Does the quality of your presentations elicit the best?

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It’s critical for leaders (and those aspiring to be leaders) to learn the skills required to conduct high quality presentations and facilitate well-run meetings. It not only reflects on you professionally, it also builds a positive reputation for your company, department and team. Developing the right skills helps you attract clients and team members that want to work with you, receive promotions and pay increases, and build new career opportunities. One of the most important indicators of professional success (regardless of your occupation) is your ability to speak, listen and share the spotlight in a way that elicits the best from others.

Practice the right things, the right way.

Developing excellent skills takes consistent practice of the right things, the right way. For example, continuing to practice the piano playing the wrong notes, will not improve your ability to play the right notes when it counts – at a recital or in a competition. While learning presentation and facilitation styles may not seem important when you are young or in your current profession, consider taking the time now so you don’t miss golden opportunities to accelerate your leadership growth.

4 Key Behaviors that Make a Difference

Practice is required for all endeavors, and developing excellent presentation and facilitation skills is required in many jobs. When preparing for a presentation, write down an outline of the key points and practice in front of a mirror. Ask for feedback from others, before and after the program. Winging it usually means you don’t understand the importance of engaging an audience — remember you may not get a second chance to cause a favorable impression, win the contract or resolve a company issue.

Discipline is created by following a structure that works and by scheduling repetitive practice, on a consistent basis. Attending Toastmasters is one example. It provides the opportunity to learn and practice the right skills – it also teaches proper etiquette for managing the stage, room, podium, handouts, seating, mic, etc. Developing a style that works for you and engages everyone in your audience is the ultimate goal.

Coach-ability is very important. Thinking you know-it-all (so you don’t have to practice or listen to others’ suggestions) will quickly impede your progress. Welcome the feedback from others and consider it valuable. Hire a coach, attend a workshop, and ask your boss or co-worker to critique you –you’ll be surprised by the progress you make by being coachable.

Learn from your mistakes. Shake it off when you make a mistake, apologize if needed and move on. Most people won’t even know you made a mistake – however, there will be some mistakes that are not as easily overlooked (e.g., using a four-letter word, gossiping, etc.). After your presentation or meeting, take time to identify two areas of improvement with your coach. Don’t forget to solicit feedback from the organizer of the event, by asking “What worked?” and “What didn’t work or could have been better?” When conducting training programs, written evaluations can be helpful to ensure the main points and concerns were addressed. Remember, one bad review doesn’t mean you did a bad job! However, pay attention when you have had several similar comments.

Again, as a leader, it’s up to you to elicit the best from your audiences — employees, industry professionals and others. It requires disciplined practice, coach-ability and learning from your mistakes in order to conduct well-received presentations and facilitate well-run meetings.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2015

Jeannette Seibly is a business advisor who creates million-dollar results for business owners and executives of $5MM to $30MM enterprises. Along the way, she has guided the creation of three millionaires. http://SeibCo.com

Learn how-to sell yourself, your products and services, It’s Time to Brag! (http://Time2Brag.com)

8 Requirements to Be a Successful Professional!

As you advance in your career, or climb up the corporate ladder, it’s important to learn to be open to new ideas and people. Unfortunately, we love to judge others, often too quickly and negatively. As a result, we lose our effectiveness and close the doors to new opportunities.

Success is an inside job and requires improving your people skills. Developing these skills takes time, practice and discipline, and will enable you to work with and through others to achieve your goals, develop an amazing team, become competitive, and improve your company’s bottom line.

8 Key Requirements:

  1. Do what you say you’ll do on time and as promised. Apologize when you “drop the ball.” Then, adjust your attitude and systems to ensure you’re not continually “dropping the ball.”
  2. Develop the discipline to do the right things the right way. Remember, your decisions will impact today’s situation — and tomorrow’s too.
  3. Get to know what is of interest and/or concern to your customers, internal and external. (This includes your boss and Board of Directors!)
  4. Learn to listen to new ideas and new ways of achieving results.Great ideas can “erupt” from anyone, at any time – if you’re open to hearing them!
  5. Respect everyone on the team regardless of his/her opinions and/or personality. Stop negatively judging others because of how they speak, how they present their ideas or how they disagree with you. Everyone can be a contribution to your success, if you’re open to learning from them and value their input.
  6. Acknowledge others for their time, efforts and contributions. Make it a practice to say “Please” & “Thank You.” (A disappearing courtesy that needs to be revived.)
  7. Keep confidences. (Hint: Sharing secrets and gossiping are two of the fastest ways to sabotage your career.)
  8. Forgiveness. Take the time to forgive others, and, more importantly, yourself. Learn from your mistakes and theirs too! Success is an on-going process, not a one-time event.

Successful people have learned these 8 key requirements, and use them to advance professionally.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2015 All Rights Reserved

Need to transform your management practices? Contact me before it’s too late! http://SeibCo.com/contact

Jeannette Seibly is an award-winning and internationally recognized business advisor. For the past 23 years, she has helped thousands of people work smarter, enjoy financial freedom, and realize their dreams now.  She has an uncanny ability to help her clients identify roadblocks, and help them focus to quickly produce unprecedented results.  Each client brings their own unique challenges, and her gift is helping each one create their success in their own unique way. Along the way, with her commitment, she helped create three millionaires.

Fail Well for Success

You’ve often heard the phrase, “Failure is not an option.” The truth is failure does happen and it does happen often. Particularly to people that who take risks, people that focus on expanding their opportunities, implementing bigger ideas, and following their own paths, not paths designed by others.

We’ve all done our best to avoid failure or minimize it – yet, it shows up over and over. Our inability or unwillingness to address these life lessons makes it harder for us to succeed. Every achievement has a story of what didn’t work behind it – unfortunately, media doesn’t often share those struggles and what was learned during the process.

As business leaders, it’s important to learn how to handle mistakes and learn from them. Trying to cover them up, deny they happened, blame others, or allow our confidence to wane are not good choices. There’s no magical way to deal with or get past failure. Each person needs to work through their challenges one day at a time.

Why do failures hang around? There are failures that simply happen (e.g., the economy) and failures we could have prevented (e.g., implementing quality control procedures). We’ve created stories to minimize their impact or excuses to justify why they happened. Emotionally we hang onto the sadness, guilt and negativity, while failing to forgive ourselves and forgive others. Often, we continue to indulge in bad habits or stay in situations that are not healthy. The key is to recognize a potential problem and resolve it proactively.

How can we learn from failure faster? Hire a trusted advisor who can help you clarify what worked and what didn’t work. Take time to acknowledge that things didn’t work out as expected. Many times the actual outcome does not match up with our perceptions of “what should have happened.”

How do we fail well for success?

  • Write down your thoughts and feelings when the incident(s) happens. Don’t share your private journal with anyone. The act of writing can be cathartic when you simply express your thoughts on paper without concerns for grammar, punctuation, and word choices.
  • Walk it out. It’s hard to be depressed when you’re in action.
  • Talk it out with a few select confidants – don’t go it alone. Be clear these conversations are not designed as pity sessions. Their purpose is to help you develop compassion and wisdom from your lesson(s) learned.Remember, there will be more opportunities to fail and succeed – life gives you lemons or lemonade – it’s your choice to work through the challenges or succumb when mistakes happen! The key is to fail well so that you’re not repeating the same life lessons.

 

Jeannette Seibly has been a business advisor and facilitator for over 20 years; she guides the creation of new solutions for business challenges. Learn more about these and other successful leadership techniques by visiting her blogs posts on: http://SeibCo.com and get your copy of, “5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Results (and Enjoy Being a Leader Again)” http://ow.ly/ysgYQ

Laser coaching requires you to stop managing

Effective bosses know that everybody has their own learning style. Instead of telling your employees how to get the job done, provide assistance that is focused on a quality process and an intentional end result. As a manager, take time to listen, ask the right questions, and use qualified assessments to become a laser-focused coach with the ability to guide your team and provide the necessary adjustments. Encourage your employees to interact with one another, other teams, and their clients to develop new processes and systems to achieve the required end results:  satisfied customers and a positive return on investment. (http://SeibCo.com/assessments)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Successful Leadership Is Evolutionary

Every generation of leaders likes to believe they invented the newest and most effective way to manage people, build profitable companies, and “build a better mousetrap.”  The reality? We didn’t do it ourselves. The achievements of our businesses, inventions, and other ideas were an outcome of working effectively with and through others to achieve the intended results, and at the same time acknowledging our predecessors.

True leaders are humble and take great care of their teams. They set aside their egos, hubris, and other personality impediments to pave forward the pathway and open new doors to achieve their intended results. If they’ve made a lot of money, it is shared appropriately. If they created a lot of press, they generously include others’ contributions in their brag statements. (http://TimeToBrag.com)

Why are these insights important?

1.       When you understand that your success stands on the shoulders of your mentors, business advisors, bosses, and team members, you become humble knowing you didn’t go it alone. It makes it easier for others to want to work with you and share their knowledge and experiences, since it’s not all about you and your credentials or paycheck.

2.       It’s never solely your ideas or creativity that make the system or product work. Sharing the credit works wonders for current and future undertakings. Asking the right questions, listening and building upon ideas, and making available (or creating) the required resources are key traits of leaders. They ensure others stick with you during the design, launch, and refinement processes of your projects.

3.       Documentation of your process, including charts and graphs, helps others visually understand the progress. They can then see potential glitches and possible solutions, and not rely on any overly optimistic feelings of triumph you might have. Documentation also provides a foundation for you, and them, to build on for the next venture.

Remember, leadership and business, as most things in life, are evolutionary—they build on previous successes and learn from past failures to create the next victory.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

How do you handle the company bully?

People can be difficult to converse with when they are being bullies constantly in search of special favors. As an executive, you don’t have the luxury of avoiding them. However, you can minimize and structure your interactions to be effective. First, listen to their request. Don’t dismiss it simply based on who’s asking. Second, ask what the return on investment is. Third, have them put it in writing. Fourth, make a decision that works best for the company. For additional insights on how to handle difficult interactions, get your copy of Most Discussions Require More Than 140 Characters! http://seibco.com/books/eguides/

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Innovation frauds

Many professionals make changes for the sake of making changes. Some hope change will be recognized as a good thing and keep them employed. The bottom line? Change can be disruptive to any business when modifications are made without a specific goal others can agree upon. Remind new hires to learn the current way your company conducts business before offering any recommendations for changes, at least for 30 days. Just because it worked with their former employer or is considered the industry norm does not mean a change will produce the required results in your environment. Teach everyone how to ask the right questions of their teammates and brainstorm possible adjustments before making any agreed-upon changes. For a new system to work profitably, it must include everyone’s input into its design and alignment.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

How does “new normal” impact your leadership?

The new normal is a paradigm shift. Old thoughts and beliefs are being replaced with new expectations about sustaining and growing our businesses. We may have to take new actions in order to acquire new clients and embrace new technology to meet expanding needs. We may need to refine marketing, sales, and hiring systems or give them a complete overhaul. But we will still need to measure successful operations, financial growth, and strategic planning against the company’s actual results to ensure we’re headed where we want to go. Integrity and ethics will be increasingly scrutinized by prospective customers and prospective top talent in the new normal.  Sometimes these shifts are for the better, and sometimes they are simply a passing fad.

A new executive kept telling the CEO they needed to make changes in their marketing plan and sales activities to attract larger companies. The CEO kept reminding her that “bigger clients are not always better ones, nor do they necessarily provide bigger ROIs.” The company’s strategic plan was deliberately focused on small to medium-sized clients. The new executive was unwilling to adapt and left because of poor job fit after 18 months—and the company grew and prospered because her replacement embraced the company’s strategic vision.

What is your responsibility as a leader? Stay consciously aware of shifting criteria. Some principles will start quietly until they become so loud that they demand your attention. Others are much more subtle and may only hang around until they are replaced by a newer craze or trend. Regardless, don’t follow blindly along. Take charge of defining which changes will work well for your company. Infuse as much objectivity as possible when making any modifications, and don’t forget the human factors, regardless of how small the modification. Your employees’ emotional reactions will create a smooth or difficult transition.

“The grass is greener at other companies” is a myth many job-hoppers believed when taking new positions that promise increased pay and work responsibilities. They may find that their new employer does not offer the same benefits package and other perks as their old one, or that their new bosses are not better people and project managers. Increased work responsibilities could instead simply mean working longer hours with fewer resources!

The key? Don’t become an ostrich with your head in the sand. Investigate and explore the potential impact of any new normal. Consciously choose when, where, why, and how to follow—or not! You don’t want to be left scrambling to refocus on the right things.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Use an outside sounding board to get you out of the mind-forest.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” —Albert Einstein

When you’re immersed in the mind-forest of logic and/or emotions, your inner monologue can disguise the best path for your company to follow. You usually find yourself in these predicaments when there is a lack of clarity in the direction you’ve taken or a lack of integrity in the decisions you’ve made. Many times the problem could have been prevented if you had used an outside sounding board (e.g., a mentor, business advisor, or advisory board). It is easier for someone on the outside to point out the current or predicted obstacles, because they are not attached to the inner workings of your business. They can help you generate a new commitment to develop and execute a workable solution while creating an ethical, but not always easy, best course of action to achieve the right results.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Who have you talked with on the outside to get a clearer view of the inside of your company?

Be a Leader without Being the Boss

Many times risk-adverse leaders and business professionals hate their jobs. They see the position of boss as a great opportunity to make more money and attain a coveted title.  Yet they are unable or unwilling to develop the people and project skills required to be boss. They are afraid of stepping outside their comfort zone or have done so without success. Without learning from your mistakes and developing new sets of attitudes and behaviors, it can be difficult to get and keep these positions. It would be better to develop a career ladder within your company where you can increase your influence and paycheck, and be a leader without being the boss. It’s OK if you don’t have the interests or skills to be the boss!

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013