On a ranch in stunning Tucson, Arizona, I recently experienced an amazing “equine inspiration” with the Harvard-trained neurosurgeon Dr. Allan Hamilton. Dr. Hamilton wrote the award-winning book Zen Mind, Zen Horse and is cited for his ground-breaking work in using horses to train surgeons.
Dr. Hamilton explained that horses are hyper-aware of our emotional state and react to what’s in our hearts and not our heads. He encouraged me to engage my right brain’s intuitive function, while silencing the dominant left hemisphere’s analytical inner voice. He assured me that this would give me a unique opportunity to feel my emotions mirrored back.
Hoping her name wasn’t a reflection of her spirit, I selected Pepper. With Dr. Hamilton’s coaching, I learned:
- How my initial trepidation prevented Pepper from cooperating with me, which was apparent from her flaring nostrils and shaking head
- How to connect with Pepper through eye contact, posture and movement
- The power of patience, especially when you are limited to non-verbal communication
- The importance of alignment between telling, body posture and visual aids (in this case, a lead rope and a whip)
Working to quiet my analytical brain and harness my intuition, I began grooming Pepper. I directed her to back up, move forward, turn right and finally led her in a fast-paced, thundering gallop around the paddock. I was thrilled with my success with this majestic creature.
What does this have to do with leadership? When we:
- adjust our limiting behaviours
- attend to the subtleties in interpersonal communication
- demonstrate patience in leading others
we become more connected to others and more effective as leaders.
For more information about CORE’s services in helping clients build leadership capability, please visit:
www.coreconsultinginc.ca or contact Joan Hill directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (905) 990-2515
Do you want learn how to deliver a dynamic, impactful presentation to any audience – from your senior leadership team to external customers? What are your strengths as a presenter? What skills do you need to improve?
Although feedback from others is invaluable, start by completing a quick, candid assessment.
For each statement below, jot down the number (3, 2 or 1) that corresponds with how frequently you demonstrate this behaviour.
3 = Usually 2 = Sometimes 1 = Almost Never
- Before I start developing a presentation, I do an audience analysis.
- I structure the presentation to address the audience’s key needs.
- I feel relaxed and confident when I am giving a presentation.
- I feel comfortable when an audience member interrupts me.
- If someone asks a difficult question, I handle it skillfully.
- At the beginning and the end of the presentation I describe the “call to action”.
- I am often complimented on the quality and impact of my presentations.
- After the presentation, I feel that I did a really good job.
Then total your score.
21-24: Congratulations! You have mastered the key skills to achieve your presentation goals.
15-20: Room for improvement. Pinpoint your specific needs and consider hiring a coach.
8-14: Oops! If you regularly give presentations, there are lots of tools to help you that will fit your learning style and budget. If you would like to discuss these options, please call us.
We offer a full range of dynamic tools to help you and your colleagues develop your presentation skills including workshops, one-on-one and group coaching such as:
Thanks for your continued support!
Daniela is a critic. She constantly challenges others and makes derogatory comments. Her body language conveys hostility.
How can you handle Daniela both respectfully and effectively? Tempting as it is to argue with her, she likely will become even more contentious.
Here are 5 techniques to handle the Critics’ behaviour:
- Acknowledge her position. “Daniela, it seems that you have a different perspective.”
- Ask her to elaborate. “Can you tell us why you feel so strongly?” This will help clarify her opinion and reveal her agenda.
- Summarize and confirm your understanding of her view. “What I hear you saying is that you feel we should …. is that correct?” Ask the other meeting participants: “Does this resonate with anyone else?”
- Transition to the next agenda item if the other meeting participants disagree with her input. “Thanks, Daniela. I think we now understand why you are opposed. I’m happy to take this offline if you would like to discuss it further. Let’s now move to the next topic…”
- Ask questions and reinforce comments that are on target with your agenda.
If you are faced with challenging meeting behaviours and would like some on-one-one coaching, please contact me.
We also offer a two hour training workshop on Facilitating Meetings that Work:
My experience as both a facilitator and a coach indicates that many meetings get ambushed because most leaders have difficulty taking charge of dysfunctional meeting behaviour, especially The Talkers.
We’ve all met “George”. He dominates discussions, raises off-topic issues, interrupts and doesn’t listen to others. His behaviour frustrates the group and shuts down participation.
Here are 5 techniques to help you effectively manage The Talkers.
5 Techniques for Managing “The Talkers”
- Ask George: “How does this relate to the topic we are discussing?”
- Use a parking lot to record unrelated issues. Then come back to them at the end of the meeting.
- Avoid making eye contact with George. If he persists in talking, slightly raise your right hand in his direction.
- Acknowledge his opinion; then ask others to contribute. “Thanks, George for sharing your perspective. Deborah, what thoughts do you have about this issue?”
- Speak to him privately during a break. Ask him to actively listen to others’ opinions. Offer to have an offline discussion following the meeting.
As a leader your ability to facilitate your team’s progress in solving problems and making decisions will contribute to your leadership effectiveness.
We offer a two hour training workshop on Facilitating Meetings that Work:
For this and your other leadership development needs, please contact me.
5 Reasons Why Meetings Fail and 5 Tips to Make Them More Productive
- No clear meeting purpose. Is your goal to share information, solve a problem or make a decision? In your invite, make the why clear and recap it at the meeting kickoff.
- Wrong participants. Once you’ve determined the purpose of the meeting, decide who really needs to be there. How many can be eliminated by sharing the summary afterwards?
- No agenda. If you are responsible for leading the meeting, determine in advance the structure you need to achieve the meeting objective. Failure to do this is guaranteed to result in socializing, discussions off topic and missed input from key individuals.
- Lack of action planning. Summarize decisions, actions, etc. before transitioning to the next agenda item. Recap and capture next steps at the end of the meeting. Email this summary to all participants and others as appropriate.
- Dysfunctional participant behaviour. George dominates the discussion, Mary gets off on a tangent and Ahmed keeps repeating the same points. Take charge of these derailers. (More in my next blog….)
As well as these tips, do a quick evaluation of your meeting effectiveness at the end of each meeting. Ask participants: “What did you like about this meeting?” “What can we do to make these meetings better?” If you would like the tool that our clients have used successfully, let me know.
We also offer a two hour training workshop on Facilitating Meetings that Work: http://www.coreconsultinginc.ca/workshop_facilitating_effective_meetings.php
If you are keen to learn more about CORE’s programs and services, we would love to have a conversation.