Leadership

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4 Misconceptions About How to Be an Engaging Speaker

An executive coaching client shared this goal with me:  “I want to become a more inspiring speaker so my employees really become engaged and catch the vision for this upcoming year.” The backstory:  According to the CEO, this senior leader Tyler, who’d assumed the role of plant manager three years earlier, did not get along [...]

How to Control Dominators in Meetings

Meetings often unfold similar to encounters on the playground: Passive and dominating attendees annoy each other and complicate things. So why not simply let the passive meeting participants fade into the woodwork and let the dominators take over the game board? Several reasons: Dominators monopolize and prevent other ideas and solutions from surfacing. Dominators often [...]

4 Ways Leaders Make Their Communication Clear

As a leader, you’ve probably asked your team dozens of times, “Do you understand?” But I’ll wager you’ve rarely have had anyone respond, “No, I don’t get it.” Instead, they nod, smile, and remain silent, thinking they’ll figure it out later. Some do; some don’t. The best leaders know that the burden to be understood [...]

Interviewing, Emceeing, Q&A From the Audience: Tips for Difficult Situations

I recently attended an event where journalist Judy Woodruff interviewed famed architect Santiago Calatrava. That interview surfaced two issues that show up routinely in the workplace: at management and sales meetings, at industry conferences, and during all-hands employee meetings. What do these venues have in common? Frequent programming that features “interviews.” Moderators hosting a panel [...]

MORE on How to Handle Hostile Questions—Part 2

Handling hostile questions can be more than an uncomfortable five minutes with your project team or an embarrassment with your executive officer. If fumbled badly in a highly visible setting, these questions can stall or end your career. I’ve seen it happen. Last week’s blog presented two techniques for responding to these tough questions. Here [...]

How to Handle a Hostile Question With Poise—Part 1

Whether delivering a presentation, meeting with a client in the heat of a crisis, or battling with your teen over curfews, how you respond to a hostile question can make or break your credibility for everything else you have to say. Once, when a newspaper reporter called me, he opened with this line: “I’m calling [...]