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  • feedwordpress 03:23:09 on 2022/07/01 Permalink
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    How to deliver in a more polished and confident manner 

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    The group of seasoned medical professionals were sent our way to improve their presentation and communication skills. We are fortunate to work with brilliant experts across many industries but being the smartest person in the room doesn’t always translate to good communication skills.

    Most of the time, people who come to us want help. Like the skills they’ve worked so hard to develop in their chosen profession, they want to be the best they can be at everything they do. However, every now and then, someone in a group says they want help, but when asked, they can’t think of any areas of leadership communication skills they really need to work on. It’s obvious to a seasoned coach that they are likely only attending because a higher-up told them to.

    At least that was my perception of Melissa. She said she’s had communication coaching before and couldn’t think of anything she needed to work on but maybe she’d pick up a few tips. As Melissa began delivering a scientific presentation she often gives to other medical experts, it was exceedingly difficult to follow her. She was speaking so fast that listeners, including me, were having a hard time processing what she was saying.

    I am not a big fan of telling people to slow down. While they understand what that means, they typically slow down for thirty seconds and then speed back up. So, I told Melissa to pause. Like a book or this article that offers punctuation, speakers can punctuate with their voice.

    Melissa disagreed. She says she knows she talks fast but told the group she has a lot to say and is never given enough time to say it. She said she needs to respect that her audience is comprised of extremely busy people, so she is being respectful of their time by cramming seven minutes of material into four minutes.

    Whether presenting, speaking at a meeting or even having one-on-one conversations, if you are trying to get a message across and make sense of information for others, speaking too quickly can muddle your message because people tend to tune out. You might also come across as someone who is simply plowing through information to get it over with. Though Melissa wanted to respect her audience’s time, she inadvertently was doing the opposite. If her audience found her difficult to listen to, they might feel as if she was wasting their time. Additionally, people who speak too quickly are often perceived as nervous or anxious. That distracts attention and can make you look as if you are not in full command of your material.

    Even though you are the only one speaking when presenting, it’s important to approach a presentation as a dialogue, not a monologue. When we pause and ask rhetorical questions like we do in conversations, it’s easier for listeners to process what is being said and the speaker will exhibit greater command and presence.

    Melissa was skeptical. So, I suggested that she try presenting again, this time, applying my suggestions even if it felt awkward to her. Reluctantly, she said okay. The difference was significant. Her colleagues, who are well versed in her subject matter told her that they had been having a hard time understanding her too. However, when she presented again applying pauses, they felt she came across as more polished, confident and they said they had a better understanding of the data she was explaining.

    Speaking too quickly is only part of the issue. Melissa and many others we work with simply go on too long whether they pause or not. In an age of shrinking attention spans, less really is more.

    Here are my top four tips to slow yourself down and deliver material in a more polished confident manner.


    When people who speak too fast are told to pause, they often feel uncomfortable with the silence. They tend to use fillers like and, just, so, you know, um and uh to manage that silence. As a former television news anchor, before sending a script to the teleprompter, I would put dark slash marks after words where I wanted to pause to slow it down or emphasize a key point.


    Time yourself. If it takes you three minutes to say something, try saying it in two, then in one. Instead of telling audiences everything you know, think about what they really need to know. What would you care about if you were them? Cutting out the excess helps make messages crisper, clearer and easier to comprehend for those listening to you.


    To practice, pick a sentence to read from a printed publication. Each time you read it, pause in a different place. You will notice how the meaning of what you’re saying will change. As an example, ‘we have the ability to increase profits by 50% in Q4.” Then say ‘we have the ability to increase profits (pause) by 50% (pause) in Q4.


    Sometimes what we are saying is contains a lot of information and can be difficult for people to process if you are speaking too quickly. You can try breaking the sentence into two sentences to make it easier to comprehend. You can also think of explaining things in numbers such as ‘there are three key pieces of information I want you to consider.’ Then explain them one at a time.

    Remember, public speaking is different than having a conversation. When speaking in a meeting, on a panel, in a boardroom or anywhere there is an audience, this is considered public speaking. When speaking publicly, it’s important to adjust and slow your pace. That’s why the techniques above are so important. When you speak too quickly, your listeners may hear the words you said, but that doesn’t mean they heard your message.

  • feedwordpress 08:00:06 on 2022/06/28 Permalink
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    10 Leadership Qualities That Will Make You A Great Leader 

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    Every leader is different, with their own style and skills. But there are some qualities they all share—qualities are essential to success in leadership. In my work coaching leaders around the world, these leadership qualities are the ones I emphasize as most important:

    Focused energy. Distraction is a constant, so knowing how to focus your energy and time is critically important. Focus is the key to balancing goal-oriented planning with the flexibility to face the unexpected. It allows you to be mindful and decisive.

    Self-confidence. To inspire confidence in your leadership, you first have to feel it yourself. Confidence is contagious, and people are naturally inclined to have faith in a leader who shows confidence without crossing the line into arrogance and rigidity.

    A purposeful vision. A clear, purposeful, well-expressed vision helps others resonate with your ideas; seeing and understanding the big picture gives purpose to their loyalty and hard work. A leader is only a leader when others are following them toward something.

    Effective communication. The greatest leaders understand the power of words—to inspire and empower or to confuse and alienate. And they know that great communication often means listening rather than speaking and responding with thoughtful questions rather than their own ideas.

    Resilience. Resilience allows you to challenge yourself as a leader every day with the willingness to do your best and fail and then get back up and fail again. It’s a perspective that allows you to see every experience as a valued teacher.

    Decisiveness. Leadership requires the ability to be decisive—to trust your experience, knowledge and instincts and make decisions under pressure. It means knowing that the right decision is almost never the easy one, and that failing to decide is the worst decision you can make.

    Positivity. Great leaders give off a sense of positivity and optimism that energizes everyone around them. If you can approach every challenge with a positive attitude, you naturally elevate others by showing them how to approach their own setbacks.

    Responsibility. As a leader, you’re going to make mistakes, and blaming others or pretending the missteps never happened only serves to erode trust. Taking responsibility for your actions shows true leadership. It models accountability and makes it easier for others to face their own mistakes.

    Humility. Often misunderstood as false modesty, humility shapes your character by allowing you to embrace your own limits while maintaining self-confidence. It opens the door to collaboration and to seeking input and ideas from others.

    Creativity. Creativity is the frequently overlooked skill that turns good leaders into great leaders. Fostering creativity—your own and your team’s—leads to risk-taking, innovation, and the big ideas that lead to big accomplishments.

    Lead from within: Leadership isn’t something people are born with—it’s a set of skills that can be cultivated over time. When you work to develop strong leadership qualities, you’re positioning yourself to achieve greatness and to inspire it in others.


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    The post 10 Leadership Qualities That Will Make You A Great Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 08:00:40 on 2022/06/21 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , The Future of Business, ,   

    Uncharted Waters: How to Navigate the Future of Leadership and Business 

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    Business always includes an element of unpredictability, and agility and flexibility are enduring requirements for successful leadership. But more than ever before we are operating in uncharted waters, and building long-term success in business and leadership means not just implementing new methods but creating a whole new mindset.

    When change comes this hard and fast, those of us who practice leadership need to move beyond working to complete the tasks before us and achieve the goals we’ve set. We need to be especially mindful of developing and nurturing sustainable leadership practices.

    The form of those practices can vary widely. In my work as a leadership coach, these are some of the points I’ve been making to my clients who are navigating new realities:

    Work to foster deeper and more enduring collaboration. In a world that’s daily growing more challenging, we need to rethink the ways we collaborate. New problems require new ideas, and often those ideas come from outside the usual channels. People working outside their area see things differently and can contribute a fresh vision that complements that of insiders. The key to bringing together a team with diverse backgrounds is to get them interacting around a central motivating factor—an approach that requires them to focus on the core nature of the business itself as well as the issue at hand. When you can create new partnerships and deeper bonds between people who have never worked together before, you maximize the collective intelligence of your team. The results? Innovation, success and longevity.

    Be relentlessly innovative. In the past, we may not have known exactly what the future would hold, but we knew—or thought we knew—its general shape. These days, when most of us look ahead all we can see is uncertainty. Business has become not only more complicated but also more complex. Complicated things are often still linear, with patterns you can see and control. In a complicated environment, efficiency is your friend. But complexity is different beast that above all requires creativity and innovation.

    Embrace adaptability. A leader who is agile and flexible is comfortable with being uncomfortable. They are resilient in face of adversity, and they aren’t fazed by disruption. I know many leaders who have given in to leading from fear. They’re hunkered down waiting for things to go back to normal. But as a coach, my job is to help my clients remember that what they do today is creating their future. Instead of hiding or playing wait-and-see, I help them learn to honor these moments and use them to drive change and innovation.

    In business and leadership as in all of live, the future may not be something we can predict, but it will always be something we can invent.

    Lead from within: To be the best leader you can be today, do the things that your future business and people will thank you for.


    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    The post Uncharted Waters: How to Navigate the Future of Leadership and Business appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 08:40:30 on 2022/06/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , Take Charge, ,   

    How The Best Leaders Take Charge Of Their Emotions 

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    Emotions play a critical role in leadership, especially in influencing and engaging with others. It’s important to reflect on the ways you experience emotion and how it affects your behavior. When you take charge of your emotions, they can’t take charge of you.

    In my work as an leadership executive coach, I guide my clients to master their emotions with six simple steps:

    Understand how emotion affects you physically. Learn the physical cues that tend to come ahead of feelings of anger, sadness or frustration. Your stomach may tighten, your hands may get sweaty or your legs may get fidgety. You may feel hot or cold. If you can slow down your reactions and notice these indicators early on, you’ll have a head start on maintaining control.

    Identify what you’re feeling. According to some studies, humans experience as many as 27 different emotions. But most of the time what you’re feeling is more routine: happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, anger, pride, embarrassment, or excitement. Whatever you’re feeling, just taking a moment to name it’s always helpful.

    Be inquisitive. In a sense, every emotion is a message. For example, anger often expresses a sense of injustice. Get curious and ask yourself what your feelings are telling you. Knowing the source helps you understand and stay in charge of what’s happening.

    Go deeper. Now back up and think about the bigger picture of what’s triggering your emotion. Maybe you’re furious and disappointed because you were counting on someone who let you down. Ask yourself, Was it a fair request? Was I too demanding or authoritative? When you respond to your emotions instead of just reacting to them, you can begin to make positive changes in yourself.

    Build confidence. As you get more comfortable with taking charge of your emotions, it will become easier to stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve. Staying the course with your emotions, helps you build confidence of your feelings so not be afraid of the message it’s trying to convey.

    Stay consistent. Make the steps of emotional control a daily habit, and practice them with small things as well as big ones. It’s like lifting emotional weights—keep working to build the muscle you need to take charge of your feelings successfully.

    Emotions are among our greatest gifts. You don’t want to get rid of them or suppress them, but you do want understand and be in charge of them. The best leaders learn how to master their emotions instead of letting emotions master their leadership.

    Lead from within: Take charge of your emotions and become the best leader you can be.

    #1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

    The Leadership Gap
    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    The post How The Best Leaders Take Charge Of Their Emotions appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 17:27:58 on 2022/06/02 Permalink

    Nail it Face to Face 

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    Target is getting into the nail business. You read correctly. Not nails as in screws and bolts, but fingernails, the humankind you paint and polish. Why would a store that sells food, toys, diapers, clothing and household items get into the beauty business? I assume it’s to make money. At ten dollars per customer, a robot will pipe polish onto your nails in about ten minutes or less, which is significantly less time than it takes to get your nails done in a salon.

    To be fair, Target is already in the beauty business. The stores sell makeup, nail polish, skin and hair products among other items. So maybe this is a natural next step.

    It’s part of a pilot program to see if busy people who don’t often have time for a manicure or don’t want to pay top dollar are interested in getting their nails done quickly for less money.

    The article I read says you slide your finger into a machine where two cameras take about 100 pictures of your nail. Those images are then used to create a 3-D picture that captures the shape and edges of the nail so the robot can determine how fast the machine’s polish-dispenser should move when applying nail polish.

    My first reaction to finger painting robots was not positive. I said it will never last because people like me want more than paint on our nails. I like the experience of filing, cuticle trimming, applying hot towels, moisturizer and getting a hand massage. I also look forward to seeing my manicurist and catching up on all that’s transpired during the week. I pay for that.

    However, the more I think about this, maybe I need to be more open minded. After all, robots are commonplace just about everywhere. They can wash your floors, vacuum your carpets and even clean your windows. There are robots that will clean your barbeque grill and robots that will cut your grass. During the pandemic when remote learning became the norm, robots helped children read and learn.

    We also have Google and Alexa who can put together shopping lists, gather information, tell jokes and text friends and family. Siri can turn television and lights on and off. There’s a robot that uses radio frequencies to tell if someone has fallen and if that person is unconscious, the device will contact a caregiver. No question, technology keeps advancing so perhaps Target will become the salon of the future. Maybe eventually they can expand into acrylics, gels and pedicures. That might bring me in.

    But why does a communications coach care if Target is in the nail business?

    Because I’m concerned about the future of face-to-face communication. Specifically, as older workers retire and younger workers who have grown up on technology make up the entire workforce, will they understand when to communicate face-to-face versus using technology? While every meeting doesn’t require being together in person or turning cameras on, in many situations face-to-face communication is more effective.

    So how do you know? Here is my checklist for determining if communicating in person is the way to go:

    • Delivering Bad News

    If you have to fire an employee or deliver upsetting news, doing it in person is not only more effective, it’s also kinder when a situation is emotional or volatile. Empathy, tone, eye contact and body language can be missed or misinterpreted across a screen and might inadvertently present you as someone who doesn’t care.

    • Building Trust

    If you are selling a product, trying to close a deal or position yourself as a resource, in person conversations help you develop relationships and build trust. The age old phrase ‘people buy people’ still holds true. Meeting face to face helps develop an emotional connection.

    • New Leaders

    It may be difficult and too time consuming for a new leader to travel the globe to meet thousands of employees. Yet, a Forbes survey of over 700 business executives found 8 of 10 prefer face-to-face contact over virtual communications. They said in person meetings help them bond with employees, clients and prospects. It would be beneficial to prioritize which in person meetings are important as you start to build new relationships.

    • Encouraging Conversation

    It is more difficult to encourage conversation virtually because you can’t always see everyone in the room. That means you can’t read cues or observe body language and facial expressions. It also means people can be reluctant to speak up. Being in the same space can promote greater participation and engagement through exercises that are not as effective over a screen.

    • Avoid Misunderstandings

    A recent survey concluded 99% of people admit multitasking during virtual meetings. That means they are not always completely attentive and may miss important information which can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. When multitasking, it also takes someone time to refocus attention to what’s taking place in the virtual room.

    • Influence and Persuade

    It can be much harder to say no to someone’s face than across a screen or in an email. Not only is it easier to engage in person, but you can also assess their reaction to what you’re saying and adapt your words, tone and tactics to how they are reacting.

    • Isolation and Loneliness

    Even as people return to person environments, many companies are embracing a hybrid model where employees can work both remotely and at the office. Being together in person even from time to time can help remote workers feel less isolated and more involved. Working in person can also help strengthen relationships among colleagues and encourage team building activities.

    Face to face communication will never be obsolete, but like online appearances, determining whether to meet in person or virtually is a balancing act. When larger groups of people across different time zones are involved, sometimes remote meetings are the best way to bring everyone together. If you just need to verify a quick fact, ask a question or firm up final details of an event, it isn’t always necessary to see the person to whom you are talking.

    As we get more comfortable in our highly remote post pandemic world, looking for opportunities to come together may be more important than ever before to stay connected and involved. Whether speaking in person or remotely, it’s equally important to prioritize communication skills which lead to greater engagement and productivity.

    Perhaps getting our nails done by a robot at Target is just the next step in automating what used to be a human job. Maybe the nail bot will do a great job at a lower cost, but I don’t believe robots can replace emotional connections unique to human beings. We humans crave human touch. Only we can nail that!

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