When You’re Bland You Blend

You may have all the relevant skills and experience but unless you can communicate in a compelling way you won’t get far. ‘When you’re bland you blend’ is one of the phrases from this week’s book club recommendation by Paul McGee, keynote speaker and performance coach – How to Speak so People Really Listen.

This book is informal and accessible, full of useful tips and written in a warm, amusing way. We really like it and think you will too.

Of course, if you’d rather learn these skills on our group or 1-2-1 courses do get in touch. We will help you stand out from the crowd.

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We Can All Talk. The Challenge? 
Getting People To Listen.

Reviews on the back cover :

′This book is down–to–earth, gritty and oozes experience. I′ve been speaking for over twenty years trust me, I′ve learnt from this book. Paul McGee is clearly a skilled helper.′
Kriss Akabusi MBE

′I have nearly a hundred books on public speaking and this is a refreshingly different take on all of them. You′ll read it in hours but the messages will stay with you for years. It′s clever, insightful and packed with takeaway tips.′
Jeremy Nicholas, Writer and Broadcaster

Buy Paul’s book on Amazon.

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: Thinking partnership coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytellingtricky conversationsresilience and communicating purpose.

Contact us today to book a course or to find out more.

The Six Habits of Executive Presence

A wise colleague of mine described Executive Presence as:

“The water leaders swim in to get things done. It’s not optional. It’s essential for respect and trust”.

KineticFuture are experts in coaching the ‘how’ of EP one to one and in groups. Today I’m going to share with you The 6 Practical Habits of EP. This is a distillation of the KF coaching method for your presentation communication.

6 Habits of Executive Presence in Presentation Communication

  1. It’s all about the audience – flex to their needs and perspective you’re already halfway there.
  2. Integrity & expertise – how are you going to demonstrate this?
  3. Authentic passion & belief – your topic may not set your pulse racing but you’ll have to find something that motivates you
  4. Warm authority under fire – there is a pivot point between warmth and authority. You’re looking to find the right blend for the situation and culture.
  5. Listens to understand – the audience needs to feel this is a two-way conversation and you have to truly understand what they are thinking.
  6. Tailored value messages and strong storytelling – underpinning your confidence is knowing the value you bring to the other person and being able to articulate it. Strong storytelling will build engagement and memorability.

On our courses we’ll work with you on your physicality (vocal energy, body language etc.) blended with communications strategy plus you’ll develop your story ready to present. All focused on a real work situation. Your colleagues will also coach you and you’ll learn to self-coach too.

We have worked for 19 years with demanding companies including Abbvie, The ABI, Barclays, GSK, The Open University, Novartis, Mars, MSD, Reckitt Benckiser and Vertex.

Do call or email me if you’d like to know more. Everyone can develop their Executive Presence with dedication and good coaching. And the rewards are great for you and your teams.

Calling All Library Lovers

I have a spring in my step, it must be the milder weather, plus the fact that I recently graduated as a Time to Think Coach after a year of hard slog, hooray!

I qualified as a business coach eight years ago, but this has transformed the results I achieve. It was pioneered by Nancy Kline (Founder & President of The Time to Think Organisation), whom I was lucky enough to meet at my graduation day (cheesy photo below!) Nancy is also the author of this week’s book club recommendation, ‘More Time to Think’.

Left to right: Ruth McCarthy (my Time to Think coach), me, Nancy Kline (Founder & President of The Time to Think Organisation)

Thinking Partnership coaching will be relevant to team members you want to coach 1-2-1, perhaps thinking about a new role, business relationship or their executive presence. And of course, we incorporate elements of this type of coaching into all our group communications courses.

Find out more about ‘Thinking Partnership’ coaching here.

Drop us an email if you’d like a quick chat about how I can help you with your own challenges.

More Time to Think by Nancy Kline

Amazon says:

“The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first. The leaders, professionals, parents and teachers who understand this are at the top of their fields and inspire some of the finest independent thinking in their environments.

In More Time to Think, Nancy Kline shares ten effective ways to help people think for themselves with rigour, imagination, courage and grace. From learning that the mind works best in the presence of a question (so never be afraid to risk being wrong) and that a key factor in the quality of a person’s thinking is how they are treated by the people with them while they are thinking, to the importance of appreciation and of facing what you have been denying, Nancy Kline shows how to create a successful Thinking Environment, whether for two people or a larger group.”

Buy Nancy’s book ‘More Time to Think’ on Amazon.

We like to be topical here at KineticFuture. So, did you know February is library lovers’ month?

Here are some of our favourite quotes on libraries:

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library” – Frank Zappa

“A library is the delivery room for the birth of ideas, a place where history comes to life” – Norman Cousins

“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library” – Jorge Luis Borges

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. We have six main areas of work: – Thinking partnership coachingexecutive presencepresenting and storytelling, tricky conversations, resilience and communicating purpose. Contact us to find out more.

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: – Thinking partnership coaching, executive presence, presenting and storytelling, tricky conversations, resilience and communicating purposeContact us to find out more.

Can Executive Presence be Learned?

If ‘develop stronger executive presence’ is on your 2019 development plans, be optimistic!  It definitely can be learned quickly with us.  It’s just about being true to your own values and understanding the behaviours other leaders expect to see from peers.

The bottom line is that you get to choose to be flexible in each situation or not.  It’s that simple.  Once you decide to go for it, we know our Executive Presence group course will get you to your goals, in your own authentic way.

Drop us an email to find out how you can learn to do this practically in your own real work.  karenmoyse@kineticfuture.com

Top Tips for Executive Presence (And what it’s not)

  • Executive Presence effective behaviours have been defined by strong global research.  It’s not fluff.
  • It’s about balancing warmth and authority.  It’s not about old-fashioned power plays.
  • It’s about integrity, ‘showing teeth’ and demonstrating expertise.  It’s not superficial.
  • It’s about getting good work done and empowering teams.  It’s not about being the loudest.
  • It’s about communicating in a flexible, skilled way, suited to a leader not a junior.

KineticFuture has deep expertise in coaching leaders to be highly skilful communicators – on our team courses or 1-2-1 coaching. We work with some of the most exciting companies in the world and have a repeat assignment rate of 100%. We’d love to talk to you.