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6 Ways to Appear More Authoritative at Work

6 Ways to Appear More Authoritative at Work

Emerging leaders beware: are you undermining your own authority without realizing it?

Here are 6 ways to exude confidence and appear to be a leader, according to U.S. News & World Report writer Alison Green.

🎤  Get in synch, up front, with your direct report.

Have alignment with your supervisor on issues facing your team and company. You will lose authority if your boss reverses what you are doing and saying.

🎤  Know how to answer questions when you don’t know the answer.

You will not know how to handle every situation that crosses your path. To respond with confidence in these scenarios learn to use time as your negotiating factor. Example: “You’ve raised some valid concerns and you’ve given me lots to think about. I’ll get back to you on Friday.” Note: follow up when you say you’ll follow up.

🎤  Reduce your verbal clutter.

Fillers like “um,” “you know,” and “I think,” dilute your point, make you look nervous and decreases your gravitas. Try to erase this clutter by being aware of what fillers you use and wearing your imaginary Verbal Clutter Hat. Hint: practice this de-cluttering technique in less stressful situations and the habit will carry over into your work life.

🎤  Be aware of your tone of voice.

Don’t end sentences with a question mark unless they’re questions! This bad habit, called “upspeak”, negates your authority. Also, use declarative sentences. These are simple statements providing information or stating facts. Your tone of voice implies authority vs sounding hesitant and unsure.

🎤  Use the Power of the Pause.

Sounds easy but it’s not! You rush to fill in the spaces. You might chatter nervously or do a quick laugh/giggle at the end of your sentences. Both belie your sense of authority. State your thoughts and then stop. When answering questions you can pause to formulate your thoughts before responding. Become comfortable with silence.

🎤  Be straightforward.

Say what you want to say, even in difficult or awkward conversations. You will appear more confident and authoritative by being direct. Addressing issues is part of your job.

5-Star Communication Skills

5-Star Communication Skills

“You’ve run a very popular and expensive restaurant – that has your name on the door –  for over 16 years… and it’s a competitive market here in Dallas. What do you attribute your success to?” asks the Dallas Morning News food editor to Dean Fearing.

Dean replies, “There are 3 components. First, consistency. We serve great food every day. Second, personability. I decided that I’d greet our customers at every table on a daily basis. I’ve done this from day one. Third, a great wait staff. We have a wonderful team at Fearing’s Restaurant.”

The parallels between Fearing’s top rated restaurant and 5-star communication skills

Consistency. Just like the expectations you have for a fine meal when entering a fine dining establishment, your team/board/stake holders expect you to communicate compelling content with clarity and confidence on a consistent basis.

Personability. You do business with people you know, like and trust. Let’s drill down on the word “like”. Be likeable, like Dean Fearing.  Communicate with respect, listen with genuine interest and create an atmosphere of good will.

Leadership. Whether you run a billion dollar organization or you’re a solopreneur, you and your company represent and communicate your brand.

Once a year my daughter and I have an all-day spa date and one year we went to the Ritz Carlton. We began our day having lunch at their restaurant, Fearing’s. As we ate our delicious lunch, guess who came over to chat? Chef Fearing.

#communication   #speakforyourself   #karencortellreisman   #DeanFearing

Avoid Networking Nightmares

Avoid Networking Nightmares

“Your presentation really spoke to me!” said Jo, an attendee at a speech I gave a few days ago in Carlsbad, CA on How To Communicate Like Duct Tape.

Jo continued, “At the cocktail party last night I asked Peggy about her family. I was being polite. For 15 minutes Peggy talked about her children.”

What’s wrong with this scenario?

Peggy has committed three communication fatal errors!

Networking Nightmare #1: Peggy’s conversation is one-sided. It’s a solid 15 minutes of The Peggy’s Family Show. Jo says nothing.

Networking Nightmare #2: Peggy is boring. She’s providing a grocery list of data about her kids.

Networking Nightmare #3 (the biggest issue here): Jo does not have children and Peggy’s monologue creates a vacuum empty feeling for Jo.

How to avoid these networking nightmares

Networking Rule #1: Know Thy Audience.

In the presentation Jo resonated with – I spoke about nailing down the demographics of whom you’re speaking to. Her experience with Peggy shows the nuance of how vital it is to put yourself in the shoes of the listener… as you talk. If YOUR conversation has NOTHING to do with the recipient, then switch topics.

Networking Rule #2: Be Compelling.

Don’t do a grocery list, aka data dump, on your kids, last vacation or upcoming business venture. A compelling presentation is never just about the data. Come prepared to share a fun story about one child/grandchild, or one mishap from your vacation, or one testimonial story from your latest startup.

Networking Rule #3: Listen More.

Try to be 50-50 with your conversations. Ask questions. Find something in common with your chat buddy. Be a giver and a taker.

Self-disclosure here – I have to work on Rule #3. I’m aware, especially with Robin and Judy – my work-out and walking buddies, that I can dominate the conversation. I always have tons of stories to share! So… these rules also apply to your interactions with dear friends/colleagues and not just at networking opportunities.

You can avoid alienating others!

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and thanks Robin and Judy for listening to all her stories across time!

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

Source: thanks @Jo Riddle for this blog’s inspiration.

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Who Would Hire You?

Who Would Hire You?

3 Critical Factors to Incorporate

Let’s say you face a crummy medical diagnosis. How do you decide on a medical doctor?

The way you make that decision utilizes the same steps you’d embrace to hire anyone that’s critical for your business. Vice versa – the same factors apply to anyone hiring you.

In a NYT article “A Doctor’s Guide to a Good Appointment”, Danielle Ofri, M.D. writes, “These days it’s easier to pick out a blender than a doctor.” There are far more online accurate comparisons for a kitchen appliance!

3 Tips to Choosing a Good Doctor

Dr. Ofri suggests using these tips to choose a good doctor:

  • A doctor who takes his or her time talking with you, as opposed to making you feel like you’re at a drive-through fast-food joint.
  • A doctor who engages his or her patients in decision-making, as opposed to simply rattling off a to-do list.
  • A doctor who you can get in touch with on the phone or through secure email.

3 Tips to Get Hired

Dr. Ofri’s tips apply to you – whether you pitch a product/service OR your business hires a new VP/partner/board member.

Take time and listen. Do you diminish others by not making them feel like the only one in the room? How often do you rush the conversation, monopolize the discourse, or make the other person feel like a Big Mac hamburger rolling along the conveyor belt?

Engage and Include. On a Top Ten List on how to motivate your team “getting paid” takes 4th place. Yes – your employees work to get paid to do their lives. But in our Great Resignation period of time (and beyond) employ Tip #1 and Tip #2: Engage. And include your teams in decision-making.

Be Approachable. I asked a new client during our pitch call, “What questions do you have?” He asked a few and then I said, there’s one more, “Does Karen disappear in-between meetings?” I answered my own question 😎 with, “You can always text, call or email if you have comments and questions.”

Just like with your favorite physician – you want to be known as a company that listens, engages, includes, and responds. Quid pro quo – to get hired follow these same principles.

Author: Karen Cortell Reisman is Founder of Speak For Yourself®, a communication consulting firm, and the author of 2 books on how to communicate. She lives in Dallas, Texas and just bought a new blender.

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

© 2022 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

© photo: https://www.123rf.com/

One Word You Never Want to Use

One Word You Never Want to Use

You use this word all the time.

You err every time you use this word.

This word causes problems for you and your business.

You have heard me write and say, “Our most favorite word is ‘trust’ and our least favorite word is ‘assume’”.

Never assume your audience remembers all that you say. Never assume your pitch resonates with everyone. Never even assume everyone receives your emails.

But making assumptions now goes deeper.

According to Dr. Shirley Davis, CSP, SHRM-SCP, assumptions lead to blind spots, and blind spots lead to unconscious bias… which has impact on the way you lead, communicate and make decisions.

Dr. Davis asks, “Which biases are yours?” She suggests these categories: Height, Name, Race, Personality, Appearance, Accent, Education, Skin Tone, Weight, Hand Dominance, Religion, Class, Sexual Orientation, or Age.

In all these categories you might have an unconscious opinion (negative or positive) developed early in life and strengthened over time.

Dr. Davis’ Strategies for Minimizing Implicit Bias

  • Acknowledge that we all have implicit biases.
  • Practice intellectual humility – “recognize you may be wrong, and be willing to turn some of your exclamation points into question marks.”
  • Become more culturally aware.
  • Expand your network and expose yourself to “others”.

As a leader in your business you make decisions that affect your team and company strategy. Watch for your assumptions – blind spots – unconscious biases. Communicate with mindfulness.

Source: www.drshirleydavis.com

Karen Cortell Reisman Speech BookKaren Cortell Reisman book on selling© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

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What is the Hardest Communication Skill to Master?

What is the Hardest Communication Skill to Master?

Hints: You already know it’s important but your actions don’t support that knowledge. You get aggravated when others don’t perform this skill very well; yet, you don’t either.

Answer: Eclipse Monitoring – AKA active listening.

Pre-Covid, for many years, I visited members of my synagogue who landed in the hospital. One time, during a training session on how best to support ailing congregants our Rabbi said, “Don’t block the light.” We hospital visitor volunteers looked confused. He repeated, “Don’t block the light.” We still looked baffled and he repeated the phrase again!

Explanation: we block the light, like the moon covering the sun, when we are not active listeners.

You can relate. You Block The Light when you get interrupted by your dinging Apple Watch. You Block the Light when you ask a question and then answer it yourself. You Block The Light when you hijack someone else’s story. As a hospital visitor volunteer you Block The Light when you start telling the patient about your own health issues!

How To Be a Better Active Listener

  • Pretend putting a dab of Super Glue on your bottom lip and clamp your top lip to your bottom lip. This mental visual cue activates your imaginary Active Listening Hat.
  • Practice good eye contact.
  • Ask questions.
  • Paraphrase and summarize.
  • Use these three magic words, especially when you feel the urge to interrupt: “TELL ME MORE”.

As a leader, communicating with intentional attention nets big rewards. Last week I blogged about how to gain the attention of your tribe. Eclipse Monitoring goes a long way to do just that.

Add your comments here or contact me today to learn how I can share these concepts with you and your organization.

© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman, All rights reserved

Did you know we offer a free 20-minute communication consultation?

Karen Cortell Reisman book on sellingKaren Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 2 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, #AlbertEinstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Want a customized Speak For Yourself® live or virtual workshop on how to communicate formally, informally, and electronically?

Email Karen@SpeakForYourself.com

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