In my last newsletter I introduced the concept of ‘Reading the Room’. In other words, being able to gauge what is happening, the mood and the impact of our communication on others and make the right adjustments to create impact. The premise of this concept is easy; the consistent and continual application of it is a lot more difficult. I have spent time recently with folks who don’t even know that they don’t do this well. One of the most challenging behaviours to experience is the ‘it’s all about me.com’. Every word, every conversation, every topic becomes an opportunity to talk about themselves. It’s enough to take the enamel off your teeth! Leaders who have ‘Executive Presence’ can walk in to any situation, gauge the mood, flex, adapt and ‘own’ the room naturally, easily and brilliantly. Others need to watch and learn.
But isn’t tennis also about winning? And beating the other person? Yes. But in multiple encounters everyone is beaten by others eventually, and it’s about respecting your opponent and paying very close attention to them and the development of their game. It’s also about building and practising your strengths, and continuing to work on those areas of your game that are less impactful. It’s the same with developing ‘presence’. Leaders need to do all of this if they are to have powerful, effective, engaging conversations with their team, colleagues, customers and senior stakeholders. So, go and practise ‘Reading the Room’ today whilst I head out to work on my serve…….
Sarah has also written a new book ‘Executive Presence – Demonstrating Leadership in Times of Change and Uncertainty’. Find this on www.amazon.co.uk.