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Think about all the ways we are out in the world, and all the stories that are continuously being told about each of us. We generate data just by moving through our daily lives. We create–and curate–our personal brands through social media. As our personal data threatens to eclipse our personal stories, giving a strong voice to who we are is more important than ever. And, as machines learn to do more for us, human connection remains our unique space and a primal need. How do we claim our stories and use them to build authentic relationships? We can start by paying attention to the messages we send both literally and figuratively. Once we figure out who we are, then the real connections can begin.
We’ve been taught to be polite and nice, but those priorities can get in the way of connecting and building trust. We need to honor people, not placate them. Great leaders master kindness, empathy and authenticity while delivering tough messages. We become more successful when we understand that authenticity leads to trust and trust leads to influence. In our world of heightened sensitivities, we might be conflicted between saying what we mean and what we think our audience can handle. Counterintuitive actions, while uncomfortable, will generate high performing teams and create a more inclusive and intentional culture.
Counseling an underperforming employee. Calling a customer to tell them you have made a mistake. Helping people work through conflict. Does the mere thought of these types of discussions make your chest tighten? You’re not alone. But you could enter an elite group of people, those who own the awkward and manage to bring their full voice and best selves to even the hardest of conversations. If working with people were easy, we wouldn’t be so busy pursuing AI and automation! As long as we need to deal with messy, we may as well have some tools to make it through.
There’s no doubt that female leaders face unique challenges as they seek to advance their careers. Communication style is judged as either too harsh or too soft. Even voices are criticized and can hold women back as they move up the ladder or forward in their career. These unique challenges need to be discussed in a supportive and honest environment. This interactive keynote provides tools that will reframe confidence and executive presence–empowering women immediately to deliver clear, efficient, and powerful leadership communication.
We’ve all seen them–the executives who dominate the conversation, oblivious to the fact that everyone around them has tuned out. Or the ones who are super smart but unable to make eye contact as they share their brilliance. Being an executive is more than about what you know, it’s about inspiring confidence and earning trust. Understanding how we come across to others–for better or worse–opens up space for growth in our ability to connect and lead. Because leadership without connection won’t take you very far.