For the Leader in You

Blog

Never Be at a Loss for What to Say

Do you go to events—internal or external—and struggle to get the conversation off to a great start? Are you tired of answering the ubiquitous “how are you doing?” with an even more ubiquitous (read: boring) “busy,” “not much,” or “same old stuff”? Don’t squander the opportunity to make an impression!

Yes, You Can Be Interesting without Being Boastful

You don’t want to feel like you are bragging or, worse yet, on “send,” meaning talking nonstop to someone who is trying to escape your reign (or rain!) of boredom. Instead, you can learn how to engage others—whether they are your superiors or people outside the office—and be interesting in a way that encourages rather than ends conversations. And, guess what, you’ll show everyone that you are excited and engaged in your work and life.

How to Distinguish Yourself and Be Remembered 

1. Get Prepared. This is where you deal with the fear of not knowing what to say by actually knowing what to say. In other words, you prepare your own personal News Story.

2. Topics to New Stories. Depending on the context and need for confidentiality, personal news stories can include: an exciting client matter; an article or book that you either read or wrote or are writing; a presentation that you gave or will give; your recent promotion; and exciting news about a child who is excelling in school or sports. It can be anything interesting; however, the ideal “news story” demonstrates that you are excited and engaged with your work.

3. Remember to Think Differently. Whether you are good at winging it or not, you need to remember that, even if you’re not prepared with a News Story, you never answer the “how are you?” question with a “busy” or other similarly-uninspiring answer. Instead, pause and think of a neat new project, an article you’ve just published, or something else that is interesting and shows that are excited and engaged in your work and life. That, my friend, is interesting!

If you find this useful, please share with your colleagues and friends and let us know how you engage others.

Uber Confidence is Simpler to Create Than You Think

Have you noticed how some people—some leaders—are uber confident? Nothing seems to faze them and they always seem calm. They handle stressful situations with equanimity and never seem out of control. The question is: how do you step up your confidence to be like them?

Step Up Your Confidence

Believe it or not, it’s simpler than you think to step up your confidence. Imagine feeling confident, being perceived as confident, and consequently, inspiring loyalty and dedication from your colleagues. And, confidence is an essential attribute of those who are more “self-actualized,” meaning that you are more satisfied by your work while you are doing better work. You are less reactive and more resilient. Sound good?

The Confidence Sequence

To improve your confidence, you must focus on what’s called the Confidence Sequence in the Actualized Leader framework. The Confidence Sequence consists of three attributes, one each at the Cognition Level, Emotion Level, and Behavior Level. Considering the attributes in sequence is important because what you think leads to how you feel, which leads to how you behave.

Thus, to improve confidence, you generally need to start with the degree to which you are Objective; then consider the degree to which you feel Courageous; and finally, reflect on the degree to which you act with Candor. The attributes are further described below:

 

Confidence Sequence

Cognition Emotion

Behavior

Objective

The degree to which your judgment is based on the facts of a situation and is not influenced by personal feelings or preferences.

Courage

The degree to which you are willing to do something frightening and act in accordance with beliefs, judgments, and convictions.

Candor

The degree to which you are open, honest, frank, and sincere in your communications, especially when providing feedback.

 

Remember, you have the freedom to choose your response, attitude, and approach to anyone or any situation. While it may be difficult to simply choose confidence, if you unpack what it takes to be confident, it can be quite simple. All you need to do is improve your Objectivity, Courage, and Candor. I’ve provided a few suggestions in the table below:

 

Confidence Sequence

Cognition Emotion

Behavior

Objective

Practice describing situations factually and without judgment. Leave out the adjectives. Notice your assumptions; distinguish both implicit and explicit assumptions from what happened.

Courage

Consider the worst that might happen; is it so bad? What will happen if you don’t take action? Consider how you’d like to be remembered as a leader and which action furthers that vision.

Candor

Use neutral, factual language when giving what might be perceived as negative feedback; frame such feedback in your commitment to the person’s development.

 

Interested in your confirming your leadership style, shadow, and the degree to which you are self-actualized? Take the Actualized Leader Profile short form at http://alpfree.com. For more information about the unabridged version of the Actualized Leadership Profile, which provides your score on the Nine Attributes of Actualized Leaders, including the Confidence Sequence, contact me. I’d be delighted to share it with you!

Five Simple Steps to Defining Your Professional Brand

goldfish jumping into a bigger tank to represent defining your brand

Everybody says you have to build a professional brand and reputation to succeed. But how do you distinguish yourself and be remembered when everyone else has the same goals? And you’re busy and not only want to network “the right way” and create an attention-getting resume, but you also want to get results for your efforts. You want to attract the right opportunities for you!

Continue Reading

Amp Up YOUR Performance!

Have you noticed how some people—some leaders—are always high performers? They never break a sweat and nothing seems to faze them. They handle stressful situations with equanimity and never seem out-of-control. They are more resilient and less reactive. The question is: how do you amp up your performance?

Continue Reading

How to Inspire Meeting Participants into Energetic Engagement

Are you tired of struggling to engage meeting participants? No one talks. Participants (using that term loosely, because of course there isn’t any participation!) look around whenever you ask for input. You are frustrated and tired of being the only one with ideas or even talking.

Continue Reading

What’s Wrong with Him?

Maybe you are fed up with your colleague—he’s so rude! Or maybe you’re tired of dealing with Mr. or Ms. Sensitive. Either way, my bet is that you’re frustrated and wondering not just what’s wrong with your colleague, but what to do about it.

Continue Reading

Eliminate Bottlenecks While Making Friends

You know what you need to do, but your boss or someone else up the chain of command won’t make a decision. Either he or she doesn’t have time, doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care. Whatever the reason is, this person is frustrating you and makes you think it’s time to polish your resume.

Continue Reading

The Secret to Being a Rock-Star Leader

Have you noticed how some leaders have an amazing rapport with and inspire loyalty from team members? Actually, it’s more than that: team members happily to go the extra mile all the time! And all you can think is, “how do I do that?”

Continue Reading