Kudos to my newest client this morning for being bold enough to be real!
She is opening a three-day meeting of her company’s division by being real and calling out the 800-lb gorilla in the room. Specifically, there is so much growth and change taking place in the company that, from one day to the next, people barely even know who they report to or what they’re working on. Challenging situation, but not surprising given the fast-paced, high-growth industry in which they operate.
By calling it out – and she’s doing it in a light-hearted way – she will not only connect with her audience immediately, but she also will earn their trust, respect and, I would suspect, their loyalty. Everyone wins. She establishes herself as a likable, credible leader, and her team members from around the world feel noticed and acknowledged. Great way to start the group meeting; the air is clear, and everyone can focus on the business of moving forward.
Leaders often feel the pressure to motivate by being cheerleaders, pumping up the troops no matter what’s happening around them in reality. It’s tempting to gloss over the negatives and the distractions. Frankly, it can feel risky to be as open about what isn’t working as you are about what is working, but sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your employees.
Nothing quite beats honesty and authenticity for winning over an audience.
Communications Coach at SmartMouth Communications
SmartMouth Founder and Principal Beth Noymer Levine is a Communications Coach who is emerging as one of the country’s leading voices on how to prepare and deliver speeches and presentations that actually work for both the audience and the speaker.