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Personal Motivation & Professional Relevance, Part 1

What you say to others is important. What you say to yourself is equally so.

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationMost humans develop their initial thoughts and feelings about life from external sources of learning, influence and motivation.   These sources usually include parents, peers and personal heroes.  At some point one begins to make up his or her own mind about what to believe in regards to society, the work world and self.  This article examines external influences, personal motivation and professional relevance and suggests ways the leader can take more deliberate control over his or her development and results.

External Influences – For Better or Worse

Perhaps you were told certain positive things about yourself at a young age because you showed an interest, inclination or basic ability in a certain area such as math, science, sports or music.  Or perhaps everyone commented on how humorous you were or good with people.  As a result you enthusiastically developed along these lines and gained greater skill, accomplishment and perhaps recognition. …

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Resolving Conflict

Reasonable approach. Basic steps. But oh so hard to manage and master…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationConflict happens! And when it does, the leader must be prepared to address issues between parties.  Some leaders have a low tolerance for confrontation and avoid intervening in conflict between followers.  They take the attitude, “The issue will work itself out.” Others are quick to squelch disagreement between parties by discouraging contention but not helping the individuals resolve issues.  In this case, issues linger below the surface and may be displayed through less overt skirmishes or passive – aggressive behaviors.  By being proactive, a leader can address conflict and resolve issues before they spread like a virus or escalate to war.

Conflict is a natural part of working and living with others. Sometimes conflict is positive, bringing to light different ideas, strategies and methods for conducting business.  Positive conflict can generate a creative or competitive tension that makes an organization dynamic.  Conflict can also be negative. When the competition between…

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Managing Image, Perceptions, Credibility & Trust, Part 2

Image is not just superficial stuff, it’s also includes the foundational.

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationBuilding Credibility & Trust with Others

Ethics, Credibility & Trust

Sooner or later you’ll be faced with making an ethical decision. That decision could impact your relationship with followers, customers and other organizational stake holders. It may involve choices about your product, services and image or your competition, direction and mission. These concerns call for ethics in action and building credibility, reputation and trust in yourself and your organization.  When faced with an ethical dilemma, you’re challenged to figure out what is right and wrong and good and bad in regard to your motives, actions and outcomes.

Legal, Moral or Ethical

Some choices or decisions also have legal implications.  Sometimes things are legal but may not seem moral or ethical. Some choices may seem justified ethically or morally but are not lawful. Consider the case of a journalist who follows the ethics of “off the record” and “protecting one’s…

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If You Can’t Communicate Effectively, How Can You Lead Exceptionally?! #1

SDS presentation-creationI’ve asked many times, “If you can’t communicate effectively, how can you lead exceptionally?”  Communication is so integral to leadership that it’s impossible, to have the later without the former.  Let’s face it, many people overlook how the three little building blocks of communication work – for or against them – on a continuous basis.  Those three little building blocks, that make a big difference, are non-verbal, vocal and verbal communication.  Here are some key points.

First, non-verbal communication includes things that don’t necessarily come out of your mouth.  Primarily body language, facial expressions and how you look, walk and act.  Secondly, vocal communication includes the endless variations of tones (tone of voice) that can be expressed according to your feelings about a person or situation.  And, thirdly, verbal communication is the actual words that come out of your mouth – for better or worse!

Here’s what you need to know about using the building blocks:

  • When you communicate a “matched message,” or when these elements are in harmony with each other, you’ll usually be perceived as credible, believable and understandable.  When one or more of these building blocks doesn’t match the others, you’re sending a “mixed message” that causes you to be received as less understandable and believable and your message as less reliable.  Harmonious messages make for more effective communication than do mixed ones.  But, every moment somewhere on the planet one human is sending a mixed message to another individual or group of people in a passive-aggressive or deliberately manipulative way to get a certain reaction.  Perhaps your job is to watch for the cues, read behind the clues and try to figure out what the person is saying.

But, of course, every moment somewhere on the planet one human is sending a mixed message to another individual or group of people in a passive-aggressive or deliberately manipulative way to get a certain reaction. 

  • These building blocks are always at work. There’s no escaping the fact you are going to send messages whenever others are watching (and of course even when they are not).   Everything communicates, and you are always communicating!

Everything communicates, and you are always communicating!

  • You can take control of communication by learning to manage how you are coming across.  Sometimes it means slowing down or calling time out to get centered before expressing yourself.  Other times it requires conjuring up some enthusiasm for the topic of a conversation to infuse the message with the right degree of energy.  At times you may need to communicate with yourself through positive “self-talk” to gain momentary confidence that “you can do it!”

Although the focus of this blog is the importance of the three building blocks – non-verbal, vocal and verbal communication – it’s apparent that many factors influence your degree of harmony when communicating.  Those factors include state-of-mind, confidence, familiarity with the people or situation, your status with another individual or audience size.   But more on these in another blog…

 

 

Managing Image, Perceptions, Credibility & Trust, Part 1

Everything communicates. Before you even open your mouth, image is at play or work sending signals for better or worse…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationManaging Image & Perceptions

Image is inescapable.  For better or worse – every leader has one.  The leader’s words, tone and actions are always being scrutinized and interpreted by others.  The purpose of this article is to help you understand the dynamics of image, making a favorable impression, dealing with misperceptions and building credibility and trust with others.

Making a Favorable First Impression

It only takes a few moments for someone to form an impression of you.  Within a few seconds, another person has seen or heard you, screened you according to his or her worldview and decided how to proceed with you.  You are either “in” or “out” from the start of the “relationship.”

People judge others according to their non-verbal, vocal and verbal communication.  Non-verbal communication makes up about 50 percent of the first impression; vocal communication represents 40 percent of the pie; and verbal communication the remaining…

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Facilitating Problem Solving & Decision Making

Here, you might need to make a decision if you are going to lead…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationWhether you’re involved in annual strategic planning, making important business choices or resolving daily issues, you can benefit from problem solving and decision-making skills.  Problem solving and decision-making can be a subjective, objective or intuitive pursuit.

Subjective Problem Solving

When coming up with subjective solutions to problems, you are operating on your own, or the groups, thoughts and feelings about a particular subject. Experience will come into play, and known information is the primary lens through which the problem is viewed.  It’s helpful to lead a group through a series of questions aimed at clarifying the issue at hand, brainstorming ways to address the challenge and creating a plan for resolution.

Objective Decision Making

Objective decision-making requires more careful research, analysis, preparation, organization and facilitation than does a subjective problem solving session.   Having reliable intelligence is vital to objective decision-making. In addition to the steps cited under…

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Leading Groups & Making Presentations, Part 2

June 2018 Update: My work has focused more on delivery than design, although I mention a few items in this blog.  Recently I finished Tim Pollard’s book, The Compelling Communicator. I’ve not read a better book on presentation design and recommend it highly. I’m also using his online “briefcase” to better design and to store presentations.  Even after thousands of speaking engagements over several decades I’m looking for ways to improve.

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationMaking a Great Presentation

Follow this five step approach to making great presentations.

  • Impress

Impress your audience through your appearance, charm, wit, talent, knowledge, understanding, and use of visual tools, speaking ability or passion. Better yet, try a combination of all these items.  When you create the right image, and make a favorable first impression, you gain some instant credibility with your audience.

  •  Involve

Involving your audience early and often gets them engaged in the presentation.  You can ask them to raise their hands in response to a no-miss question.  Or, make sure you have a good joke that’s well tested to get them laughing.  You can give them handout materials so they move their bodies in the act of receiving.  Remember, the mind follows the body and the body follows the mind.  When you open the audience’s mind or body language in a favorable manner they will continue…

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