Choose Respect

It’s Anti-Bullying Week this week. Workplace bullies generally pick on those with status below or equivalent to themselves. And just because you are senior doesn’t mean you’re immune.

So we thought we’d share with you some fast tips on how to deal with workplace bullies.

How do you deal with people who try to squash your status and confidence? The kind of people who try to make you feel insignificant, junior or unimportant. Let’s face it, they do exist.

Here are 5 physical tips to remember:

  1. Bear in mind that people who behave this way are often insecure. Genuinely confident, high status people do not need to put other people down. Quite the opposite. Feel sorry for them.
  2. Check that the ‘confidence and status level’ you are communicating is high enough. Do a body and attitude check. Are you behaving like someone who expects to be picked on? Bullies smell fear.
  3. Come in with high confidence and status and stay there despite what the ‘status squasher’ tries. Just stay relaxed and avoid the temptation to try too hard or to justify yourself. Bullies prey on your desire to fit in, be perfect, be liked etc.
  4. Keep your eye contact strong, maintain an open body language, stay engaged and interested in the meeting and put your point of view clearly. Don’t rush, do use pauses and questions and make sure your voice doesn’t become high or breathless. Wear clothes that communicate your seniority and influence.
  5. Be prepared. Go in knowing your facts and knowing what you want to communicate. If you don’t know the answer to questions, don’t bull****; say you don’t know and you’ll find out.

Find out more about KineticFuture’s executive presence courses and one to one coaching. And why we have a 100% repeat assignment rate.

Find out more about the Anti-Bullying Alliance who organise the Anti-Bullying week ‘Choose Respect’ here.

Be Big. Manage Your Tell 2

Image of Euro Hockey player Maddie Hinch sourced from Flickr & cropped for use.

Here’s the second in our ‘managing your tell’ vlog series. Very relevant as we are all in planning negotiations at this time of year. With solutions to one of the most common ‘tells’ we coach.  Click here to watch.

Let us know how you get on.

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 practical programmes to suit you.

Email or call us on +44 (0) 1628 621312.

Watch part 1 of this vlog series here.

Wooden to Wow

There are a lot of reasons why you might be wooden when you present. Here are some practical tips to help you start talking normally and be able to present with impact and confidence.

When you’re rehearsing, try any or all of these to free yourself up as you do each ‘take’.

  • Talk in a different accent (then go back to normal!)
  • Tell it as a story to a child
  • Tell it in a voice of pouring chocolate
  • Live the story, don’t think about it
  • Take breaths when you need to, don’t wait
  • Tell it as though you are José Mourinho and you are winning and then losing at half time
  • Stop trying to remember your words; just talk as if you’re in the pub with a friend

What are your favourite rehearsal tips to get into a good relaxed flow?

Adapted from KineticFuture’s Advanced Programme contact us to find out more.

Help! I’m on Video in Ten Minutes

If someone asked you to present on video in ten minutes what would you do? Imagine if you could smile and feel quietly confident.

Unfortunately, last minute preparation is a reality for leaders.

There just isn’t time in the day to prepare properly for every internal video.  Yet, unless you do a decent job, no one will listen.

We’ve attached a 7 minute Presentation Planner (pdf file) – a process that will help you prepare quickly.  Print it out in A3 so you can write on it.

This tool is used to support the clients we coach on video. It helps you create a mini communications strategy fast and puts you in a positive mindset for the task ahead.

There are also 3 emergency ideas that will help you right now if you are about to do a video take:

  1. Get over yourself.  Think about how you can help the audience with that video; not about how you will look or feel.
  2. Be clear on one key message only and just talk around that. Remember you are an expert.
  3. Treat the video as a conversation in a bar – just talk to the camera as if it is a real person.  Use your energy, passion and personality.

If you want to be good on video, get trained in advance so you can develop your own authentic style and then keep practising.  It will make you feel more confident under pressure and help you to inspire your team.

These techniques are taken from KineticFuture’s course, ‘Video Performance Coaching for Leaders’. Contact us to find out more.

Self Protection for Leaders

We were asked a good question on a recent advanced presentation seminar.

“How do you protect yourself as an authentic leader?”

To connect with any audience, there is an element of personal exposure. They need to feel your belief and passion for what you are talking about. The audience may or may not agree with you. Your boss may feel this isn’t quite the ‘done’ corporate style.

But the alternative is corporate vanilla; a bland style of presenting destined to bore.

You also need to make an emotional as well as a rational connection with an audience. This is what shifts behaviour. It often requires you to share personal experiences that resonate or give examples which reach beneath their cynicism. Again you take a risk. Will it be a hit or a miss?

Once again, the alternative is an audience that simply won’t engage or follow your lead.

From a narrative structure point of view, you’ll need to inject some power on starting, include some highs and lows and some visual chemistry to hold attention and make your message memorable. But does this break all precedents?

Again, do you want the audience to pay attention or mentally switch off? The choice is very real.

Presenting really well face to face or on video does need courage but the prize is worth it to achieve an engaged and motivated team or audience. This is the job of an authentic leader.

And yes. You can protect yourself.

  • A good audience analysis and a communications strategy is the important first step.
  •  Deciding very clearly in your own mind what you will share and what is off limits is absolutely appropriate. You decide. It helps to show you are human and some vulnerability but remember we do want leaders who are strong enough to lead. It’s a balance.
  • A good understanding and application of positive and realistic mind strategies will boost your resilience, just like a great tennis player.
  • Acquiring really strong technical communications skills will allow you to be flexible enough to deal with the big stage, town halls, video and to use different styles for different situations. It will enable you to take command of any situation.

Leaders get the big bucks because it’s a demanding job, however rewarding. Take the leap into being a really good presenter so you can hold your own with any international cohort.

This is the type of work we do at KineticFuture with global leaders and we get real pleasure from helping you be successful. Do contact us if we can be of assistance to you.