By: Robin Sacks
Imagine that you’ve just gotten a promotion at work. You are excited about it because you have worked hard to get to this level in your company, and you have dreamed about this particular position for the past three years.
Now, it’s yours. Congratulations!
Your next thought is…now that I am at this level, I should probably begin learning how to ‘show-up’ as a leader. But, what does that even mean and how do you do that?
You think about it and realize that the people at the top levels in your organization do certain things differently; they seem calm and confident, they are able to get their message across in a concise way, and they seem to be effective communicators, whether they are writing an email or speaking to a group.
But how do they know what to do and where do you learn to do that, too?!?
The answer is that they learned a set of skills; and, like any other other skills, these things can be learned!
The first thing to know is those people you are looking up to were once exactly where you are right now. None of them were born with confidence and effective communication skills; they learned and then honed them until they were second nature.
The second thing to know is that the best place to start learning that skill set is to become a master observer. When someone is exuding an “executive presence,” what are they doing (or not doing)? When they are engaging your attention, what are they doing to pull you in? When they are able to say so little, but you are totally clear on their message, how are they doing that?
They are using skills to accomplish those things. They have learned the skill of relaxation (yes, it is a skill!) to show-up with a calm and confident presence. They grab and keep your attention by using the skill of storytelling and painting pictures in your mind. When they speak, their message is clear because they keep it simple and get to the point quickly.
If you want to start learning how to be a leader who can communicate effectively, begin by becoming a student of what leaders do (and don’t do). Get curious. Once you are clear on what you see and hear, you will also gain clarity on what skills to seek out for yourself.
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