deep’ operational experts in your team in every area. You are the leader of the team now and that is different.
- Ask yourself what must you know, what do you know, where are your gaps? Does it matter?
- How will you position your role so that you are not expected to be an expert in all areas?
- How will you fill gaps you need to fill?
- How will you handle meetings, presentations and advising the team?
- Can you take a chair role, helping your expert team to shine, asking strong questions?
Watch the Netflix documentary ‘Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates’ It’s fascinating! In the episode below, Melinda Gates says
“When Bill stills himself, he can pull together ideas others can’t see”.
It also reveals that even when CEO of Microsoft, Bill took thinking weeks to innovate.
My experience as A Time To Think™ coach is that everyone can think brilliantly and independently. It is quite amazing to see someone’s brain in action; when we give ourselves the opportunity to think in a Thinking Environment. Imagine what you could think, be, or do if you had some Time to Think coaching. Give me a buzz if you’d like to explore this with me. You deserve it.
And enjoy the series! Here’s a link to the promo video.
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.
If you’ve got a big day tomorrow and you need to get through, here are some fast SOS confidence tips that work. Click on the links below and survive tomorrow. No one will guess!
If you’d like to build real confidence (and let’s face it, we’d all like more) talk to me about Time To Think™ Coaching. It’s 1-2-1 coaching but not as you know it. You’ll think brilliantly and independently about the challenges that are important to you. (This is me coaching outside the office, by the canal in Paddington – one of my favourite places to work).
In the meantime, follow the tips, phone a friend and you’ll pull off that big day tomorrow.
You can have strong executive presence and impact in meetings and presentations. It just takes some work and a coach who can tap into your potential. You can do it! Give us a call and we’ll coach you how. Find out more about our courses here.
Are some of your team consistently negative? It’s great to disagree with each other and healthy to have different points of views. I’m talking about the kind of behaviours that kill the energy in the team.
I’ve seen this from both points of view in my Time To Think™ coaching. From the people who are perceived to be negative (often wrongly) and from the leaders trying to engage and re-inspire a team. If this is something you’d like to tackle, do get in touch. There’s a great deal you can do to turn this around working 1-2-1 or we can create a bespoke group course.
7 TOP TIPS
- Be patient
- Show empathy and respect for the person and their point of view
- Remember you’re all ‘One Tribe’ – assume good intent and value
- Consider that they may not be negative, you are just not listening or you simply have a clash of communication styles
- Gently help them reframe and explore a different point of view
- Talk about impact of their behaviour on others – the phrase ‘when you do x, it can be perceived as…’ reduces defensiveness
- Give attention and reward the positive behaviours you want to see more of
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.
Contact us today to book a course or to find out more.