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Personal Motivation & Professional Relevance, Part 3

Staying relevant is your other full-time job…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationProfessional Relevance       

Staying relevant in this day and age has become a full-time job.  Because technology is constantly evolving and it touches every area of your life it is essential that you learn to think and act in new ways in several arenas.  And, as a leader, it’s important for you to stay relevant in relation to your position.

Know Your Self

By participating in this series you’ve probably learned many important things about yourself.  What you know about self gives you a good frame of reference from which to plan, act and improve.  Some of the key areas of self-knowledge forming that frame of reference are:

Personality & Preferences

Knowing your behavioral style and which things come easily for your or which take more effort gives you an idea of where to best focus your talent or self-improvement energies.

History: Past, Present & Future

What have…

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Personal Motivation & Professional Relevance, Part 2

Turn your verbal skills inward…

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationDeveloping Your Internal Coach

You’ve coached others to success through careful instruction, correction and positive affirmation.  Now it’s time for you to turn that approach inward.  You’ve helped others see themselves in new and favorable light.  Now it’s time for you to become your own coach and do likewise – for you!  Some key levels of self coaching are:

  • Results
  • Behaviors
  • Attitudes
  • Self Coaching


Right now there are areas in your life where you are pleased with the results – and areas in which you are not.  Those results could include achieving goals in the workplace, having a better home life or making friends with others.


In the same way an athlete’s performance on the field determines his or her results on a consistent basis, so does your behavior dictate the results you achieve.  You’ve heard the saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always…

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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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