August 2017 Business Case Study

The Situation: Executive Leadership Presence

Phyllis was brought in for her technical knowledge and history of success in dealing with customers. However, her visual presence and lack of tact in dealing with critical issues was less than acceptable. Phyllis also tended to shy away from conflict.

The Solution:

Her skill is in reviewing data and strategies for results and her assessments revealed a style better suited as a team player. In putting together her team, we chose a number two-person good at conflict and sales.

In a video taken of Phyllis, she realized an elevated presence was needed. One way to do that was by making new clothing / color choices that transitioned her from an invisible to a visible presence. A new hair style, makeup and eyewear continued to strengthen her appearance. We also worked on her presentation skills beginning with her choice of words and platform skills (posture, moving in front of an audience and pacing words).

The Outcome:

After a year of coaching to successfully manage the customers through her group, the senior team noted positive changes and the board of directors approved her 2018 goal strategies based on a presentation Phyllis gave. They also acknowledged the improvement of her visual presence in the office and on the road.

“Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquility that no religion can bestow.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 2017 Monthly Tips

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. Harold S. Geneen

August Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
What are some outside of the office activities that can be a fun time for folks to get to know each other?

Answer:
First, the event should be during business hours to provide a nice work break. Ideas include taking cooking or painting classes, and learning to play an instrument.

Communication Question:

Question:
How do you stop repeating filler words: like, you know, you know what I mean, and right?

Answer:
Practice and awareness. Pausing for silence also works. Have friends and colleagues help by letting you know when they hear you say the filler words.

Presence  Question:

Question:
What is acceptable to wear on casual days during very hot weather?

Answer:
It depends on the company’s policy. If there is not one, use the rule: do not select something you wear on weekends (cutoffs and tank tops).

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:
How do you handle when conversing in a group of three, the conversation ends up including two?

Answer:
If the conversation allows the person excluded to join in, wait until there is a break and add an interesting comment. Just listen if you want to continue a relationship with the group or breakaway by letting them to know you need to see someone else.

July 2017 Business Case Study

The Situation:  Managing a new and old team

Gary has been with the organization a year. His role is to strengthen the group by hiring new associates while assessing the effectiveness of the current team members. He realized after replacing a non-producing associate that another member is not respected either. Senior management is now concerned Gary is not an effective team leader.

The Solution:

Gary will do a 360 to determine strengths and areas for improvement. He also realizes more time should be spent with the weaker team members by partnering them with the stronger ones. Gary also must build his relationship with his new manager and realize that using an inclusive tone of voice with his team and boss will help the situation.

The Outcome:

Gary continues to empower his team and deepen his relationship with his new manager. He scheduled a retreat for his group with another team that supports his. They will look at lessons learned in the past year and at opportunities to be successful in the remainder of 2017 and into 2018. He will also take the group out in the evening for a fun cooking class and dinner.

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” – Rosalynn Carter, former first lady of the United States

July 2017 Monthly Tips

When you’re going into an employment environment that looks pretty scary, it is easy to lose your moral compass, your decency, your sense of civility and your sense of community. Henry Rollins

July Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
How can we provide inclusive and constructive feedback? Our team tends to be too direct, causing adverse reactions.

Answer:
A three to one rule is very effective in giving constructive feedback. It helps empower both the giver and receiver. Share three things the person does well. The fourth item starts out” we would like you to think about ways you can add……….. to your skills to help you be more effective in your role.” Be sure you chose the right moment to give this feedback.

Communication Question:

Question:
How can you give a compliment without being too personal?

Answer:
Compliments can be tricky especially when both individuals are the opposite sex. It’s best to compliment an action rather than the person. For example: Great meeting you versus I like your smile. It is especially important to keep in mind how well you know the person.

Presence  Question:

Question:
Can I wear flip flops or sandals for business casual?

Answer:
Flip flops, no matter how expensive, are not appropriate for business or casual wear in the office. They are questionable even at a business social event like a picnic. Check out the many wonderful smart summer sandals men and women can buy!

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:
Can you bring a partner to a business event if they are not on the invitation?

If they know you have a partner and the invitation does not indicate they are invited, then no. However, if they are not aware you have a partner you might ask if partners are invited.

June 2017 Monthly Tips

Networking is an essential part of building wealth. Armstrong Williams, American Journalist

June Tips For Communication & Image Success

Tip for Organizations:

Question:
How do you suggest handling a new organization head who has unusual demands because of a lack of understanding of the current processes?

Answer:
It is important to listen to the concerns behind the request. Your new team leader most likely made the requests. Work together to compromise and benefit the team and organization.

Communication Question:

Question:
I have a very thick accent. How do I get folks to understand my name?

Answer:
Speak slowly and spell your first name out. I would practice this and record it to hear yourself. Practice in front of friends and ask them to make sure you are speaking clearly.

Presence  Question:

Question:
Can knit jackets for women replace blazers for professional dress?

Answer:
St. John has wonderful knit blazers to wear in place of gabardine and wool ones. The knit needs to have structure and weight to make it work.

The Art of Business and Social Interaction®

Question:
At a recent social event, I was asked some very personal questions, stopping me cold like the proverbial deer in the headlights.

Answer:
When that happens, I indirectly answer the question or make a slight joke. For example, “Funny you should ask that, I often ask myself the same question”, and wait for an answer.